Robert Frost's The Death Of The Hired Man

1141 Words5 Pages
What is the definition of “home”? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, home is a place of origin. However, everyone has a different definition of home. While some people consider home a physical place where they live in; others consider home a spiritual place where they can find comfort and warmth. The Death of the Hired Man is a poem written by Robert Frost that explores the theme of home. The poem consists of a conversation between Warren, a farmer, and Mary, his wife, about their former employee Silas, who has come “home” to die. Through the conversation between Warren and Mary, and the death of Silas at the end of the poem, Frost attempts to remind the general public to be more sympathetic and compassionate toward people who do…show more content…
The poem is written in vernacular language. Frost uses contractions such as “i’ll (Beers, p.833)” and “he’d (Beers, p. 830)” in the dialogue. Since Frost’s targeted audience of the poem is the general public, he uses everyday language instead of complicated words so that his reader can easily interpret the poem. Other than the usage of simple diction, another notable characteristic of the poem is the abundant dialogue in the poem. Almost ninety percent of the poem is made out of the dialogue between Mary and Warren. Frost shows the thoughts and personality of the characters through Mary and Warren’s conversation. For example, even though Silas never spoken in the poem, from the lines: “If he had any pride in claiming kin/ or anything he looked for from his brother,/ He’d keep so still about him all this time?”, the readers would know that Silas is a old and lonely man who is ashamed of himself. He does not possess love from his family. The only “home” that Silas has is the farm that Mary and Warren owned. In addition, Frost also directly uses the dialogue between Mary and Warren to bring out the theme of home. According to Warren, the definition of home is “the place where, when you have to go there/ They have to take you in (Beers, p. 832).” In contrast, Mary believes that home is “something you somehow haven’t deserve (Beers, p. 832).” Instead of going to his rich brother to seek for…show more content…
Throughout the poem, the readers can see a clear contrast between Mary and Warren’s beliefs. Warren represents the more rational part of human nature ,and Mary represents mercy and sympathy. Due to the difference of their ideologies, Mary and Warren look at the same things with different perspectives. In the beginning of the poem, Mary says to Warren, “Be kind. (Beers, p.829)” Mary believes the definition of “kind” is to be nice to others and treat them mercy. Then, Warren replies, “When was I ever anything but kind to him? (Beers, p. 829)” Warren considers the word “kind” as treating others fairly and not taking advantage of them. Another notable difference between the two of them is their definition of “home”. While Mary believes that “home” is a “something you somehow haven’t deserve (Beers, p. 832)”, Warren believes that “home” is simply “the place where, when you have to go there/ They have to take you in (Beers, p. 832).” Warren’s ideals are based on the principle of fairness. In his opinion, since Silas violated their contract first, there is no point for him to show any mercy to Silas. On the other hand, Mary’s ideals are based on the principle of forgiving and kindness. Mary believes that they have to treat others kindly, regardless of whether they deserve this kind of treatments or not. Frost uses compare and contrast to show that people should be kind toward the people who are
Open Document