Robert Frost's The Gift Outright

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American history is a topic endeared by many famous American poets; Robert Frost is no exception. In his poem “The Gift Outright,” written as early as 1936 and published in 1942, Frost recounts a time of change for American colonists transitioning into independence from England. Written during a time of hardship for many Americans who battled the Great Depression and World War II, this poem served as a reminder of national identity and culture that had come from prior struggles. This poem was famously recited by Frost at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961, which once again renewed pubic interest in the poem. This allowed its reminder of American culture to once again impact the public. With a reflective tone and omniscient speaker, the poem is interesting and impactful, which is why it has had such a lasting impression on the American public for decades. Frost uses elements of diction, allusion, and repetition to show that Americans had to abandon English practices and form their own unique culture in order for America to truly become theirs. The diction used throughout the poem gives several clues to Frost’s intended message. In line 15, Frost uses the words “unstoried,” “artless” and “unenhanced.” These words have similar connotations in that they all communicate a lack of something positive. In the scope of this poem, Frost uses these words to show that the westward land of America lacked the shaping of its own people. It was missing the towns and other
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