Analysis of Poem Home Burial by Robert Frost

Categories: Poems

After a tedious day at school, a quarterback goes to take part in a football game with his fellow teammates. The coach has the hindsight bias that his team will definitely succeed.

However, they lost the game. The coach gets very upset over this, while the player calmly gets over this situation and says, "We'll get it next time". Using the same concept, in Robert Frost's poem, the wife gets distressed when she saw her son's grave in her own backyard.

Conversely, the husband couldn't reason the cause of her trouble. This lead to the wife desiring to leave the house, however, the husband insists her to stay. Robert uses, "Ambiguity" often to create suspense, effectively, to keep the audience pondered throughout the poem.

In the poem, "Home Burial" written by Robert Frost, the poet writes about a child who passed away recently, and shows us a tense discussion between a wife and her husband. Frost approaches to use drama portraying the tragedy of the couple's mourning over their child's death, and their own relationship is collapsed due to lack of communication.

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The passing of the child is the catalyst of the couple's issues. For example, when Amy cries, "The wonder is, I didn't see at once. 'Don't, don't, don't, don't' " (Frost). Amy could not trust what she was looking outside. It was her own child's grave replaced with heaps of stones, also known as "child's mound".

She breaks down emotionally, while the husband was accustomed of what she was looking at.

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The wife starts to feel distrust, upon the behavior of her husband. This example does not only tie into the cause, but also shows the reason for the lack of communication.

Moreover, when Amy, "withdrew, shrinking from beneath his arm. That rested on the banister, and slid downstairs; And turned on him with such a daunting look, He said twice over before he knew himself: 'Can't a man speak of his own child he's lost?' " (Frost).

Amy argues that her husband didn't have any right to dig her son's grave in her own backyard. She takes a few steps downwards, towards her husband, giving him a fearful glance. Amy insists that she needed to go outside, so she can take a deep breath to control her emotions which were taking over her.

The wife reminds her husband again to not speak of this matter, again. Thus, Robert exemplifies the root of the couple's troubles, the child's death, which lead to distrust the couple have for each other

The other tragedy which was introduced by Frost, is the collapse of the couple's relationship. In the fifth stanza, the husband mentions to his wife that, "My words are nearly an offense But two that do can't live together with them" (Frost). Even in the strongest relationships, a child's death can leave a huge impact on their bonding.

Both wife and husband manages their situation differently, which creates more diversion within the couple. The husband admits his lack of understanding between him and his wife. He wants to create an arrangement to not force the other one to speak out the truth, However, there should be a mindset present to share their misconceptions and secrets without any tension, rather than feeling distrusted.

In Addition, the author starts the poem where the characters are standing two opposite sides of a staircase, "She was staring down, looking back over her shoulder at some fear." (Frost ). The wife was standing on the top, while the husband was at the bottom of the stairs.

This symbolizes power and authority of the wife over her husband. In spite of the fact, the husband needs to talk to his wife, Amy is reluctant to share her feelings even after marriage. In the long run, the husband finds the reason that upsets his spouse. This created more space and tension between the couple. Therefore, the author used ambiguity to illustrate the tragedy of the couple.

The wife wants to stay at her mourning period, not moving on, unlike the husband. As Amy does not want to betray the broken relationship she shared with her son, so she berates the husband for moving on too quickly, "I shall laugh the worst laugh I ever laughed. I'm cursed. God, if I don't believe I'm cursed" (Frost). Amy brutally scolds and insults her husband for his behavior.

The husbands starts to think if he is cursed by his spouse. The rambling of the wife, made the husband wanting to laugh the worst laughter. Additionally, Amy mentions to her husband that, " 'I can repeat the very words you were saying, If I can change it. Oh, I won't, I won't!' ", (Frost).

On one hand, Amy is still surprised, how does the dead son's father move onto his daily lives, so easily. On the other hand, Amy mentions about an empty place in her heart, and how it would be empty for the rest of her life. Furthermore, Amy doesn't want to break the trust and not move on after her son's tragedy.

In conclusion, both husband and wife feel the pain over losing the child, however, the couple is not being able to understand in what way they are expressing their sorrows, by the concept of "ambiguity". Personally, I really enjoyed this piece of poem and agreed upon the reasons why the couple was isolated mentally, and physically. I believe, the wife was portrayed more "real" than her husband, knowing that a child's loss can take over a person's emotions.

Updated: Apr 19, 2023
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Analysis of Poem Home Burial by Robert Frost. (2019, Nov 19). Retrieved from

Analysis of Poem Home Burial by Robert Frost essay
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