Home Burial Analysis

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Home Burial by Robert Frost provides a raw depiction of a married couple’s conversation, resembling a real-life dialogue. The absence of any formal introduction immerses the reader in an intimate moment within the couple’s lives.

Home Burial is a poem that explores the varied ways in which people grieve, specifically focusing on the impact of these differing methods on a marriage after the loss of a child. Written by Frost, the poem begins with a tense exchange between a man and woman who are later revealed to be husband and wife. Set within their home, the husband questions his wife’s constant presence by the window at the top of their stairs.

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The husband receives no response from his wife when he asks her, so he decides to search for the answer himself. Much to his realization, he finally understands what his wife has always seen – the grave of their child. This opening scene provides insight into the conflict between the couple. After witnessing his husband’s reaction, his wife questions him, asking, “what is it – what?” (18). When he explains what he sees, she responds, criticizing him for not informing her about it: “you don’t tell me what it is” (20). This part of their conversation reveals that the husband has failed to notice the grave of their son from their own home.

The husband tries to discuss their child, which triggers an escalating confrontation. He expresses frustration, saying “Can’t a man speak of his own child he’s lost?” (38), and his wife dismissively responds with “Not you!…” (39).

During their conversation, it becomes evident that the wife is extremely angry with her husband due to their lost child and his failure to grieve properly. She asks him how he could find the strength to dig their child’s grave on his own, and she expresses her shock by saying, “I thought, who is that man? I didn’t know you” (83). This statement highlights her deep upset with her husband. Furthermore, she recounts how he immediately resumed discussing trivial matters and the weather just moments after burying their child.

The woman expresses her anger towards her husband for not publicly grieving. She realizes that he cannot understand her perspective and in frustration, she storms out of the house, leaving him behind. This leaves both the husband and the reader wondering about a potential resolution to the situation. In his poem “Home Burial,” Frost uses somber tones, informal language, and powerful dialogue. He omits traditional poetic techniques like rhyme or rhythm and instead relies on emotional conflict and dark subject matter to captivate and engage the reader.

Despite its dark tone, the text in question effectively conveys both anger and frustration. Frost does not attempt to conceal the wife’s anger towards her husband; her dialogue is curt and tinged with frustration. The husband’s inability to comprehend his wife’s emotional state is also made evident through his composed and empathetic remarks as he endeavors to understand the cause of her distress. It is this juxtaposition of their differing mindsets that showcases Frost’s brilliance and offers the reader an authentic portrayal of the conflicts that can arise within a married couple.

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Home Burial Analysis. (2018, Mar 06). Retrieved from


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