Inevitability Of Death In Frankenstein

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For countless years and through innumerable works, writers have attempted to overcome one of humanity’s greatest fears: Mortality. One of the earliest examples is William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, in which Macbeth claims that life is little more than a shadow of impending doom, and that each person merely plays his part until he is no more. Centuries later, Mary Shelley portrays this similar idea in Frankenstein, a novel which cautions against the search for immortality through the tale of Victor Frankenstein’s grievous and melancholy life. Transferring these opinions into the early 20th century, Robert Frost incorporates several themes developed by past authors on the subject of death in his poem ‘Out, Out -’. Unlike many of the other writers…show more content…
From the title of the poem, ‘Out, Out -,’ there is a clear reference to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, specifically the scene of Macbeth’s final soliloquy following his wife’s death. In these lines, Macbeth exclaims, “Out, out brief candle!/Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/that struts and frets his hour upon the stage/and then is heard no more” (Shakespeare). With this allusion, Frost affirms Shakespeare’s idea that death is inevitable and that life is meaningless. Yet through the replacement of the words “brief candle” with a dash, Frost further demonstrates the suddenness of death and the ambiguity that accompanies mortality. This reveals that while death is expected, it still presents a startling reality to the individual, serving as a sort of wake-up call in the last moments of a person’s…show more content…
The poem first begins and sets the scene at a farm where “The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard/And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood” (Frost). In this first line, the use of the words “snarled” and “rattled” illustrates the saw as a dangerous creature, seemingly held back despite its barely contained anger. In the following line, the word “dust” implies that the saw symbolizes death, as dust is often associated with ashes and remains. This classification of the saw clearly develops the idea that death is inexorable and can strike at any moment in life. Additionally, through the description of the saw’s continuous actions as dropping “stove-length sticks of wood,” Frost emphasizes the precision of the saw as well as its automated features, as it works tirelessly to cut the wood. Through this line, society is indirectly compared to a tool that always completes its assigned tasks and never stops, regardless of the situation surrounding

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