Presentation on theme: "T HE H ILL W IFE Robert Frost. CONTEXT The poem was published in 1916. Frost grew up in a rural area and was interested in nature. His work in known for."— Presentation transcript:
T HE H ILL W IFE Robert Frost
CONTEXT The poem was published in Frost grew up in a rural area and was interested in nature. His work in known for having menacing undertones
LONELINESS Her Word One ought not to have to care So much as you and I Care when the birds come round the house To seem to say good-bye Or care so much when they come back With whatever it is they sing; The truth being we are as much Too glad for one thing As we are too sad for the others here – With birds that fill their breasts But with each other and themselves And their built or driven nests Wife narrating The fact the stanzas titled her word makes her seem feeble and unworthy her place in the poem Make their relationship seem troubled and strained The reference s to birds shows they are envious of the carefree life birds have to come and go as they please Singing has connotations of happiness - emphasising freedom of the birds life others refers to the birds that are still in the house. The nest is a metaphor for their own home as its only filled with each other and themselves suggests loneliness. The word driven suggests the birds will and desire to build their nests, the wife's emotions mirror this however she doesnt have the drive to compel herself out of fear of being alone – irony is used here as she suggests that she is already lonely yet cannot do anything about it out of fear off being alone The regular rhyme scheme represents the wifes compression and the regularity and dullness of her life. The enjambment is on going making the words flow freely representing her desire to be free and escape.
HOUSE FEAR Always – I tell you this they learned Always at night when they return To the lonely house from far away To lamps unlighted and fire gone gray They learned to rattle the lock and key To give whatever might chance to be Warning and time to be off in flight.. And preferring the out – to the indoor night, They learned to leave the house – door wide Until they had lit the lamp inside. The return home as late as possible – want to avoid house! Because they feel trapped inside it, repetition of always emphasises their ongoing struggle and their monotonous feeling of their life. Personification of the house, mirroring their emotions. Metaphor for their relationship and lifestyle. They rattle the lock loudly when entering the house so that whatever's inside can fly away - the birds. They leave the door open at night, so that they dont get engulfed by the darkness/imprisoned by the house. This ambiguous metaphor represents the darkness within them and their lives which theyre trying to shut out, by contrastingly opening the door.
The Smile Her Word I didnt like the way he went away. That smile! It never came of being gay. Still he smiled- did you see him? – I was sure! Perhaps because we gave him only bread And the wretch knew from that that we were poor. Perhaps because he let us give instead Of season from us as he might have seized. Perhaps he mocked us for being wed, Or being very young (and he was pleased To have a vision of us old and dead). I wonder how far down the road hes got. Hes watching from the woods as like as not. The rhyming of these two words shows the connection the wife sees between them – it shows the realisation of the future of her marriage. The stanza starts with her being lonely. The 2 nd line shows that the stranger she is talking about was never truly happy – never had meaning behind his smile. Punctuation is ambiguous – could show doubt or excitement. Repetition of perhaps show uncertainty or un-fulfillment. Shows jealousy of people that have freedom and can move forward with their lives. Structure – the rhyming scheme represents mirroring (AABCBC) as if she is analysing herself as well as the stranger.
THE OFT-REPEATED DREAM She had no saying dark enough For the dark pine that kept Forever trying the window-latch Of the room where they slept. The tireless but ineffectual hands That with every futile pass Made the great tree seem as a little bird Before the mystery of glass! It never had been inside the room, And only one of the two Was afraid in an oft-repeated dream Of what the tree might do. The mystery of glass – see the nature outside – the trees, birds and even the possible stranger. The window represents a barrier between her and the freedom of the outside – shes close enough to touch it but she cant. The tireless hands is ambiguous. Could show abuse or affection from husband. Theyre also compared to nature (the trees and the birds). The hand of the tree foreshadows the possible hanging of the wife later in the poem. These lines hint at haunting/intruder s trying to get in to the house. Wife finds it impossible to express emotions through words. The wife Shows paranoia Personification of the tree – again foreshadowing her possible death.
THE IMPULSE It was too lonely for her there, And too wild, And since there were but two of them, And no child, And work was little in the house, She was free, And followed where he furrowed field, Or felled tree. She rested on a log and tossed The fresh chips, With a song only to herself On her lips. Repetition of too shows the wife becoming overwhelmed. Shows loneliness Rhyme emphasises that the tree offers her escape through death. These lines bare connotations to qualities of birds – shows her transformation in to a bird (in to freedom) – death.
and once she went to break a bough Of black alder She strayed so far she scarcely heard. When he called her- And didnt answer – didnt speak – Or return. She stood, and then she ran and hid In the fern. He never found her, though he looked Everywhere, And he asked at her mothers house Was she there. Sudden and swift the light as that The ties gave, And he learned of finalities Besides the grave. Ambigouos – mental breakdown – breakdown of marriage – breakthrough of freedom. Again has connotations of birds. Another reference to qualities of a bird. She hanged herself? – her transformation to a bird is complete. She is free. Sympathy for the husband? The structure has transformed to long lines, in to short and long lines – representing transformation in to freedom – no long confined. The word besides here can be other than. There are finalities other than death (e.g. The end of their relationship?).