Discussion week7: American Literature
Fora long time, poetry has formed an important part of the Americansociety. Poetry has impacted significantly in making the Americansociety understand itself more by providing a history of the peopleand constantly reminding them their organizing philosophy that bindsthem as people. Through poetry readers can infer on what the poet’scomments about people`s behavior are like in the society within whichthey write.
Takingan example, in Robert Frosts "The Death of the Hired Man,"the poet has commented on the behavior of the rural folk to be onduty and hard work oriented. A person’s hard work and commitment toduty are what earns him respect from other members of society. Inthis poem, we see Silas (a farmhand) struggling to get back to hisprevious place of work to honor an employment contract he had failedto honor in the past. It is the poets comment on the behavior of thesociety he is writing about, Mr. Warren does not hesitate inrelieving Mr. Silas of his duties once he feels and sees that hisperformance is below expectation (Byam and Robert, 2011). This act offiring the farmhand underscores the importance with which hard workand commitment to duty are on hold by this community.
Inanother of Frosts poems "The Road Not Taken," we meet thepersona-a young man hiking through a forest and suddenly isconfronted by a fork in the path. He has to make a decision on whichof the two paths right before him to follow. The author is commentingon choices that people have to make in life. Lines 4 and 5 of thefirst stanza, as well as lines 1 and 2 of stanza two, tell us thatthe persona decided not to travel both paths but instead, he chose toscale one by sighting as far as his eyes could and the other hewalked on for reasonably the same distance. The poet is seen to bemaking a comment about his country and tries to urge people to alwaystry existing options before settling on one (Frost, 1962). In thiscontext, they leave less room for regret on the possibility foregonejust in case the choice they make fails. The poet seems to put thisforward as the ideal American way of approaching opportunities.
Baym,Nina, and Robert S. Levine, eds. TheNorton Anthology of American Literature: Eighth International StudentEdition.WW Norton & Company, 2011.
Frost,Robert. Theroad not taken.Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1962.