20 October 2016
In Robert Frost?s ?Mowing?, the author describes the connections his character has with his scythe and his labor of love. Throughout the poem, the farmer imagines the scythe as a human and later we learn that the scythe is a reflection of his beliefs. Towards the end of the poem the character acknowledges that his work is more valuable than his dreams, and our reality is much more rewarding than unrealistic dreams and hopes.
In the poem, the author personifies the scythe ?My long scythe whispering to the ground. What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself?? (2-3). The farmer believes the scythe is human because the scythe is expressing human emotions by whispering. Consequently, this leads the farmer to scrutinize the scythe as well as to generate assumptions for reasons why the scythe was whispering at that exact moment. In fact, this is revealed when the farmer begins to believe that either the heat of the sun or the silence had influenced the scythe to whisper to the ground ?The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows. My scythe whispered and left to make hay? (13). The farmer comes to the realization that his heavy labor is much more fulfilling than unrealistic desires and dreams. At this moment, the farmer perspective has changed. The farmer shifts from valuing hard work more rather than his imagination.
Frost also uses such poetic literary devices as alliteration and consonance to convey to the reader the repetitive peacefulness of laboring with the scythe. ?What was whispered? I knew not well myself? (3). ?W? sounds are used by the author to express serenity. The author uses these sounds to express the peacefulness of the environment. ?To the earnest love that laid that the swale in the rows? (10). Frost also uses the ?L? sound to illustrate the farmers love towards his land. Eventually, the farmer discoveries a feeling of satisfaction and happiness as he proves his love and appreciation towards his land.
Frost uses other literary devices as well to suggest to the reader the value of hard but honest labor. ?Or easy gold at the hand of a fay or elf? (8). The fairy?s and elves stated in the quote above is an allusion to a brother?s grim fairy tale ?Rumpelstiltskin?. In the story ?Rumpelstiltskin? it mentions a magical elf who can spin straw into gold. Notably, this is reinforced when the author makes it clear that gold from elves and fairies is simpler to acquire. ?Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers (Pale orchids)? (11-12). The Pale Orchids symbolizes strength, beauty, and love. In ancient Greece, men would eat large amounts of orchids to gain virility. Similarly, the author voices that the Pale Orchids represent love and strength the farmer has towards his land. He mentions that the orchid is not feeble-pointed, which signifies that orchid flowers are very strong.
The farmer is in conflictions of not knowing what is real or imaginary. ?And that is why it whispered and did not speak. It was no dream of the gift of idles? (6-7). The farmer starts to realize that he is in reality, and not in a dream. The farmer realizes that the scythe is not real because it is a imamate object and cannot speak. The scythe whispered because of the noise it creates as it cuts through the air. This might have been the reason why the farmer believed that the scythe could speak. In dreams, time goes by unnoticed and very quick. The author intended to display that the reality and dreams are different and are not alike.
Frost uses imagery and symbolism to convey his message. ?My long scythe whispered and left hay? (14). The author uses imagery to display the hay falling over as it is cut by the scythe. This illustration provides readers the visualizing of the hay falling over onto the ground after being cut by the scythe. This also symbolizes the grim reaper. The reason for this is because the grim reaper is somebody who represent the inevitability of death, but also represent the beginning of a new life. This is illustrated by the hay as it is cut by the scythe. Hay is grown in the spring, cut in the summer, and left in the winter. The cycle shows us that when the hay ?dies?
The author uses setting to describe the takes place in a rural environment. ?To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows? (10). The farmer reveals his love to the natural landscape of a swale. A swale is a low tract of land, that is moist or marshy. The swale indicates that the poem is set in a rural setting. ?Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun? (4). This portrays that the setting of the poem is hot. It is likely that the farmer is working on a warm summer day.
Frost uses tone to convey a message of peacefulness ?There was never a sound beside the wood but one? (1).The authors describes the location to be very quiet for the reason that there was not a sound except for the one he mentions. This concludes that author intended on having a quiet setting to allow the audience to connect to the farmer.
In last consideration, reality is much more cherishing than the desire and dreams in which we cannot become. Hard labor is proven to be more valuable than our desires. This is discovered throughout the poem when the farmer gets lost in the thoughts about the scythe, but then realizes the significances of hard work. The farmer learns to love and appreciate his labor toward the end of the poem. If we focus on the reality, we will feel satisfied then dreaming about our wishes.