Compare and Contrast the Presentation of Suffering in “Out, Out-” and “Refugee Blues”. Essay

694 Words3 Pages
Compare and contrast the presentation of suffering in “Out, Out-” and “Refugee Blues”. The poems “Out, Out-” and “Refugee Blues” have a theme of suffering in common, although they are set on very different scales; “Out, Out-” is based around a single incident, whereas “Refugee Blues”, although telling the story of one specific couple, represents the huge scale of the suppression of Jews throughout Europe. Isolation is a key feature of suffering in both poems. The titles of both poems imply themes of suffering and isolation. “Out, Out-” is the beginning of a quotation from Macbeth: “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.” This quotation implies a sense of brevity and pointlessness of life. The source of the quote also reinforces the idea of isolation, as Macbeth dies isolated from his society. The title of “Refugee Blues” has associations with slaves, as blues was a style of music created by slaves in 19th century America, and slavery is considered the epitome of suffering. Also, both slaves and refugees are isolated from society. It is therefore unsurprising that both poems explore the matter of isolation. Each poem uses scale in a different way to produce a sense of isolation for the protagonist. In “Out, Out-”, Frost mentions “five mountain ranges one behind the other”. This shows how unimportant one person is in comparison to the world as a whole. Similarly, the poet of “Refugee Blues” raises the subject of scale in numbers when he writes “Ten thousand marched to and fro: / Looking for you and me, my dear…” This highlights the lengths the Nazis went to in order to exterminate the Jews. The poet of “Refugee Blues” uses natural imagery in order to emphasise captivity: “Saw the fish swimming as if they were free / Only ten feet away…” This quotation

More about Compare and Contrast the Presentation of Suffering in “Out, Out-” and “Refugee Blues”. Essay

Open Document