Two Tramps in Mud Time


The Characterization of the Speaker in ?Two Tramps in Mud Time.?
The speaker of Robert Frost?s poem "Two Tramps in Mud Time" can be characterized as a passionate, wary, suspicious, insecure and rational and logical person who is intolerant of interference in his work. There is evidence present in the text that supports these characteristics. The speaker is shown as a person who enjoys doing his job and works really hard at it. He realizes that another person needs his job more than he does but he still stands up for his belief that work can only be done effectively if it is done with enjoyment. The character of the speaker in the poem is described as very inconsistent and it changes from being intolerant in the beginning to rational and considerate towards the end. These and some other points lead me to believe in the above listed characteristics of the speaker and I will make them more clear further down in the paper.

The speaker is characterized as a person who enjoys doing his job and is intolerant of any interference in his work. The speaker is shown as a person who splits wood as a hobby and really enjoys it. This poem was published in 1936, which was the heart of the economic depression and due to which a lot of people were out of work and looking for jobs. Similarly when two out of work lumberjacks approach the speaker, he presumes that they are trying to steal his job from him. When the lumberjacks try to distract him from his aim he becomes sure of the fact that they want to take his job from him, which makes him very annoyed and angry. The lines "And one of them put me off my aim/ By hailing cheerily "Hit them hard"" show that even when the lumberjacks are harmlessly commenting of his work it puts him off his aim because he thinks that the lumberjacks? real intention is to steal his job from him. The speaker gets very annoyed and angry when he is disturbed because he thinks that the lumberjacks by saying "Hit them hard" are trying to demean his work although they may not be doing that in reality. The anger of the speaker towards the lumberjacks is shown in the lines "I knew pretty well what he had in mind:/ He wanted to take my job for pay". These lines show that the speaker presumed that the lumberjacks were trying to steal his job away from his for money causing him to get mad irritated. The lines "The blows that a life of self-control/ Spares to strike for the common good/ That day, giving a loose to my soul,/ I spent on the unimportant wood" prove that the speaker was very frustrated because of many factors and by distracting him the lumberjacks added on to the frustration of the speaker. The anger and frustration of the speaker caused by the disturbance in his work show that he is passionate about his work and really enjoys doing it.

The speaker is also described as a passionate person. The speaker is shown to be very passionate about his work and surrounding nature. It is the speaker?s love for his work that causes him to get angry with the lumberjacks. The speaker loves his work so much that he gets annoyed if somebody disturbs him or if the speaker feels that another person wants his work. The speaker tends to brag about how good he is in his work, which further displays his love for his work. The following lines "Good blocks of oak it was I Split,/ As large around as the chopping block;/ And every piece I squarely hit/ Fell splinter less as a cloven rock." illustrate that the speaker is not only passionate about his work but also knows his work really well, is also very good at it and he tends to brag about his skill. The speaker is also very passionate about the nature and his surroundings. The lines "A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight/ And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume,/ His song so pitched as not to excite/ A single flower as yet to bloom" displays that the speaker?s description nature is very detailed