Edwin Arlington Robinsons the Mill Essay

Words: 881
Pages: 4

Lucius Beebe critically analyzes Edwin Arlington Robinson's, The Mill best. Beebe's analysis is from an objective point of view. He points out to the reader that what seems so obvious may not be. She notes "The Mill is just a sad little tale of double suicide brought on by the encroachment of the modern world and by personal loss." Thus meaning The Mill carries a deeper underlying theme. Lucius Beebe expresses that a minor overflow of significant details has been exposed over Edwin Arlington Robinson's "The Mill," much of it concerned with whether the miller's wife did indeed drown herself after the miller had hanged himself. Another, even more provocative question has never been asked: did the Miller actually hang himself? Beebe …show more content…
A formless fear cannot be equated with the actuality of a husband dead by his own hand. The third stanza makes an even stronger case for the power of the imagination. The first two words--"And if"--cast the entire stanza into the speculative mode. The second clause is appositive to the first, as in the first stanza, and both clauses express conditionality stemming directly from "And if." This interpretation is further supported by the sensuousness of the central image of the stanza, the "starry velvet" of the "Black water, smooth above the weir," that may be "ruffled." These couturier images emanate from the sensibility of a woman's mind ranging through imaginative possibilities, and we must know that we are indeed inside her mind, not directly the mind of the poet. The true subject is the enormous power of the creative imagination, which seizes the miller's wife in its fearful grasp, and many a reader along with her. Even the woman herself is called only the miller's wife, with no name or identity separate from his. Robinson's subtle use of form seduces the reader into following the miller's wife into a depth of imaginative fear that has no grounding except the miller's one sad statement. The miller's statement is the interpretive balance point of the