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This poem has identified the boy as the main character. He is a victim of child labor and wishes that before the day ended he would get at least half an hour to play. The boy does not work because he wishes to but circumstances have forced him to work. The writer says that if the boy were to be saved from work he would count endlessly (Frost lines 10 - 12). With the day almost ending and the boy is yet to have a moment to rest is a clear indication of child labor.
Although the work the boy does require to be done by an adult man, he is merely a child. (Frost Line 22) It is evident that child labor is a risky and dangerous activity. Some of the tools the children use to work with are dangerous. Some of these tools require skill to operate and control. When the boy gets cut by the saw, he realizes that without his hand he had no means of earning a livelihood. He pleads with his sister not to allow the doctor cut off his hand (Frost Lines 23 - 24).
When the doctor arrives, there is nothing he can do for the boy, and he dies. Those around watched the boy as life drained out of him. Once they were sure that he was dead, they left to attend to their affairs as if nothing happened (Frost Line 33 - 34). It is clear that they did not care about the boy since another boy would replace his place.
The writer of this poem uses personification when he says that the saw rattled and snarled as it ran light or had to bear a load. Here, the writer also uses alliteration by his use of the words snarled and rattled. Imagery in this poem can be demonstrated when the writer says that the saw leapt out of his hand when the boys sister mentioned supper, as if it knew what supper meant.