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Cross Genre Comparison - 'Blackberries' by Leslie Norris and 'Blackberry Picking' by Seamus Heaney.

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Charlotte Jenkins 10P Mrs Penry Coursework Oct. 2003 Cross Genre Comparison 'Blackberries' by Leslie Norris and 'Blackberry Picking' by Seamus Heaney are two different texts but each writer portrays similar messages. 'Blackberries' is a short story set in Wales whereas 'Blackberry Picking' is a poem set in Ireland. As the titles suggest, both texts portray the themes of blackberries, each text describes the experiences of young boys picking blackberries. 'Blackberries' is the story written in the third person of a small boy who is experiencing lots of different thoughts and feelings as he begins to grow up. Norris has used this story to accentuate themes that all children go through but he has portrayed them in a very realistic way that is easy to understand and is also entertaining for the reader. 'Blackberry Picking' is a poem that focuses on the author's memories as a child and the feelings he experiences on the farm in Ireland. The poem is extremely descriptive and the poet conveys his feelings in a very direct way. At first glance the main comparison between the two texts is 'blackberries!' But, by reading and studying the texts we can see there are many themes in common. ...read more.


When the story begins we meet the young boy and his mother and immediately clues are given that refer to the setting and era in which the story is set. This is the first time the child is going to have his hair cut and references in the text show that he is nervous as he 'scuffed his feet' but also that he is very well behaved. The hairdresser, Mr. Frensham talks to the boy in a way, which makes him feel at ease and a lot more grown up. He is very kind to the boy and he talks to his mother. Throughout the first few paragraphs there are things, which indicate the boys childishness. Phrases like 'he moved his finger against the inner surface of the sheet' and 'he liked those shapes' show how young and na�ve the boy is. A lot of children fidget and make shapes and this little boy is no exception even though he is so impeccably behaved. The attention to detail in this part of the passage is very exact which shows us that the boy is very wary of what is going on around him and he is watching everything that is going on. He is very curious but doesn't ask questions. ...read more.


The clue that the father doesn't work could mean that the story is set during the Depression in the 1930's. The boy has never witnessed his parents arguing before and suddenly realises that he has to face up to the reality that not everything is perfect and that he must come away from his childlike fantasy world at times. Suddenly we fins the boy crying to himself so his parents don't see him 'knowing that this was a different weeping to any he had experienced before.' He felt guilty even though technically none of this was his fault. The argument was yet another first for the boy as he had never seen or felt this before. Norris ends the story with the line 'he must learn sometimes to be alone' The boy feels dejected and realises, just as Heaney does that good things like days out or blackberries don't last forever. Even though the texts are not related in anyway we can still find links and comparisons between them especially in the themes throughout. Obviously one of the main comparisons is with the blackberries, but instead of looking at them as just fruit they could be viewed as a comparison to growing up and how all-good things go 'rotten.' Charlotte Jenkins 10P ...read more.

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