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Explore how Heaney writes about suffering in 'Bye-Child' and in one other poem of your choice.

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  • Essay length: 2549 words
  • Submitted: 07/04/2008
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AS and A Level Seamus Heaney

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Explore how Heaney writes about suffering in 'Bye-Child' and in one other poem of your choice.

In both 'Bye-Child' and 'Limbo', Heaney concentrates mostly on pain and suffering of individuals who have been born into a world where they are not allowed to be seen or acknowledged. In both cases, these individuals are innocent children, who, unfortunately due to the rigid and uncompromising Catholic community, are forced into a life of deprivation and suffering.

"Bye-Child" is an amazing encapsulation of the thoughts and feelings that Seamus Heaney has towards mistreated and abused children, and the poem, though inspired by a specific case of abandonment of a child, could be seen as Heaney's attempt to reach out to any child who has had bad experiences in their lives. Heaney exposes the pain and neglect suffered by those who are unwanted by entering their lives and situations and giving them a voice.

In 'Bye-Child', the reader is first drawn to a paragraph of information. Pain and suffering is apparent right from the beginning, as Heaney mentions words such as 'confined' and 'incapable'. This prepares the reader for the fact that the child is mistreated. Heaney

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