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Analyse the two poems 'Out-Out' by Robert Frost and 'Mid Term Break' by Seamus Heaney by paying particular attention to the similarities between the two poems.

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Analyse the two poems 'Out-Out' by Robert Frost and 'Mid Term Break' by Seamus Heaney by paying particular attention to the similarities between the two poems 'Out-Out' was written by Robert Frost who was an American poet born in 1874. He moved to the New England farm country, where most of his poems were inspired. 'Mid Term Break' was written by Seamus Heaney, who was born on a farm in county Londonderry in Northern Ireland. The two poems are very similar and are both about the deaths of a young child, one about a boy who loses his hand whilst using a buzz saw; unfortunately, he also loses his life. In Mid Term Break the boy loses his life in a car accident. He was only left with "A poppy bruise on his left temple" There are also lots of differences between the two poems. In Out-Out the young boy was from quite a poor working class background in my opinion, which meant that the young boy had to work for the day in order to help the family. However the boy in Mid-Term Break was from a higher class family and seemed to be in quite a posh school. ...read more.


There is a quick shift in the poem as Robert Frost introduces the rattling and the snarling. There is a lot of repetition of 'rattled and 'snarled' in the poem, which in my opinion is creating the image of an evil snake ready to attack , as a snake rattles and snarls. Another thing that relates to a snake is the way the saw leaped out at the boy. "Leaped out at the boys hand" In a snake like manner. "And nothing happened: day was all but done." With this line it goes back to the peaceful tone it once was, and seems to cover up the fact that there might be an upcoming tragedy, and calms the poem down again. There are a lot of euphemisms in the poem whilst describing the boy's death. One example of this is when the child cuts his hand instead of screaming, he laughs. "The boy's first outcry was a rueful laugh" and also "...holding up his hand in appeal" This is quite ironic because it is probably not possible to do anything about the hand but he is still appealing. "Don't let him cut my hand off!" During the poem there is a lot of use of onomatopoeia an example of this is "The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard" Which is also an example of alliteration, and it makes the reader believe the buzz saw is evil. ...read more.


"It was a hard blow", "paler now" and "sorry for my trouble" when the child is in the hospital there is a lot of contrast in the room between the red of the bruise on the child's head and the white candles. "Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple" and "Candles soothed the bedside" The candles could also refer to catholic beliefs as in the religion they light candles to remember peoples lives, and to send them to heaven. Unlike Out-Out the ending is far more dramatic and depressing rather then the fading away from the story as happened In Out-Out, as you didn't even know how old the boy was until the very last line. This makes it seem very sad. "wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple, he lay in the four foot box as in his cot. No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear. A four foot box, a foot for every year." This is very effective because it explained everything that happened, as we didn't know the story until the end. I think that makes the poem much more emotional, not knowing what to think. I believe Mid Term Break is more effective because of the was the poet has described the death, and it seems much more emotional that Out-Out. Owain Davies 10 set 1 ...read more.

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