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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 700 words

Compare and contrast Digging and Follower by Seamus Heaney. Which is the most successful poem in your opinion.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast "Digging" and "Follower" by Seamus Heaney. Which is the most successful poem in your opinion. Here we will analyse 2 poems by Seamus Heaney called "Digging" and "Follower". We will look at the similarities and differences between these poems. In both these poems Heaney puts emphasis on many subjects related to his life such as his childhood memories of growing up in Northern Ireland and the conflict there. His father also features strongly in both poems as a main influence on his life. We will be analysing the two poems form and content. The content of the poems reveals much about Heaney's life and by comparing the form and content of the two poems, we can uncover much about Heaney's feelings and style of writing. ...read more.

Middle

The poem goes into description about the ploughing of the land showing his father as an expert in this field, however, he is left unable to follow in his fathers footsteps and turns to writing instead. The similarities and differences of these poems are uncovered when the form and content is studied closely. If we start with the similarities in the content we can see many things and these similarities convey the continuation from Digging to Follower. Both contain childhood memories, mainly of his father and references to digging. In "Digging" we can see how he looks down on his father digging in the garden and this moment takes him back 20 years: "Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds bends low, comes up twenty years away" Here Heaney is reminiscing about the past and how his father used to be, digging for potatoes. ...read more.

Conclusion

As Heaney looks back on his childhood, he remembers every detail in his mind, following the actions in his head as he digs to remember it. Both these poems are revolved mainly around Heaney's father. In "Digging", his father is in the garden digging as he looks down: "My father, digging." He sees his father digging and he remembers how he used to watch him 20 years ago to the very same thing. The way his father digs is described in great detail as he remembers it in his head. It is possible that this is one of the few memories he has of his father from past times and this is why he remembers it so well. "Follower" is also based mainly on Heaney's father and his memories of him. In "Follower", Heaney follows his father around watching what he does taking note of everything as if he were to do this himself. ...read more.

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