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Compare and Contrast Digging and Follower.

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Compare and Contrast Digging and Follower. In "Digging" country life is portrayed in a slightly different way to "Follower". The skill Heaney's father uses is focused on in the poem Digging, and also the theme of relationships on the farm, how his father seemed to have a bond or some type of relationship with the farm is brought back in. Heaney's father had great skill when it came to digging, "Stooping in rhythm through potato drills". This shows the reader that country life is not as easy as one may think, and even to work on a farm you need to have quite a lot of skill. This conjures up an image of his father not only digging, but doing it with immense skill, which is not something we would associate with a job like that and like Heaney we are more in awe of his father because of this. ...read more.


"Digging" tells of the continuation of farming from Heaney's grandfather to Heaney's father, "the old man could handle a spade. Just like his old man" showing the reader that country life is very family orientated, and professions are often carried down from father to son. The image of Heaney's father being taught to dig by his father is very powerful and effective, as it shows the reader the strong bonds between people on farms, and in country life generally. The last line, "The squat pen rests. I'll dig with it" shows that in the country, it is often expected that people, like Heaney will follow in their fathers footsteps, but Heaney is seen here to choose to be a writer. The image of Heaney digging out his memories with his pen are that which are effective as the reader can visualize the likeness between poetry and farming. ...read more.


This again makes you realise why Heaney looked up to him so much. In "Follower" Heaney uses alternate rhyme this pattern giving the poem rhythm, almost like the "dipping and rising" movement mentioned. Also Adjectives such as Strained, steel, sweating and hob-nailed convey how tough farming is. Towards the end of the poem Heaney starts to express his feelings more. "I wanted to grow up and plough" and "I was a nuisance, tripping, falling, yapping always". This giving us more of an insight as to how he was feeling at that time. In many ways the last lines of the poem "It is my father who keeps stumbling behind me, and will not go away. Is ambiguous, as we do not know the full extent of the meaning. This was probably the way Heaney wanted it to be, leaving doubt in our minds and maybe in his too. Fiona Houghton ...read more.

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