• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and Contrast the loss of childood innocence "Death of a Naturalist" and "The Early Purges" by Seamus Heaney

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast the way Heaney presents the loss of childhood innocence in "Death of a Naturalist" and "The Early Purges" By Emily Ashford In the course of this essay I want to contrast and compare two poems by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney. His anthology "Death of a Naturalist" was written in reflection of childhood and the loss of innocence possibly based on his own experiences. This anthology has received much praise and recognition over the past few decades. Seamus was brought up in the deep hearted countryside of Ireland. He grew up alongside nature and alongside 8 other children, although he was the oldest and maybe understood some things before the other children; such as death and the "facts of life." In the poems "Death of a Naturalist" he learns the true realities of nature, and how the frogspawn and frogs come to be there. In "The Early Purges" he learns not to be sympathetic toward cute and fluffy but ultimately resource draining animals. Both settings are rural rather than urban however, the each poem focuses on different areas of the countryside; "Death of a Naturalist" is based around where "all the year flax-dam" grows. ...read more.

Middle

"The Early Purges" has seven stanzas and his perspective changes from the fifth stanza. The first five stanzas describe death in an almost "sickening" way; it sickens the reader but keeps them enthralled. All the dead animals are listed so beneath the surface so we are subconsciously warned that there is a reason for this vindictiveness. When he realizes that some animals do have to be "purge[d]," he uses the term "bloody pups." This could be taken metaphorically and literally, either "bloody" because they really are bloody and dead or as he now understands that pups are an inconvenience and he shouldn't become "sentiment[al]" towards them because he has no need for them. The ending of each poem has a considerable affect on the reader. Throughout "The Early Purges" we become ignorant urban folk who are al for the "prevention of cruelty," because we have little experience of death ourselves and how important keeping "pests down" actually is in rural life. This is precisely the affect the poem intended to have. As each animal is killed we find ourselves increasingly against the regulation of small animals. Subsequently when we are informed of how useless these animals are we feel criticized as "townies" and almost na�ve and innocent of the harsh realities of rural farm life. ...read more.

Conclusion

The messages of the poems are both based around childhood and the inevitability of losing it along with the innocence that comes with it. "Death of a Naturalist" is about learning that nature is wild and untamable but also that nature has a purpose and that is to grow and reproduce just as a child losing innocence and growing into an adult does. We also see from a child's eyes that learning can be scary and threatening like when "the great slime kings;" the frogs give the impression that they will have "vengeance" on the boy for tampering with nature, where in fact the frogs understand a lot less than the boy does. "The Early Purges" highlights the broad differences between urban and rural life, however the main message is quite different. Instead of the certainty of life, the message of this poem seems to be about the certainty of death. Through the child learning that death is also a "fact of life," it leads us to think about death and how sanitized, sugar coated and "unnatural" it is in today's society. And again from the child's eyes we see that growing up and gaining understanding is difficult and can be "suddenly frighten[ing]." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparisons section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Comparisons essays

  1. Compare and contrast "The Chimney Sweeper" in Songs of Innocence with "The Chimney Sweeper" ...

    children's innocence and diminutiveness; "Little Tom Dacre" this portrays a very un- threatening image of a young, helpless boy. Blake uses a simile to reinforce this innocent image with the quote " That curled like a lambs back" in this he is describing his hair as a lamb; this image

  2. Comparing In Mrs. Tilchers Class and Death Of A Naturalist. Concerning the loss of ...

    Seamus Heaney mostly writes about himself and his past, like Death Of A Naturalist and Mid-Term Break, so that his emotions of love, mourning and general repulsion are realistic. As we have seen both of these authors have children which would help them to see things the way a child

  1. Comparing and contrasting of poems 'Woman Work' and Overheard in County Sligo'

    Now I am going to talk about the differences that I noticed. In 'Woman Work' the woman merely wants a rest, whereas in 'Overheard in County Sligo she wants to be an actress. This seems to be quite a self centred ambition, because in other parts of the world people

  2. Compare and contrast A Wife in London(TM) w

    and that war was not as 'glorious' as it was portrayed to be. This brings me also to believe that the authors of these two poems both shared the same feelings and attitudes toward war. I think that they felt deeply sorry for those who had lost loved ones in battle.

  1. Mid-term Break by Seamus Heaney and In Mrs Tilschers Class by Carol Ann Duffy ...

    This is a typical Northern Irish phrase as sometimes when people are going through a hard time, they talk of life dealing them a hard blow. In the midst of everything going on, Heaney is still able to notice the "baby cooed and laughed", which shows how observant he must have been.

  2. Compare and contrast how Seamus Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy have described the ending ...

    Duffy's poem is her own personal experience which makes us know how she felt in the classroom. Heaney's poem probably is one of his own experiences because he lived in a farm where he would have collected frogspawn. I think poems were influenced by their own childhood experiences and were described with great detail.

  1. Comparison of Cynddylan on a Tractor by R.S Thomas and Docker by Seamus Heaney. ...

    In the pub, he sits "in the corner, staring at his drink" "strong and blunt as a Celtic cross". He has isolated himself form everyone around him; he has only himself and his contorted opinions. His wife and children live in atmosphere or intimidation; he has alienated them too.

  2. Compare how the theme of loss is presented in Owens Disabled and Frosts Out, ...

    He is more or less blaming her for making his life futile. Also, again in proximity with the poem ?Out, Out-? where he blames it on the ?snarling? saw that appeared to attack at him. Frost personifies the saw repeatedly throughout the poem, how the saw ?leaped out at the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work