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

Compare Heaney's presentation of his father in 'Digging' and the 'Follower'. Analyse the techniques used to communicate his ideas both of himself and his father.

Extracts from this document...


Compare Heaney's presentation of his father in 'Digging' and the 'Follower'. Analyse the techniques used to communicate his ideas both of himself and his father. The two poems 'Digging' and 'Follower' are very similar. As evidence both poems refer to the earth and the different job that are related with the earth. 'Digging' is about Heaney digging into his memories about his father and grandfather. 'Follower' is ambiguous as Heaney followed his father literally and metaphorically in his memory. In both of the poems the child compares himself to his father and grandfather. There are several developed metaphors that compare the father and his work to the ocean in the 'Follower': "His shoulders globed like a full sail strung" Heaney looks at his father from a child's point of view as children see everything as being bigger than them. The quotation is a reference to the father's shoulders being large like the billowing sail of a ship. "Mapping the furrow," tells the reader that it is like navigating a ship. ...read more.


His was in awe when he saw his father use the spade, as he was amazed he could use a spade as well as his father. Heaney feels that he was too inadequate to ploughing as he was always stumbling and was always clumsy: "I wanted to grow up and plough, To close one eye, stiffen my arm." Heaney's view of farming is of imitating the father's actions as the title of the poem 'Follower' tells the reader that he is a child impersonating his father. The child recalls his father's admiration of him when he was younger, but now his father walks behind him. This metaphor runs through the poem, but now the positions are reversed. "Stumbling behind me, and will not go away" his father is not literally behind him, but he is troubled by his memory perhaps because he feels guilt at not carrying on the tradition of farming, or he feels he can not live up to his father's example. When the child compares himself to his father and grandfather he is very negative in both of the poems: "Once I carried him milk in a bottle Corked sloppily with paper." ...read more.


There is a one main metaphor, which has been extended throughout the whole poem: "When the spade sinks into gravely ground:" This central extended metaphor of digging and roots shows how the poet in writing is digging back into his roots finding his identity and where his family comes from. The poem is just beginning when it ends, but only at the end does he see the pen as a weapon for digging not literally but metaphorically in his mind. The main theme in both of the poems is the child looking back into his past and watching his father work on the farm. The child presents his father as a man who is hard working and he never feels tried even if he does have his son on his back. The child presents himself as clumsy and a nuisance as he was always yapping away. I enjoyed the poem 'Digging' because I liked how he begun and ended the poem with the same line. I also liked the way that he said that he could use the pen as a weapon the write the truth. - 1 - ...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 Seamus Heaney 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 Seamus Heaney essays

  1. In "Digging" and in "Follower", Heaney is thinking about his father. How do these ...

    This is ironic, as he believes that he was a nuisance, yet it is his father who has inspired him to write the poem. In the last two lines of Follower, Heaney shows the close relationship he and his father have now.

  2. In his poems 'Follower and Digging' Heaney is thinking about his father. How do ...

    The word 'wake' also extends the metaphor of his father almost being like a boat. This makes the reader imagine the father's large, nailed boots striding out in front. As he leads the horse drawn ploughing team, the father leaves behind huge ripples that get bigger as they get further away.

  1. What similarities and differences can you see in 'The Thought-Fox' and 'Digging' in terms ...

    an epiphany, a dramatic influx of ideas which could have been influenced by nature. One of the clearly defined similarities between these two poems ideas is that they in actuality are investigating the same key matter, writers block. This leads onto the structure and the form of the two poems, which are both quite different.

  2. Compare the ways in which Heaney presents family feelings in 'Digging' and 'Follower'

    This show that his father was a very precise man and that he knows his place very well. "His shoulders globed like a full sail strung" which is similar to the sails of a ship that shows strength and stability.

  1. At A Potato Digging

    They worship the ground and the potatoes that come from it as without it they would starve, just as people worship god to help them through difficult times. 3) Write about each of the following phrases from Section II of the poem.

  2. Choose any two poems you feel have common theme (or themes). Write about them ...

    I find that Seamus Heaney transmits this message strongly and rather touchingly in the fifth stanza: - " ...[my mother] coughed out angry tearless sighs..." This tells us that Christopher's death was something that most definitely could've been avoided. The anger displayed by the poet's mother may be rooted to

  1. Examine how Heaney presents his relationship with his father in 'Digging' and 'Follower'.

    When Heaney says he now stumbles behind me, the poet does not literally mean that his father is, but metaphorically instead is. In the past the son has admired his father's abilities to be able to farm with such elegancy, when time came for him to carry on the tradition

  2. After reading the two poems Digging and Follower, discuss the relationship that Heaney writes ...

    pen rests; snug as a gun", and it can be compared to line 4, "Then the spade sinks..." Here, Heaney is trying to force through the point that his father's profession was a farmer, and his weapon was a spade, whereas, Heaney's profession is a writer and his dangerous weapon is the pen.

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