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

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Introduction

Compare the ways in which Heaney presents family feelings in 'Digging' and 'Follower' 'Digging' and 'Follower' by Seamus Heaney both gives an insight into generational changes. 'Digging' describes how 'digging' has become a family tradition, from his grandfather digging peat who "cut more turf in a day/ Than any other man on Toner's bog", which shows that he is a hardworking man, to his father digging flowerbeds. He shows that he is going to carry on the 'digging' tradition with his "squat pen", unlike the traditional spade. In 'Follower', the poem is mainly based on his father and him. It shows how he used to follow his father literally and metaphorically "All I ever did was follow" until slowly their positions are reversed until it is his "father who keeps stumbling/ Behind", this is very ironic as it shows how such a strong man who inspires others could stumble behind his own son. 'Follower' shows that he is maintaining the tradition of horse ploughing unlike in 'Digging', where he describes about the first alteration of his family tradition. We have a hint of this presence as 'Follower' is written in regular four-line stanzas, which could represent a trend like the tradition of horse-ploughing, unlike 'Digging' which the stanzas have different amount of lines. ...read more.

Middle

the characteristics and properties of the sea that is shown to be strong and powerful as well as being an experienced farmer. Heaney also emphasises the point that his father had power by giving the impression that his father had control effortlessly by a "single pluck/ Of reins" or by his "clicking tongue" over the horses which were described as the "sweating team". The way he compared the horses to a 'Sweating team' is very effective as it gives an impression that the horses are very strong but his father could control such a strong "team" that easily which shows control. This illustrates that he has a deep admiration for his father as well as portraying his father as an influential character which made him "wanted to grow up and plough" like his father, but instead all he "ever did was follow". In both poems, the poet shows the relation between his father and him as a very strong and that the young Seamus was very influenced by his father's work. The father is shown from a man of great control, from his 'clicking tongue' to a man of who is good for his job, such as horse ploughing ("An Expert") ...read more.

Conclusion

previous line "Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge", although it is metaphorically referring to the roots of his family, this shows that although he cannot match "men like them", he will dig into the past of his family with his pen and praise it. Through this, Heaney shows that he has a strong passion for the work of his ancestors. Heaney also seems to remind himself about this as he repeats; "Between my finger and my thumb/ The squat pen rests" from the beginning to the end. Although on the last line, he added "I'll Dig with it". This shows determination from the writer and the use of the rhetoric is very powerful as persuades the reader that he will do a good job of writing and that he seems to be confident in himself. From these two poems, we can tell that Heaney has a strong passion for his father and his ancestors for the work they had done. He uses many skills such as changing the number of lines in stanzas as well as the use of onomatopoeia to help him emphasis his point to the readers that makes it particularly effective. Comparison of family feelings in 'Digging' & 'Follower' Ronald Man 10LT Page 1 ...read more.

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