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

Comparing and contrasting

Extracts from this document...


Comparing and contrasting "Digging" and "The Follower" In this essay I will be giving quotes and explaining about two pieces of poetry, written by Seamus Heaney. The two poems I will be writing on will contrast and his memories on his rural childhood. The poems will be "the follower" which takes us back to Heaney as a child wanting to follow in his father's footsteps. I will also be writing on "digging", which takes us back once again to his farm but instead not wanting to follow in his fathers footsteps So basically I will be writing about how the poems contrast to his rural childhood and I'll explain the quotes and the poems. I will firstly however give you a bit of an insight to Heaney's life Seamus Heaney was born April 13, 1939, at Mossbawn, about thirty miles northwest of Belfast, in Northern Ireland. His first book, Death of a Naturalist, was published in 1966. Heaney is the author of numerous collections of poetry, three volumes of criticism, and The Cure at Troy, a version of Sophocles' Philoctetes. He is a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and held the chair of Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1989 to 1994. ...read more.


father to produce such perfect work in the face of provocation shows the reader that, through the image of a small boy tagging along, country life can be very tiring at times. Lastly in "Follower", Heaney says, "It is my father who keeps stumbling behind me, and will not go away". This tells the reader that on a farm, and in the close communities of country areas in general, there is a much larger sense of family, and even though Heaney's father may be a nuisance now, because of the strong bonds that exist on the farm, he is not send off to a retirement home, but kept as a family member. This image is very moving. This poem serves to show the reader that life in the country can be difficult at times, but to get the rewards, you have to work very hard first. It also has themes about the relationship between father and son in the country and especially on farms. In "Digging", country life is portrayed in a similar way to in all the others. The skill, which some people have to work on a farm, is focused on in this poem, like it was in "The Follower" and also the theme of relationships on the farm is brought back in. ...read more.


However, the image is also a surprise, because Heaney says in "the Follower" that he wants to be like his father, but here he has changed his mind. This poem, like the other two, has main themes, and they are very similar to the others. It is all about the hard work involved in running a farm, the relationship between the father and son, and the expectation that profession and skills will be carried on throughout the family. For my conclusion I will make a short point on both poems and explain my opinion about them. Both 'follower' and 'Digging' explore Heaney's sense of his own place in the family tradition. However, in 'Follower' he seems content to register that his life has turned out different from his father's, but nevertheless feels great love and admiration for him. In 'Digging', the distance between him and his family seems greater. There is the same affection and admiration, but there is also a much greater emphasis on the poet's own skills and identity, a much greater awareness of the difference between the worlds of pen and land. In my opinion I think the poems are written well but I wouldn't normally like these poems, but after studying them you get a better understanding for them and they don't seem as dull because you feel you know more about the poems. Chris Vine ...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. Seamus Heaney had a Roman Catholic upbringing in a rural area of Northern Ireland. ...

    "A puzzled love of the light". How can this possibly be? Is it known straight from birth or is it developed from life? The poem delivers an ultimate message effectively to the reader. It gives an account of what can happen to mothers who are estranged and put under so much pressure from their beliefs.

  2. Plath and Heaney - In this essay I will be looking at 3 poems, ...

    This encounter with the rat has quickly become a confrontation. Heaney himself seems surprised at his nerve - he says that it is 'incredible.' The word Bridgehead is a military term, one that soldiers use when they are about to attack the enemy.

  1. Mother - son relationship

    against her, first straight down the hem And then diagonally, then flapped and shook The fabric like a sail in a cross - wind, They made a dried - out undulating thwack. So we'd stretch and fold and end up hand to hand For a split second as if nothing

  2. Seamus Heaney has Vivid Memories of his Childhood. Analyse Two Poems That Reflect Heaney's ...

    However, Heaney broke the tradition of farming to pursue his career at college and university. This poem portrays his struggle to break away from his father and farming, and move towards his own ambitions. In this poem, a lot of farm language is used when describing how his father works.

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

    Another detection of change is seen in the third stanza, and this time it's a very uncomfortable change: - "...I was embarrassed By old men standing up to shake my hand..." I find this stanza conveys the 'child's confusion and mind' perfectly.

  2. His first collection of poems "Death of a naturalist" was published in 1966 and ...

    the poem it's symbolising how Seamus's father is a sanctuary to him. Follower clearly shows us Heaney imitates his father but in Digging isn't quite the case. The Follower shows his admiration to plough and grow up like his father but feels guilty not being able to do so like, "I was a nuisance, tripping and falling."

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

    The father, even through fatigue and exhaustion, sometimes lets Heaney ride on his back. 'Dipping and rising to his plod,' makes the reader picture a mighty horse with a little boy bouncing up and down in rhythm with the horses stride.

  2. Discuss how Heaney portrays images of family and country life.

    is an abundance of use of words and phrases with relevance to family life. It is written in first person narrative, with three lines to each of it's seven stanzas. One line is separated from the others at the very end of the poem 'I sat all morning in the

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