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Comparing Blackberry-Picking by Heaney.

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Introduction

... not asked for such a blood sister hood'. It is as if the juice from the blackberries is their blood, almost as if they are sacrificing it. It then goes on to describe her as she imagines them inviting her into their sorority. She has pricked her fingers on the thorns of blackberries- when her blood mixes with the juices of the blackberries it is as if she has been blood bonded into their sorority, yet she has not asked for this- unlike in 'Roe Deer' where the figure in the poems desperately wants to be a part of the deer's world, even though he knows he cannot be. In 'Mirror' Plath writes ' in me she has drowned a young girl'; it is as if the young woman has already slowly entered the depths of the world of the mirror and is swallowed up by it, leaving the old woman behind- yet in the case of the woman this was something she didn't have any choice over; she has become a slave to the mirror, as she becomes increasingly distraught at the way in which it reflects her gradual aging. In the first two lines of the second stanza of 'Blackberrying'- 'Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks- bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky', Plath uses a metaphor to describe the crows. ...read more.

Middle

Though water is in essence a mirror, I think we as humans tend to romanticize water, whereas a mirror is rather sterile. But when you think about it--they both do the same thing. So, usually, we can find our own personal lake right below our little personal mirror in the bathroom. It's called zee sink. Each morning when we wake, we usually fill the sink with water to wash our faces or whatever. Viola--a lake. So, the mirror is Plath and Plath is the woman. Each morning while she went to brush her teeth, wash her face, take a shower and all those other personal things we do in the bathroom, she noticed the mirror, but she also realized that the mirror only reflected her own point of view, that it was only truthful to her own eyes. Also, when most of us wake up, we're not exactly looking too great -- by our own standards, at least. We see our hair all messed up, those unwanted approaching wrinkles, we REALLY need to brush our teeth, maybe a pimple snuck up on us in the middle of the night...all these things we see when we first wake up--it's not really that pleasant. ...read more.

Conclusion

He adds to this by sharing his own thoughts with the reader "You ate that fist one and its flesh was sweet". He then starts on a more refined use of imagery by always relating his previous description with ones further down. This is noted when he talks of the "lust for Picking" for it is as a bloodlust would be to "summer's blood". The next clever uses of words after this comes a few lines down when he entwines compound words into his lines to create the feeling that they used everything they could "Sent us out with milk-cans, pea-tins, jam-pots". It is when the containers begin to fill that Heaney cleverly mixes the senses by using a sound descriptive word to talk of something he sees, "Until the tinkling of the bottom has been covered", this represents a first use of onomatopoeia. This is something I did not notice in Plath's writing but what I did notice was her imagining the blackberries as eyes as Heaney does here "on top big dark blobs burned like a plate of eyes". This may suggest a correlation in the writings but I shall talk more of this in my conclusion". Thus I move to the last line of this verse there is another notable reference to blood "our palms sticky as Bluebeard's". This is the third reference to blood in this verse (the firs ... ...read more.

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