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Comparing "Mid-term Break" and "The Early Purges".

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Introduction

Comparing "Mid-term Break" and "The Early Purges" The two poems I have looked at are both wrote by Seamus Heaney, they both deal with death but in very different ways. One poem is set in the countryside and shows that death is part of the life there; the other is set in the city and shows how hard a family member dieing is. Both poems are very emotional because one poem involves kittens and the other involves a young child, they are both young and innocent. The first poem is called "The Early Purges"; the word "Purges" means to clear or sort out, this suggests the poem will be about clearing or getting rid of something. The first word of the poem is "I" from this we can tell it is a personal experience; this makes us more involved in the poem. The poet tells us about when he "first saw kittens drown" this suggests he has seen it happen a lot more since then. The first line goes straight into the theme of the poem the poet might have done this to shock the reader or to just get the poem flowing quickly, also from this line we get a real feeling of what the poem involves the death of the kittens. The word "scraggy" gives the effect of a small, not cared for kitten. ...read more.

Middle

The animals or kittens are thought of as "pests" this implies they are worthless. This sentence also shows how much he has changed "have", he understands it has to be done but when he was younger he did not. If I compare "Mid-term break" with "The Early Purges" I notice straight away that both poems have three lines per stanza except "Mid-term break," has a single line on the end Seamus Heaney might have done this so it stands out and has a greater effect on people, or so that line sticks in peoples mind. The first word in "Mid-term Break" is the same word as "The Early Purges" they both start with "I" this shows they are both personal experiences, this makes us more involved in the poem. In this first stanza there is alliteration of the letter "C" with "college", "counting", "classes", "close" and "o'clock" this slows the poem down and gives the effect of time slowly ticking away as he waits. We can tell time is going slow as the boy is "counting" the bells this gives the effect of boredom, also it implies he is trying to keep his mind off something, this makes me question why he is there. The bells are "knelling" this is a bell announcing funeral or death, it gives a sombre effect as we think someone has died. We question why his "neighbours" picked him up and drove him home. ...read more.

Conclusion

The next line reinforces again how young the child was, it gives a sad effect. On the next line we finally are told how this child died "the bumper knocked him clear" this is a fact; it shows us this was an unnatural death like the death in "The Early Purges". This gives the effect of sorrow as this boy did not die naturally, his life was taken away from him at such a young age. The last line is abrupt, it makes me think about how the young boy must was it gives a strong sad effect. This line is like the last line in "The Early Purges" as they both round the poem off and makes you think about what has happened. I think the overall effect of this poem is sadness as a young child has died. This poem is very emotional as the poet explains how everyone is dealing with the death in there own ways, there is a lot of harshness as strangers are involved it gives a uncomfortable effect it is almost intimidating. I think this second poem is more emotional than the first because the kittens in the first were killed on purpose, to the country people in had to be done but the young boy was killed by accident, it wasn't his time to leave. Charlie Longuehaye 11DA 1 ...read more.

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