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Comparing 'Snowdrops' and 'Mid-termbreak'

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Introduction

Comparing 'Snowdrops' and 'Mid-term break' Leslie Norris' story 'Snowdrops' and Seamus Heaney's poem 'Mid-term break' are both poems and stories about people dealing with death. The writer's main ideas in both poems/stories are to focus on death, unexpected events and new experiences. There is a link between the two of them, as they are both taken from points of view of people having to deal with death or try to understand it, in different ways. The story titled 'Snowdrops' by Leslie Norris is about a teacher losing her boyfriend, who is killed in a motorcycle accident. The poem is taken from the point of view of one of the pupils in her class. The child is very young and na�ve and it describes how the child is excited about going to see the snowdrops in the school garden. The brother of the child that has just died writes the poem 'Mid-term break' by Seamus Heaney and from this poem it shows the feelings that go through a person's mind when someone in their family has died. The title for the story 'Snowdrops' doesn't really signify that the story is going to be about death, and this is true of the poem 'mid-term break'. The reader expects the poem to be about having fun, perhaps about a school holiday, the title certainly doesn't give the poem away. The plot of the poem was quite clever because the poem starts with the boy waiting in the sick bay at college, but he is unaware of the reason he being taken home. We only find out that the poem is about a death by the way that it says in the second stanza; "In the porch I met my father crying He had always taken ...read more.

Middle

Compared to the story 'snowdrops', the poem 'mid-term break' is called mid-term break for the fact that it is a break from college in the middle of the term, an unexpected break. 'Mid-term break' has fewer characters and I think that the character talking, is the actually poet. I know this because it says that he was: "Sat all morning in the college sick bay". We know from this stanza that he has people that care for him, "At two o'clock out neighbours drove me home". Also we can tell from this that they are living in a close-knit community and they community is full of people who care. "In the porch I met my father crying", the portrays the father as being weak and not being able to cope, the poet was also obviously shocked to see his father crying. But then we find out that he is someone that Seamus looked up to, and the father was seen as "the man" of the house. I think this because it says: "He had always taken funerals in his stride" There are other characters that Heaney knew well, and it can be seen that it is a close-knit community; by the way he calls one gentleman "Big Jim Evans". The mother is also a strong character in this poem, and is comforting, but at the same time she is very angry and upset. "As my mother held my hand in hers and coughed out angry, tearless sighs" This tells us that she was trying to be strong for her son, there is some role reversal during this moment between the mother and father. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also this shows that candles light up dark places, the dark place being the home where the child is. The next symbolism is when Seamus Heaney describes the child, after seeing him for the "first time in six weeks" he states: "Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple, he lay in the four foot box as a cot". The poppy bruise is there to show that Seamus Heaney will never forget the child, as we always connect poppies with Remembrance Day. The setting for the story 'snowdrops' by Leslie Norris, is set in a close-knit community, this is evident because firstly the weather is typically welsh, also because of the certain traditions like women do not attend funerals. The men also sang a welsh song, while at the funeral saying: "Mor ddedwydd yw y rhai trwy ffydd" and also by the fact that it says: "The boy knew that it was welsh because of grandmother, and it was sad and beautiful" 'mid-term break' written by Heaney was written by Heaney was set in a small place in Ireland, the setting is similar to 'snowdrops' because they both have very close-knit community's where everyone is supportive, and sympathetic and the funeral wake was held at home where they placed candles it may have been placed there to signify the strength of their religion. Also children do not expect death and have little experience of it, but Heaney was actually deeply affected by the death of his young brother. I think that the story 'snowdrops' and the poem, suggest that even though there is a death these people still carry on going on, with the help and hope of others. And it means that whatever happens, still carry on and try not to break-down, because there is always hope ...read more.

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