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

Discuss the view of the world which Heaney presents as surrounding himself as a child from your reading of the following poems:Digging, Death of a Naturalist, The Barn, Blackberry-Picking.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the view of the world which Heaney presents as surrounding himself as a child from your reading of the following poems: Digging, Death of a Naturalist, The Barn, Blackberry-Picking, Churning Day, Follower, The Diviner, Thatcher, The Forge, Undine and At A Potato Digging Seamus Heaney was a poet who, as a child, grew up in a catholic Irish family in protestant Northern Ireland. His family was a farming family which lived in a rural environment, and thus this is the sort of world which surrounded Heaney as child growing up. The time is also important. Heaney was a child through out the 1940's, and the early 1950's. Therefore, technology was extremely limited, especially in rural areas, and the environment surrounding Heaney was a very traditional, farming one. Heaney presents us with a view of his childhood world which is complicated and deep, and which contains several aspects. The first of these aspects is how he sees things differently to their stereotype. When presenting us with his view of the world surrounding him as a child, he tends to employ a sense of imagination and the use of a different perspective. An example of this is available in the poem, 'The Barn', where he takes standard farm tools and items and describes them as "implements" in an "armoury" hoarded by "the musty dark". Churning Day is another example, where he takes what seems to be a standard, ordinary action, and describes it as something brilliant and special. ...read more.

Middle

In the first verse of the poem, we are told how the frogspawn of "jellied specks" would be collected into jam jars and then placed in school where the "fattening dots burst into nimble-swimming tadpoles". This is all fine and very well in the first stanza of the poem, however, the second stanza changes. The very use of the word "Then" as the first word of the second stanza suggests a change. Suddenly, everything turns very negative. There is a "coarse croaking that I [Heaney] had not heard". The "dam gross-bellied frogs were cocked"; which suggests that these frogs were cocked and poised like guns or weapons. And then, finally, Heaney "sickened, turned, and ran". Here there is a clear sense of change from the first stanza where Miss Walls the teacher would sit and tell the children how the "daddy frog was called a bullfrog". There are several other examples of this sense of change, such as the change from the past to the present in the poem 'The Forge' where the once empty road is now full of traffic and cars and where time has therefore moved on. Another example would be 'Blackberry-Picking' where the beautiful blackberries picked change into rotting, stinking fruit, and almost make young Heaney in the poem cry. However, the other major example of this sense of change is within the poem 'At a Potato Digging'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that the labourers are reliant on the land, Mother Nature and the famine god for economics and survival, in this situation, is ironic. The final aspect of the view presented to us by Heaney which must be examined is the constant feel of alienation between himself and the agricultural world of farming and rural lifestyle. He provides us with several examples of description which indicates to us he feels/felt this way. For example, in 'The Barn', he takes an ordinary farm barn, a building which almost every single farm has, and converts it through his poetry into something horrifying and evil, using lines such as "cobwebs clogging up your lungs" and "the dark gulfed like a roof space". In 'Death of a Naturalist' he describes later in the poem how evil the frogs had become with their "blunt heads farting" and how they were "angry frogs" who were "dam gross-bellied". Many of his poems air this feeling of alienation he has with the rural world, even in 'Digging' he describes how his father and his grandfather worked so hard digging, and probably farming etc. yet he is working inside, with a "squat pen" resting between his finger and thumb, instead of a spade. They are the main aspects to be looked at regarding the view presented to us by Heaney of the world that surrounded him as a child. English Coursework - 10/02/2003 ...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. Peer reviewed

    Consider how Seanus Heany provides us with a view of his childhood in the ...

    4 star(s)

    Heany was brought up in a Irish rural family. He is expected to become a farmer. In this way the pen has taken something away from him. It has changed the relationship with his family and lengthened the gap between them.

  2. GCSE English Seamus Heaney - 'At a Potato Digging', 'Follower', 'Death ...

    �? �? �? �? �? �? �? �? Seamus Heaney - 'Follower' This is one of several poems in the collection in which Heaney draws upon his own memories of the past. Heaney remembers being a boy and his experiences of following his father around the farm as he ploughed the field.

  1. Study three of Heaney's poems from his first collection, including; 'Blackberry-Picking', 'Death of a ...

    �when the bath was filled we found a fur�. Nature�s way of taking back the berries is by decay. The alliteration of �F�s here creates an intruding sound, which emphasises the vulgarity of finding a rotten berry in the midst of their collection.

  2. Blackberry Picking

    We are given a subtle hint towards the theme of the poem, which is greed. We are told that their 'cans were full' which indicates their avarice. In the thirteenth line, Heaney perfectly describes the sound of the unripe berries, 'hard as a knot', being dropped into the tin first by using an effective simile, 'the tinkling bottom'.

  1. Seamus Heaney - Death of A Naturalist

    things through the surrealistic eyes of a child because of the stage he is at. He isn't ready to accept sex. He can't rationalise. Puberty makes him feel guilty. Similarly to the Barn he runs away at the end. "I sickened, turned and ran", shows how he has not fully grown up.

  2. Compare The Barn and An Advancement of Learning - How does Heaney present childhood ...

    The poem, "The Barn," is structured as five, four-lined stanzas. This is an appropriate structure because each stanza progresses further through the barn. The reader gets an insight into Heaney's barn experience step-by-step, or stanza-by-stanza. This gradual build up helps you to feel the kind of atmosphere in the barn.

  1. At A Potato Digging

    of the workers in the field following the machinery and picking up the potatoes. * Fingers are described as getting very cold, so cold they "go dead". This shows that the workers will work regardless of the weather, demonstrating their diligence.

  2. Compare and contrast 'Death of a Naturalist' and 'Digging' by Seamus Heaney.

    He writes: 'I sickened, turned and ran' So we can see he doesn't feel the same passion about nature any more, it was a "death" of the naturalist. 'Digging' is about a young man who feels that he is not worthy to follow in his father's footsteps.

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