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Examine how Heaney presents his relationship with his father in 'Digging' and 'Follower'.

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Talat Mahmood English Coursework Other Cultures Coursework Examine how Heaney presents his relationship with his father in 'Digging' and 'Follower'. In the poem the Follower, the poet admires his father with all factions. The poet, Heaney, describes his father on verse 2, stanza 1 as being a very strong, well built man and classifies him as an "expert" (verse 5, stanza 2) when it comes to working in the field. In verse 10-12, stanza 3, Heaney describes his father's eye as "his eye narrowed and angled at the ground mapping the furrow exactly", this verse describes his father as if he was a sailor, carefully, watching the field as a map with a close eye making sure that everything is moving or growing the way they should be. In the poem digging, the reader begins to get a sense that time has moved on, and that the young boy has now become older as so did his father. The poet, Heaney, says on verse 7, stanza 3, "till his straining rump along the flowerbeds", this verse indicates that his father is old, and strains as he bends over to the flowerbeds, but even though the father is aging, he is still a strong man who can still hold a spade. ...read more.


Throughout the poems the reader was able to get the sense that the poet had truly admired and praised his father tremendously. The son not once had criticised his father but instead tried to learn and carry on the tradition. However, in the end, the son does more than just carry on the tradition; he instead celebrates what his father has done through writing. In both poems there are signs that Heaney used alliteration, imagery, onomatopoeia and rhyme and then bound them together as a main structure of both poems. He also uses them to describe his father in many different styles. The poet, Heaney was able to portray the descriptions of his characters in his poems to the reader in very unique images. In the poem the Follower, Heaney describes his father in a very nautical manner. As the reader, we first approach this manner in the first stanza, verse 2, when the poet describes his father shoulders as if they were a full sail strung. As the shoulders represent upper body strength for motion to occur, the sail of a boat is more of where the strength occurs to move the boat. As stated before, Heaney description of his father's eyes are placed very eloquently. He says the eyes are narrowed in an angle to map the ground of where the furrows will be created. ...read more.


As the reader continues in the middle, many memories of his father and especially his grandfather are shown through their skills. The father best at digging potatoes drills while the grandfather is better in digging turf. Towards the end of the poem, there is a metaphor of digging and roots. This shows how the poet is getting back through his writing, trying to find his own root, his identity, of where the family comes from. The ending of the poem began as it ends, but in the ending the pen was seen as a weapon before, but is now used for digging into the past, present and future and celebrating the tradition that his father and grandfather had done out in the field as well as acknowledge them for their exceptional efforts. The writing style of Heaney in the poem the Digging has a much looser structure than that of Follower. Heaney tries to show that both men were great in strength, but as well that they were expertise in their skills. Heaney uses some colloquial terms such as "By God, the old man could handle a spade." (Verse 15, stanza 5). Again, as he did in Follower, Heaney uses much onomatopoeia such as "rasping, gravelly, sloppily, squelch and slap" and these words are used greatly in describing both the grandfather and fathers work. Talat Mahmood 1 ...read more.

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