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Examine how Seamus Heaney explores the theme of "Growing Up" in two poems you have studied

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Examine how Seamus Heaney explores the theme of "Growing Up" in two poems you have studied The two poems I will be using are "FOLLOWER" and "DIGGING". THe two poems say that at first, when you are young, you admire your father and constantly look up to them. However, eventually you see that it is highly unlikely that he can follow his father into jobs and so you want to become independent and do things yourself, without the need to look after your parents. At the beginning of "Follower", he wants to be like his father; strong, powerful yet gentle, loving and a expert at his job. These connote to the admiration shown by Heaney towards his father, this is shown in the poem by "The horse strained at his clicking tongue", "An expert" and "Sometimes he rode me on his back dipping and rising to his plod." ...read more.


expectations to be like his father and is constantly in his fathers shadow, "All I ever did was follow in his broad shadow around the farm." At the end of the poem he is ambiguous as he loves his dad but wants him to go away as he is unable to tolerate his father being a nuisance, "But today it is my father who keeps stumbling behind me, and will not go away." The final five words, "and will not go away" inimates that he is showered with guilt as he no longer wants to be around his father and have such a close relationship anymore. In "Digging" he starts off watching his father digging in the flowerbeds from above, inside the house. ...read more.


Similarly to his father he admires his grandfather and is almost lauding about his skill and efficiency by saying "My grandfather cut more turf in a day than any other man on Toner's bog." In the penultimate verse he is depressed as he cannot follow in the family tradition literally, "I've no spade to follow men like them." In contrast to "Follower", in the final stanza he decides to dig metaphorically with his pen, enabling him to follow his father, "Between my finger and thumb the squat pen rests. I'll dig with it." In conclusion, there are many similarities between "Follower" and "Digging", such as admiration, love and sadness and very few contrasts like in "Follower" he wants his dad to leave him alone, but in "Digging" he follows his fore-fathers metaphorically by digging with a pen instead of a spade. ...read more.

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