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Explore in detail how Seamus Heaney in Midterm Break explores the concept of death. Refer closely to the text.

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Introduction

Explore in detail how Seamus Heaney in Midterm Break explores the concept of death. Refer closely to the text. In the poem, Midterm Break, Seamus Heaney explores the concept of death in a variety of ways; by choosing the appropriate expressions and poetic devices to create the dismayed images that portray the concept of death. The title of the poem, 'Midterm Break', is interpreted to the reader as simply a break or holiday off school. However, after the poem is read a several times the link between the title and poem will become apparent. While holidays are full of happiness and laughter, the language chosen has put the title in another perspective; through the concept of death, the words chosen, 'break' can mean a shock, an unexpected accident. Already in the beginning of this poem has Seamus Heaney has forewarned the reader briefly of the content. The poem then begins with a college student who is waiting to be picked up to go home for his mid term break. ...read more.

Middle

The line 'He had always taken funerals in his stride ' shows that its unusual for his father to be crying at the news of death and usually takes them in his stride, as if it was an occasion but would stand strong. The third stanza consists of many devises. The stanza starts of with the image of a baby: 'The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram' This image of a baby. The expressions: cooed, laughed and rocked ads to the tension as a contradiction due to the fact that baby has not felt or experienced a change in the atmosphere. The persona felt embarrassed because of many reasons. He was the youngest of all the 'Old men' and they all acted sympathetic and as if he (the persona) was an adult. The symbol of shaking ones hand shows respect and a symbolic gesture towards one, in this case the persona. '..."sorry for my trouble"...' ...read more.

Conclusion

Under the tension of him visiting 'for the first time in six weeks' the atmosphere is calmed and softened by the images of 'snowdrops and candles...' Heaney uses the images of snowdrops because of their softness and gentleness, the image of the candle as the warmth in the room. 'Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple' Having the word 'wearing' makes it seem incredible that it is such a small wound, yet it causes much damage to the extent death. The line also explains the shape of the bruise, the shape of a poppy, a sign of the accident that evidently killed him. The sign of the accident is shown by the line: '...knocked him clear.' Heaney uses the age of the youngster as a measurement for his coffin of 'box' as Heaney called it. 'a foot for every year' tells us the age of the brother, and it re-enforces age and irony of his age and the size of his coffin. Everything draws down to this and now the persona eventually feels the significance and loss due to the tragic accident on his brother. ...read more.

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