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

Explore the ways in which Follower and Digging, by Seamus Heaney are looking back. How does the poet communicate his thoughts and feelings by the words and Images he uses?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

EXPLORE THE WAYS IN WHICH "FOLLOWER" AND "DIGGING" (BY SEAMUS HEANEY) ARE "LOOKING BACK". HOW DOES THE POET COMMUNICATE HIS THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS BY THE WORDS AND IMAGES HE USES? These two poems, "Follower" and "Digging" are both about sons looking at memories of their fathers. Both fathers work in manual labour. In "Digging" the father works in the garden, and in "Following", the father works with a horse plough. In "Digging", Seamus Heaney looks back at memories of his father and grandfather at work. He starts his voyage into the past after hearing the "rasping" sound of his father digging in the earth. This is one of the many uses of onomatopoeia in this poem to convey images of his father and grandfather at work. His descriptions make us believe that they were destined for this career, "the coarse boot nestled on the lug". Seamus Heaney also uses alliteration like "curt cuts" to give us a clearer image of what it is like to watch his father and grandfather work. In "Follower", the father works with a horse plough. ...read more.

Middle

The second verse of "Digging" talks of the father's "straining rump among the flowerbeds", as his son looks out of the window. Heaney then uses a clever metaphor to take us back into the past, "bends low, comes up twenty years away". This conveys a strong sense of remembrance, and clearly shows the son's state of mind. This verse is similar to the first verse of "Follower" in the way they both depict the strain on the fathers as they work at their manual labour. In both poems, the author portrays a strong sense of the sons' admiration of their fathers. In "Follower" the writer refers to his father as an "expert" and in "Digging" he says, "By God the old man could handle a spade". Both poems are based on the character's admiration for his father, although the endings are quite different. We are led to believe that both fathers respected their equipment and went to considerable lengths to look after it, in order to prolong its life and help them to work efficiently. ...read more.

Conclusion

He used to be "a nuisance, tripping, falling. Yapping always". In a lighthearted way, this helps us understand his respect for his father. However, in the last few lines, we are moved when Heaney says: "................................ But today It is my father who keeps stumbling Behind me, and will not go away." By saying this, we can see that the writer does not resent his father, but feels sad at the inevitability of growing old and the sense of role reversal. He is sad that he is no longer able to admire his father as he did when he was a young boy. The son in "Digging" is sad because he has "no spade to follow men like them". Although he is upset that he does not share his father and grandfather's talent, in the last verse he shows that he accepts his life is different from theirs, and that his expertise is in writing rather than digging. He says, "But I've no spade to follow men like them. Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests I'll dig with it." English Coursework Vicky Maberley - S11K 20 November 2001 Page 1 ...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. Compare and contrast the way Seamus Heaney and D.H Lawrence depict childhood feelings and ...

    The poem begins in a very harmonious situation - a complete contrast to Discord in childhood where the opening stanza sets the scene for the aggression to come. The harmony is symbolic of the close relationship between Lawrence and his mother.

  2. Compare the ways in which Heaney presents family feelings in 'Digging' and 'Follower'

    This image of his father is also present in 'Follower', when he clearly admires the skill of his father's "Clicking Tongue" that controls the horses. He described him as "An Expert" which clearly shows that he has a strong relationship with his father as well as presenting his father as a highly skilled man rather than a simple farmer.

  1. Seamus Heaney uses various ways to explore the theme of family life in his ...

    Heaney is once again in awe of his fathers ability when he describes the "dipping and rising on his plod " showing his fathers ability to concentrate on his "plod" while still riding Heaney "on his back". This also seems to.

  2. Compare And Contrast Seamus Heaney's Poems 'Digging' And 'Follower'.

    It is unfortunate that Heaney doesn't use nautical references in 'Digging' partly because it wouldn't match the poem. It would disrupt the flow of the poem as the father in 'Digging' isn't one described as huge and amazingly strong. Where as in 'Follower' he is described using nautical references to give us a taste of his strength and size.

  1. In his poems 'Follower and Digging' Heaney is thinking about his father. How do ...

    This is the turning point from Heaney's view of himself as a child to the introduction of his perspective as an adult. This tells the reader how the roles have been reversed and it is Heaney who now feels frustration with his father.

  2. Comparing and contrasting "Digging" by Seamus Heaney, and "He was" by Richard Wilbur.

    In 'He was', the writer describes the work of his father as "Having planted a young orchard with so great care" which I think refers to all the work done by his father to raise him, the "young orchard". Although both poems possess somewhat similar qualities, there are also many differences between two poems.

  1. What are the preoccupations of Seamus Heaney’s poetry and how does he explore them?

    The last line has a lot of impact because Heaney gives us one last piece of information that we did not know through the rest of the poem, "A four foot box, a foot for every year." We find out that his brother was only four years old, the way

  2. Compare the ways in which the two poems 'digging' and 'follower' explore the relationship ...

    In 'Digging' Heaney talks about farming as though it is lesser than him and not worth the efforts. He is looking from a higher place down onto the field in which his father works. 'My father, digging. I look down.'

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