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Follower by Seamus Heaney.

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Introduction

Follower The poem Follower was written by Seamus Heaney and is set in the 1940's. In this poem, Seamus Heaney looks back in his past and remembers how he used to admire his father and wanted to follow in his father footsteps. The title of this poem is ambiguous and simple and precise as it doesn't suggests to the reader what the poem is about but is related directly to theme of the poem, this might me a technique used by the poet to attract the reader's attention and therefore enforce the reader to read the poem to find out what its about. Furthermore the first part of the poem is set in the past, but it is written in such a way that I seems that it is in the present. In the first stanza the boy is describing his father working in a field with a horse-plough. His father shoulders were bent "globed" and his muscles were tense by pushing the plough in the ground. He was "controlling" the horse by clicking his tongue, this relates to the second stanza where the boy describes his father as an expert. ...read more.

Middle

This also relates to the boy following in his father's footsteps and planning to carry on the tradition of farming. This stanza describes the boy's efforts as he wanted to do things like adults, but was restricted by his 'immaturity and childhood'. The boy, at the beginning of this stanza, explains why he followed his father; he was young and needed attention of his father and also he admired his father and his father's work. The poem in the sixth stanza turns to the present where the boy has grown to an adult and is independent and powerful, but his father has grown old and weak and "keeps stumbling" and now he depends on his son to take care of him. This is one of the few developed metaphors used by Heaney in the poem, for example, he wanted to be like his father and his father is strong while the child is weak and unable to support himself on the uneven surface; he depended on his father. However later on the poem their positions are switched. Young Heaney has grown now and he is strong while his father is old and needs Heaney's support. ...read more.

Conclusion

The boy followed his father around the farm as the father's shadow follows this father around. This relationship between the father and the boy is shown as a unique relationship as most children today don't take up the same profession as their father and intend to choose their own path in life. The first two stanzas are setting the scene for the reader as they describe exactly what the child remembers about watching his father at work. The next two stanzas are describing the event precisely how it happened, basically the first four stanzas are what the child remembers from the child's memory. The fifth stanza is about the child's feelings and dreams. The last stanza jumps to the present where the boy and the father's places are switched and explains how the poet regrets that he failed to carry on the family tradition, maybe because his father is dead but him memory stills haunts the poet as he tries to imagine what his father would have thought of him if he was still alive. Overall the poet has managed to put forward his message to his audience successfully as after reading the poem the reader thinks about the fact that everyone takes their childhood for granted. ...read more.

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