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How does Heaney convey the importance of family to him in "Digging" and "Follower"

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Introduction

How does Heaney convey the importance of family to him in "Digging" and "Follower" In the two poems "Follower" and "Digging" Shamus Heaney demonstrates a great use of imagery throughout. I feel he shows this particularly well in the eighth stanza of the poem "Digging." "The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge" This part of the poem uses every sense to generate a very detailed picture in the mind of the reader. The reader feels as if they are right there, smelling the smells and feeling the dampness and the atmosphere of Heaney's old house. These descriptive touches add a depth to the poem making the reader really feel how Heaney felt. ...read more.

Middle

He this in both poems extremely well; "Al I ever did was follow In his broad shadow round the farm" This shows how he wants to grow up and be like his father and carry on his family's legacy, but deep down in his heart he feels that he'll never be able to live up to his father. Heaney gets this across particularly well in the eighth stanza of the poem "digging"; "Through living roots awaken in my head But I've no spade to follow men like them" This is near the end of the poem but compared to the middle stanzas of the poem that have a lot of belief and respect, These to lines however seem to express his sadness because of the fact he will not be able to carry on his family's tradition and roots. ...read more.

Conclusion

The first line of the third stanza in digging is a good example of this because, it uses descriptive words to show the strain on his father. "His straining rump among the flowerbeds Bends low, comes up" This shows how his work is hard and is not as easy as others may think. The rhyming schemes and the continuation of one line to the other. The number of syllables in each stanza in follower shows a distinct rhythm to the ploughing and the constant grind of his father's work. In conclusion Heaney's poems show good use of symbolism, memories of his family and especially an overwhelming sense of imagery. All of these combined make Heaney's poetry especially interesting and in his poetry he puts across his own personality. By Alex Paveley 10CG ...read more.

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