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How Does Heaney use his childhood experiences in "the Death of a Naturalist" collection?

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Introduction

How Does Heaney use his childhood experiences in "the Death of a Naturalist" collection? Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet grew up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. He writes about his childhood experiences in a "Death of a Naturalist" collection as metaphors because he wants to relate to the readers by discussing universal issues. Heaney also does this by relating to event in everyone's lives such as becoming a man or woman, death, guilt and revenge. He does this by using a lot of literary tools like synaesthesia and enjambement in his poems to create a clearer image of his childhood events. In "Blackberry Picking" Heaney explains his memory picking blackberries including the ripening and the taste of the fruits, He describes "the flesh was sweet". However, this poem is also about the awkwardness of growing up, and Heaney feeling ashamed and guilty at becoming a man. He uses words like "lust", "blood" and "flesh". Furthermore the poem is set in August which is a transitional time in the year and Heaney is suggesting that this is linked because it is also a transitional time in the young Heaney's life. ...read more.

Middle

The words he uses like "corpse" and "whisper" contrast. This gives a dramatic effect. He doesn't mention his brother until the fifth stanza where he just names him as "the corpse". Even then he doesn't directly address his brother, this gives a sense of denial and the impression that Heaney is wants to emphasise the effects of grief before the person who died. In the last stanza Heaney describes his brother "wearing a poppy bruise" on his temple. The poppy is red which connotes remembrance, which is connected to death. Furthermore, he said that he is "wearing" the bruise and is not part of the body as it could be taken off, this is repetition from the earlier emotion of denial. In the final line, "A four foot box, a foot for every year", Heaney uses alliteration to engage the reader's thought. The lexis that he uses is monosyllabic except "every", which is the word that is stressed. This line also emphasises how young his brother was and creates the readers' sympathy. In "Follower" Heaney describes his memories of his father working and a younger version of himself trying to copy his father. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that Heaney is describing his guilt for not carrying on the tradition of farming. In "Personal Helicon" Heaney reflects and explains his childhood adventures exploring wells and his personal inspiration. He uses words like "rich" and "fructified" which make it seem as if he is describing a luscious rainforest instead of a well. He also uses synaesthesia like "I savoured the rich crash" and "clean new music". To create fluidity in this poem, he has uses alliteration with "dry stone ditch". This creates a clear view of Heaney's experiences but universally, the poem is about childhood joy being beneath all adult dignity. Furthermore, I think Heaney is using this poem to remember nostalgic memories without looking back at The Troubles during his childhood because the lexis he uses in the last stanza include words like "darkness" and "echoing". In conclusion, I think that Heaney uses a lot of sensory imagery and other literary tools to portray his childhood experiences to the reader such as synaesthesia, onomatopoeia and alliteration. He uses his experiences to discuss universal topics so he can relate to different types of readers. The way he does this makes his poems extremely successful. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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