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

How does Heaney use language to explore the experience of childhood in the 'Early Purges' and 'An Advancement of Learning'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Heaney use language to explore the experience of childhood in the 'Early Purges' and 'An Advancement of Learning'? During this essay I will try to explain how the words Heaney uses in his poems describe his childhood. I will be looking closely at 'Early Purges' and 'An Advancement of Learning'. I will be seeing how Heaney uses language to tell us further about this childhood and upbringing. We are mainly seeing the things he had 2 endure as a child. I will start with the poem titled 'Early Purges'. We can see from the first few lines in what kind of atmosphere Heaney is brought up. Heaney uses very dramatic language; he says his age 'six'. This is the age he was when he saw those kittens drowning so he would have had a very disturbing image for the rest of his life. 'First time' this shows he will have to see many more cruel things of this nature, it is very strong. ...read more.

Middle

'Bobbing', meaning how the kittens were drowned they were going under the water then coming back up, shows how they were struggling which would have been a terrible thing to watch. Words such as 'slung', 'slogged', 'mealy' and 'crisp' make everything sound very dramatic and convey horrible images to the reader looking at the poem through the young boys point of view. Heaney uses the word 'Remains', which makes the kittens sound like they are dead and that is what is left of them. 'Dunghill' reinforces 'scraggy wee shits' in that the kittens are just rubbish and meant nothing, both refer to excretion which again makes everything sound again like rubbish or waste. However towards the end of 'Early Purges' the tone of the poem changes as Heaney matures and realizes why these kittens or for that matter any other animal need to be killed, now this is giving the effect that he is a normal boy. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the final stanza the quote 'crossed the bridge' is very strong it can mean a matter of things, but the one that stands out in my mind is the bridge form childhood to adulthood. After everything he has seen and done in his childhood he is finally past it all and is a man. In this poem Heaney uses Enjambrement this was an excellent thing to put in this poem because it adds to the effect. Furthermore to conclude my essay, I have to say that Heaney had quite a harsh upbringing living on the farm as we can see from 'early purges' because he has seen innocent animals die, he has been subjected to crude language by Dan Taggert. However in 'An Advancement of learning' it is a different story this poem goes on to tell us how Heaney over comes his fears. Heaney uses language very well; by saying 'crossing the bridge' he is saying that he is moving form childhood into adulthood. Heaney uses language well in both poems. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Seamus Heaney's poems explore the loss of childhood and the cruel awakening into the ...

    4 star(s)

    "With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeards" this too produces a superb picture of the children's hands covered in thick red juice. This image represents Bluebeard: a man who murdered his wives and is identifiable by the blood on his hands.

  2. the early purges

    Both the poems are quite imaginative as they have a lot of description that might enable us to picture what is going on in our heads. For 'Cat', there are lots of examples like the whole poem shows how a cat would sneak about, and as cats are common, we can get a clear picture of what is happening.

  1. What do the poems "Churning Day" and "An Advancement of Learning" tell us about ...

    Heaney is exposed to nature quite a lot. "Churning Day" is all natural as there is no machinery used it starts from the "hot brewery" which is the cow, this is a metaphor as the cow is not really a "hot brewery"- but it is what starts the process- to the person churning the butter.

  2. 'The Early Purges' by Seamus Heaney focuses on the traumas of childhood, and how ...

    The idea is continued in the next stanza. The author makes use of onomatopoeia through the word 'scraping'. This makes the reader think of scraping noises we have heard before, which help create a stronger mental image in the mind.

  1. "Both Seamus Heaney and Carol Anne Duffy explore childhood in their poems - What ...

    In "Before you were mine", Duffy uses the present and in "Litany" she uses the past. I think they do this to create a slight sense of realism, to give the poems more depth and history. The language used in the poems contains some striking words and phrases that would have been used by a child.

  2. The Early Purges by Seamus Heaney.

    This may suggest that even Dan may feel a little sorry to those animals he killed. The poet also describes the kittens' struggling before death by the phrase 'like mad'. The phrase 'like mad' has two meanings, one is the sound when the kittens try to get out, and the

  1. Write an essay on Heaney's poetry in the light of his statement that it ...

    He relates many unremarkable predicaments, none as pertinent as the Ireland crisis, and employs sensuous but simple imagery to do this. In his early work Seamus Heaney found a means of poetic expression and considered in their infancy issues such as division, the importance of landscape and nature and the proper role of art and poetry.

  2. Compare and Contrast 'Death of a Naturalist', ' An Advancement of Learning' and ' ...

    He states; "And now, when shrill pups are prodded to drown, I just shrug, 'bloody pups'." He sees the animals killed as pests as that is how he was brought up to think. All the poems have some relation to an animal and a fear and take place when Heaney was a child.

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