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How does Seamus Heaney portray childhood and the loss of innocence that accpmpanies growing up?

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Introduction

How does Seamus Heaney portray childhood and the loss of innocence that accpmpanies growing up? Heaney particually portrays the theme of 'loss of innocence' as a child through his peoms, 'Death of a Natrualist', 'Blackberry picking', 'Poem' and 'Personal Helicon'. Death of a Naturalsit of the first of Heaneys poems to really express this theme. 'All year round the flax-dam festered in the heart of the townland;green and heavey headed Flax rotted there.' In the first stanza Heaney uses rich imagery and purposeful child-like language such as 'festered' and 'warm thick slobber'. These create a sense of the childlike adventure to be found in the surrounding area and time that he had as a child. The language and images created by Heaney help to engage the readers senses. These, although not always pleaseant images portray the excitement to be found as a child. They are also positive and fresah. ...read more.

Middle

'you ate that first one and its fleesh was sweet' Heaney remanisses on how he would go blackburrying and the experiences that he had while he was there. By using the technique of using all the positive images first Heaney is able to exaggerate the negative images in the mind of thereader. This is achieved in the second stanza. It wasn't fair, that all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.' The childlike, yet powerful images used in this stanza show him laerning of the nagatives that are in nature. His obveous dissapointment are apparent and the reader is therefore able to sypmathise with Heaney and in life things often loose thire sense of being wonderous and adventerous as you mature and grow up. Heany's poem 'Poem' is especially about maturing and how it changes the way th you view things in the world. 'I'd strip a layer of sod's to build the wall... ...read more.

Conclusion

'As a child they could not jepp me away from wells.' In the poem he explins his facination with wells. This shows that as a child he had a safe and secure childhood that he was able to. The rich description as commonly used in many of Heanys poems represents his experiences and learning in nature. He reflects on how he had to learn about all the horrible things in nature as well as the good thinmgs like the 'rat slapped across my reflection'. Rather then ending with negative images, the reader can feel more that he has accepted growing up but realises, perhaps more objectively that things are different for adults. 'Now... to finger slime... It beneath all adult dignity' He talks about writing to 'set the darkness echoing' like he did when he was a child, looking at the wells. He realises that his dream to be a writer has repleced his facination with wells and that his creativity has evolved rather then dissappeared. James Southwood 13-1 ...read more.

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