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

How Is The Theme Of Death Portrayed In Both Mid-Term Break And The Early Purges?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Is The Theme Of Death Portrayed In Both Mid-Term Break And The Early Purges? The Irish poet Seamus Heaney is renowned for evoking his very personal experiences and feelings throughout his poetry. He frequently calls upon those experiences from his childhood to support his adult feelings over given topics and circumstances. The two poems Mid-Term Break and Early Purges both present two very personal experiences of Heaney's surrounding his juvenile experiences of death. Both poems combine a variation of techniques in miscellaneous manners to present such views. Mid-Term Break concerns itself with Heaney's remorse and suffering over his brother, an unjustified death over which he had no control. Early Purges, alternatively, concerns itself with an inability of Heaney to use such command to prevent an unnecessary death. The titles of both poems are very symbolical to what the poem is all about. 'Mid-Term Break' The word 'break' implies Heaney's break from school, and also the break in his brother's life. ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand, in the second stanza of Early Purges, there is no personal emotion from either young Heaney or Dan Taggart. "They were slung on the snout" Heaney's use of the word 'slung' displays disregard and no care for the animals. Is this cruel death necessary? "Soft paws scraping like mad" The contrast of 'soft' and 'like mad' highlights the panic of the kittens. In the third stanza of Mid-Term Break, Heaney's attention is redirected by the baby. "The baby cooed and laughed and rocked" Heaney's use of the word 'laughed' symbolises that the baby is innocent and has no idea of what is happening. This has an immediate effect on the audience, as it sympathises with the young baby. Heaney also feels uncomfortable with all that is happening around him. "And I was embarrassed" The use of the word 'embarrassed' connotes Heaney standing back, distanced, and not used to this type of atmosphere. In the third stanza of Early Purges, Heaney uses simile's to describe the unwanted animals. ...read more.

Conclusion

Does he find his brother's unjustified death hard to cope with? "A four foot box, a foot for every year." In this quote, Heaney is still detached, but the comparison of the length of the box, and his brother's age makes for a very emotional ending to the poem. Heaney finds it difficult to cope with such a loss so young, and thus detaches himself to make things easier. By contrast, in Early Purges, Heaney's attitude changes through the poem, losing his innocence verse by verse. In the final stanza's this is shown. "It makes sense:" Why does it? It is as if Heaney has been conditioned to accept death of 'pests'. The end of the poem is also very effective. Heaney shows contrast between urban and rural views of death. 'Purging' is justified as the animals are referred to as 'pests'. In both poems, Heaney loses something very intimate to him. In Mid-Term Break, Heaney loses his younger brother, in the same way as in Early Purges, he loses his innocence. Mid-Term break is a very emotional and depressing poem whereas Early Purges is very cruel and harsh. Qasim Asghar 11M Comparing Two Poems 29/04/2007 ...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. Peer reviewed

    Compare the poems 'Mid-Term Break' by Seamus Heaney and ' 'Out Out- ' ' ...

    4 star(s)

    Instead of being in class he 'sat all morning in the college sick bay'. Not only is this a disturbance of his routine he is also isolated from his class mates. This is the first suggestion that death and grief isolates.

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

    'A frail metal sound,' makes it clear that the kittens have no strength and are very frail. An oxymoron is used to describe clearly the contrast between the hard metal and the soft kittens. Metal is normally a very hard, tough sound but the kittens can only manage a frail noise.

  1. the early purges

    The fifth paragraph says that Seamus was really shocked by what had happened and what he had seen and it uses verbs like trapped and snared. And from the fourth verse he describes the cats as "turn mealy and crisp as old summer dung".

  2. Analysis of "Mid-Term Break" by Seamus Heaney

    The dead infant is then described lying "in his four foot box as in his cot". It is probably the most shocking and pitiful line of the poem, for it is only now that the reader realises that the dead child is little more than a baby, and the allusion

  1. Comparing "Mid-term Break" and "The Early Purges".

    The boy "Dan" is not bothered about the kittens; we know this because he "slung" the bucket this implies he does this with no care. Also another way we see that "Dan" doesn't care about killing the kitten is that the water was "pumped in" this prolongs the death, it

  2. Has its own individual outlook towards death. The three poems that I am studying ...

    The poem ends with the most striking and outstanding line. The poem has up until the last line, been made up of three line stanzas each with 10 or 11 syllables in length but now one line stands alone and the poem ends with Heaney's observation of how the boy's

  1. Comparing Mid-Term Break with Digging

    Similarly, the structure of the poems also helps show how the poet is thinking. The stanzas in Digging are of varied lengths. This gives a sense of Heaney's thoughts as they will not be equal length or depth. Using long and short stanzas is effective because it allows a strong

  2. Mid Term Break Evaluation

    The baby's laughing also gives us connotations of great innocence as it does not know what is going on which is similar to the way we look at Heaney's brother . I can really empathise with Heaney as I truly understand what he is going through for I have also

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