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In the poem 'The Affliction of Margaret', Wordsworth analyses the pain of a Mother who is distanced from her child. Compare Wordsworth's approach to this theme with two other poems, one by Heaney and the other by Clarke.

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Introduction

In the poem 'The Affliction of Margaret', Wordsworth analyses the pain of a Mother who is distanced from her child. Compare Wordsworth's approach to this theme with two other poems, one by Heaney and the other by Clarke. In this essay I will examine how William Wordsworth's approach to the theme of parent and child relationships in the poem 'The Affliction of Margaret;' compares with Seamus Heaney's 'Follower' and Gillian Clarke's 'Catrin'. I will examine how these poems show distance between the parent and child as well as the use of imagery, tone, language, structure and poetic devices throughout them. In 'The Affliction of Margaret' William Wordsworth analyses the pain of a Mother who is distanced from her child. In the same way in 'Catrin' Gillian Clarke writes of the friction between her and her daughter as she matures and wants to break free from the bond they are joined by. ...read more.

Middle

William Wordsworth uses a lot of repetition of the Mother's fears in his poem,' The Affliction of Margaret'. This emphasises her loneliness and unstable state of mind. It is implied that she is frightened of everything. In 'Follower' Seamus Heaney uses a lot of alliteration, for example; "sail strung", emphasises the strength of the Father. He also uses the reader's sense of sound to portray the sounds of the Father working in the fields; "Plod". This is onomatopoeia and you can hear the movements of the Father as he walks through the muddy fields with his plough and horses. This emphasises that the son thinks very highly of his Father and is determined to pursue the family skill when he becomes an adult. 'Catrin' is similar in that the mother talks of great love for her daughter, although she is constantly aware of the tension in their relationship. There is a mid-rhyme, which highlights this; "Brown hair....defiant glare". ...read more.

Conclusion

Like 'Follower', the structure of 'Catrin' takes the form of an account written from the past into the present. The Mother is looking back into the past and delving into memories of her daughter's birth and childhood and how she was dependant on her Mother to look after and protect her, through to the present day, where the daughter no longer wants to be cared for by her mother and wants to be independent leaving her Mother feeling lost without her. In conclusion, it is my opinion that there are many similarities and differences between the poems by Wordsworth, Heaney and Clarke. For example there is a contrast between the melancholy tone of William Wordsworth's 'The Affliction of Margaret' and the more optimistic and cheerful tone in Seamus Heaney's 'Follower' and Gillian Clarke's 'Catrin'. However, they all share a common theme; that the parents need their children to feel a sense of belonging and security. Therefore creating any distance in the relationship however great or small can put strain on the bond between the parent and child. ...read more.

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