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

Mid Term Break Evaluation

Extracts from this document...


Critical Essay-Poetry "Mid-Term Break" Darren Parker S�amus Heaney's "Mid-Term Break" is among the few poems that have emotionally moved me. The writer uses many techniques including similes, metaphors and beautiful lexical choice to convey the sombre and miserable situation of his brother's death. In this essay I am going to analyse the language of the poem and discuss, in more detail, the techniques used to convey the real sadness of the situation. "Mid-Term Break" is a very emotive poem in which S�amus Heaney reflects on the untimely demise of his little brother Christopher and explains what was going through his mind at that time. The poem's title suggests a holiday but this "break" does not happen for pleasant reasons. For most of the poem Heaney writes of people's differing reactions and at the end he is able to grieve honestly. In the poem Heaney travels home from school to attend the funeral of his 4-year old brother who was killed in a tragic accident. During the funeral Heaney is confronted with many issue's that make him feel uneasy while he still struggles to come to terms with the incident that stands before him: the death of his little brother! In this poem, the writer uses many techniques to express the misery of the situation. The writer uses effective word choice in the first stanza. "I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close" Here we can see that the word "all" suggests that Heaney's time waiting seems intermiable which adds to the sadness of the situation. ...read more.


The emotion of embarrassment is unusual for a young boy of Heaney's age to experience at this time for his brother has just died and most people would be depressed and miserable. In addition, in a very hushed atmosphere, Heaney noticed that strangers were whispering about him which must have made him felt very uncomfortable. "the ambulance arrived with the corpse" When the day has passed and night falls, the child's body is returned home however, Heaney sees this as a "corpse" and not a person. This therefore proves that Heaney has not come to terms yet with the fact that he has lost his brother forever which emphasises how heartbreaking the situation was. I think that the poet has been very effective here as he has efficiently elucidated how he felt in the company of the people who attended his brother's funeral. The writer uses an enjambment which has great effect on us. Furthermore the writer uses cold and clinical lexical choice which illustrate that he is not yet come to terms with his brother's death. The poet uses the word "corpse" which gives us connotations of an object rather than a person- he feels that he is just a body which is very unemotive. This adds pathos to the situation, it illustrates how overwhelmingly sad the situation must have been for Heaney as he feels numb inside; unable to let out his emotions. ...read more.


During the poem we notice that Heaney's development of grief improves dramatically. For most of the poem Heaney describes the funeral as it were a report; he uses specific times, clinical terms and unemotive language however when Heaney is finally alone with his brother he starts to grip reality and portray his brother as a person rather than just a body. Heaney then narrates the poem with emotive language, personal pronouns and less specific times...he writes naturally. I believe that Heaney employed many effective techniques in this poem and as a result successfully conveyed the sadness and misery of losing a loved one. I particularly was moved when he used a simile to describe his brother as sleeping rather than dead; it portrayed his brother as an innocent little boy. Moreover, when he created a soft image of a hideous scar I was touched as he obviously loved his brother to a great extent. I sympathise with Heaney to a great length as it is a tragic loss to lose a family member especially if it is someone you are exceptionally close to like a brother or sister. This poem has revealed to me the true significance of life and also the unimaginable pain of death. This poem has made me realise that you do not properly appreciate something until it is gone. In light of this I have learned that you should always respect and treat one another well as you never know when their time will come! "Mid-Term Break Critical Evaluation" Darren Parker 15/12/05 Word Count = 1847 ...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

    Mid-Term Break: Critical Essay. Heaney reveals his true feelings to us in the ...

    3 star(s)

    This could suggest a child is involved. Candles create a calm atmosphere. He also says that these items "soothed the bedside", rather than they were just beside the bed. This is significant as he and his family are in need of emotional support. Now Heaney uses "him" to describe the dead body and he says that the

  2. Comparing 'Snowdrops' and 'Mid-termbreak'

    had been asleep under the ground" and the small child took it seriously thinking that the snowdrops were like people sleeping under the ground. This is quite typical of a young child to think this. We also know that the child is innocent and venerable, by the way that he

  1. Seamus Heaney's Portrayal Of Pain and Suffering.

    sense that those hands killed somebody so they were dead, or because gravel is life less and doesn't move. What becomes of the mother who with freezing hands quietly drowns him? 'He was a minnow with hooks Tearing her open.'

  2. Compare and contrast the poems 'Death of a Son', 'Mid-Term Break' and 'Remember' - ...

    This represents the life the child was supposed to have, the promise of his birth and new life ahead, then the fading away to nothing - the promise and the potential; everything dwindles to nothing. Furthermore some of the stanzas have extra lines, some malformed and small representing the shape of the child in physical and mental form.

  1. I have been studying the poem 'Mid Term Break' by Seumas Heaney. I have ...

    The baby is clearly far too young to understand what is going on, and so has no reason to feel any sadness. Later on in the stanza, the narrator comments on how he feels uneasy at having the older men shake his hand.

  2. In this essay I will be describing the techniques used in the poems "Out, ...

    Although the boy was in control of the saw and could be seen as responsible for his own death. Robert Frost by describing the saw as a vicious animal, in contrast to the vulnerable boy and his "child's heart" creates and effect so the reader is in no doubt over who and what to blame for his death.

  1. I have decided to look at the poems "Mid Term Break" by "Seamus Heaney" ...

    "Mid Term Breaks" final line "A four foot box, a foot for every year" stands alone from the rest of the poem, it stuns the reader with the age of Heaney's brother. While in "Out, Out" the last lines is "And they, since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs".

  2. Appreciation of "Mid Term Break" by Semaus Heaney

    To under line his father's usual strength, the reader is further reminded, almost as an aside in parenthesis, that Heaney's father had "always taken funerals in his stride". It is a further indication to the reader that a particularly bad event has taken place his father is upset where he

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