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Mid Term Break - Poem analysis

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Introduction

Mid-Term Break Mid-Term break is about childhood memories. From the title you might think that it is a school break, a happy time. However, once you finish the poem, you realize that it is in fact a break in the family. The poem is about the narrator's brother dying after being hit by a car. The poem develops each stanza, and you only learn the full story in the last stanza. In the first stanza, it says that he sat all morning in the college sick bay. He is isolated. A sick bay is usually quite a bright room, so this contrasts with the darkness of death. ...read more.

Middle

It is ironic that "Big Jim Evans" says that is was a hard blow, because it was, literally a hard blow, the car hit the boy hard. In the third stanza, he is embarrassed by old men shaking his hand. This isn't normal for him. There is enjambment to the next stanza, and the fact that the poet uses "hand" as the last word, helps to link the stanzas. It is as if they are also holding hands. The same thing happens in the fourth stanza. In the fourth stanza, there is a reference to him having brothers. This is when we might start to think that it was a brother in the car crash, but the poet never actually tells us who was in the crash. ...read more.

Conclusion

The white of the snowdrops and the fact that the corpse is pale, is a big contrast to the poppy bruise. In the second last stanza, we find out that he was only four years old, he was very young. We also learn that it was a car crash. It says there were no "gaudy scars" so we know for sure that the boy was imagining the corpse being wrapped in bandages. The last line is different from the others, in that it is very short and final. The syntax makes it a very striking sentence. It makes a huge impact. It is only here that we know the whole story. There is no rhyming scheme. The rhythm is slow and pounding, like a funeral march. It is a huge contrast to the title. ...read more.

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