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

Section B: pre 1914 and post 1914 poetry.

Extracts from this document...


Section B: pre 1914 and post 1914 poetry. 22. Compare the way the poets present family relationships in two poems from List A and two from List A. Family relationships are evident in many of the poems in the anthology, they are central to most people's lives, and the poems present how these relationships can change with age, and how they often fraught with conflict. I have decided to analyse: 'Digging' by Heaney, 'Baby-sitting' by Clarke, 'The Affliction of Margaret' (TAOM) by Wordsworth and 'On my first Sonne' (OMFS) by Jonson. In 'Digging', Heaney presents a relationship that spans three generations; the author, his father and his grandfather. The respect, admiration and love with which the young Heaney feels for his elders contrasts with the poet's admitted apathy and coldness towards an unrelated child in 'Baby-sitting': "I don't love / This baby". In 'TAOM', Wordsworth uses powerful imaginary to portray a mother's tormented anguish over her fragmented relationship with her son. ...read more.


He says, "I've no spade to follow men like them" as if he knows he lacks their strength and perseverance. "Once I carried him milk in a bottle / Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up / To drink it, then fell to it right away." The phrase 'corked sloppily with paper' suggests that the author feels inadequate, he brings refreshment but his father is so absorbed with his task that he only pauses briefly to drink, unaware of the boy's presence. By the end of the poem, Heaney feels more triumphant and hopes to gain the same pride and sense of worth with the use of a pen as previous generations did with a spade; "The squat pen rests. / I'll dig with it." The poem ends with this emotional phrase as the poet reconciles himself by drawing similarities from the pen and the spade. Similarly, 'TAOM' and 'OMFS' are poems in which the protagonist idolises a family member. ...read more.


The poem is written as though Jonson is talking directly to his son: "tho'wert lent to me, and I thee pay". This is a very personal sentiment, and the reader really feels how close he and his son were, as though the poem is intended to be his child's eulogy. Jonson also uses language found usually on gravestones, for example: "here doth lye"; this enforces the fact that the poet is writing a speech in praise and tribute of his recently deceased child. A poem which depicts a dysfunctional, 'abnormal' parent/child relationship, is 'Baby-sitting'; in the poem, Clarke skilfully uses language to present her feelings as a mother looking after someone else's child, in a house which isn't hers. Clarke almost sounds emotionless at times, and describes the baby in an uncaring, business-like way: "She is a perfectly acceptable child." She feels detached from the girl and seems to see her as an object and an inconvenience, rather than a human. Clarke even uses the recurring semantic field of witchcraft with phrases like: "enchant" and "familiar", to suggest that the child is otherworldly. ...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 Pre and Post 1914 Comparison 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 Pre and Post 1914 Comparison essays

  1. Trace the history of "the old lie" with particular reference to the poetry of ...

    Through Tennyson's poetry it becomes apparent to the reader that Tennyson has never fought in a war himself and that he was most probably raised to accept the "old lie" as gospel truth. This is due to his idealistic views and his use of euphemisms, and his jingoistic attitude to

  2. Comparison of The Daffodils(TM) by William Wordsworth and Miracle on St David(TM)s Day(TM) by ...

    In 'The Daffodils', the daffodils are centre-stage, whereas in "Miracle on St David's Day', they are observers and are only in the background; 'Outside the daffodils are still as wax', a similie emphasizing the thought that they are not the main focus, but instead they are statues in the distance, respecting the labourer.

  1. What is the role of war poetry?

    It was also used for warrior's, who would hire poets to come and write about their deeds (and in some cause's there heroic death) so that there brave doings and courageous death could be retold again and again by others, thus making the warrior immortal in history.

  2. Write about At a Potato Digging and three other poems you enjoyed reading.

    It also adds to the generally bleak and negative semantic field which the poet creates. Heaney addresses all the senses with his imagery and hints here and there among his initial admiration and enjoyment that things are perhaps not all they seem.

  1. Catrin by Gillian Clarke, The Affliction of Margaret by William Wordsworth, On My First ...

    his father's job as a farmer and does not look down upon it. The tension in the poem continues when he describes how digging has been a family tradition for generations, and he has chosen to give it up.

  2. Compare and Contrast the parent-child relationship in 'Digging' and 'Catrin'?

    only have a small window with which to see freedom, before they are both lost together in the tangled web of parenthood. Clarke's dislike of her family resurfaces a few lines down in the second stanza. 'Still I am fighting' Her hate is tinged with a touch of sadness since

  1. How are Family Relationships shown in 4 poems (2 Pre and 2 Post 1914)

    This could also suggest that the son is perhaps disappointed or feels that he has to live by his father's rules and he can't choose how to live but then again, it can be argued that he's young and his father would know best how he should lead his life.

  2. Attitudes Apparent in Poetry Before 1914 Compared to those apparent in poetry of ...

    this is how mankind dies, then there is no point in life, even if mankind was created in image of God. The reader therefore also gets the feeling Owen is questioning God. The Great War poem, Futility, sees life as a weak and pointless thing, and asks about how one

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