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The parent child relationship can have highs and lows. Compare how this is shown in 'Digging', 'The Afflictions of M.' 'One my first Sonne' & your choice of Clarke poem.

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Introduction

The parent child relationship can have highs and lows. Compare how this is shown in "Digging", "The Afflictions of Margaret" "On my first Sonne" & your choice of Clarke poem. "Digging" by Seamus Heaney, shows how the author looked up to his father and grandfather. He sees his father, who is now old, "straining" to dig "flowerbeds", the poet recalls him in his prime, digging "potato drills". Even earlier, he remembers his grandfather, digging peat. He cannot match "men like them" with a spade, but he sees that the pen is, "snug as a gun", more comfortable for him and with it he will dig into his past and celebrate them. This poem is about two memories, Heaney's father digging the potato drills and his grandfather digging turf, "more than any other man on Toner's bog". The poet has admiration and respect for his father and grandfather. However, he also feels disappointed with himself and unworthy as he can not continue their occupation as a digger. He use onomatopoeia in words such as "gravelly", "sloppily", "squelch" and "slap" and auditory description so the readers can create an image more easily. Also, Heaney uses an extended metaphor of digging and roots, which shows how in his writing, he is getting back to his own roots, his identity, and where his family comes from. ...read more.

Middle

She sees this now as two individuals struggling to become "separate" and shouting "to be two, to be ourselves". Their personalities clash. The second section tells what happened. Neither has "won nor lost the struggle" but it "has changed us both". The poet is still fighting off her daughter who can tug at her feelings by pulling "that old rope". The mother seems very much to want to be able to agree to the request to play out, and it hurts her to say no. This is because she foresees an argument with a strong-willed teenager. But she cannot give in - both because it would be irresponsible to allow the skating, and because it would be even more unwise to allow her daughter to think that she was winning the struggle. In contrast to all the other poems, "Catrin" is unique as it is the only poem to consist of two stanzas which in between has a break which could symbolise the growth of the child into a teenager. This poem has some striking images. The metaphor of a "red rope of love" is the umbilical cord. The image is repeated, as "that old rope". This image of an invisible umbilical cord is that which ties parents and children even when the children grow up. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, to conclude with, I would say that all the poems show that the parent child relationship can be strong and full of respect. The relationship may be too strong like in "Catrin" where Clarke describes "We want, we shouted, to be two, to be ourselves" or in "On my first Sonne" where after his son has died Jonson feels as though he can no longer love anything as much as before which shows that they may have been too closely connected. Also, in "Digging" the relationship between Heaney, his father and grandfather is full of respect and aspiration. However, some of the poems also show that the parent child relationship can have lows. For example, in "Catrin" there is a feel of anger and tension as the parent and child relationship wants to become separate. Also, in "The Afflictions of Margaret", if the relationship is very distant and just about broken then it can cause a lot of distress, suffering and trauma. Additionally, in "On my first Sonne", Jonson feels as though he can no longer love anything as much as before his child's death. He has to become less attached to many things as he may get hurt again. These two poems show that a strong relationship between a parent and child may not necessary be the right thing to create as once it breaks and gets destroyed, it is very hard to mend or find a replacement. ...read more.

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