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The theme of father and son relationships in Digging and Follower

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Examine the theme of father and son relationships in Digging and Follower. In the two poems, Follower and Digging by Seamus Heaney there is an obvious, strong, father and son relationship between Seamus and his father. Seamus has written the poems in accordance to his childhood. In both poems, there are a sign of respect for each other. In Follower, Seamus praises his father a lot of his expertise: 'His shoulders globed like a full sail strung,' Seamus is describing his fathers well built shoulder muscles and how they globe out like a ships sail in the wind does. Seamus also respects the way that his fathers work is always perfect and nothing can go wrong: 'The sod rolled over without breaking.' Here, whilst at working in the farm, Seamus' father rolls over the mud in perfect piles without breaking. He also says, 'the polished sod,' which conveys an image of perfect shiny piles of mud all neatly mounded in a row. ...read more.


This shows that just by watching the way his father is ploughing the fields, he immediately wants to do this in the future and become just like him. In Digging, Seamus immediately in the beginning describes his father digging into a hard gravely surface, 'When the spade sinks into gravely ground.' Seamus is explaining his admiration of how his father is able to dig into the rough, hard-to-dig gravel surface; this is also highlighted by the rough sounding alliteration of 'gravely ground' and the ease of him digging into the hard surface is shown by the sibilance of 'spade sinks'. Obvious admiration of his father and his grandfather is shown when he says, 'By god, the old man could handle a spade. Just like his old man.' Heaney is jumping from this generation to his grandfather to show how he admires his grandfather's expertise and his fathers. There is also a sense of inadequacy between the two. ...read more.


In Digging, when Heaney is talking about how he cannot be like his father and his grandfather, he try's to cover for it by saying, 'The squat pen rests. I'll dig with it.' He is trying to show that he is an expert at writing and his spade is his pen and he will dig with the pen instead of feeling guilty that he did not become a farmer like his forefathers. He shows guilt because he did not continue the tradition. End of paragraph. In conclusion, a proper father-son relationship is shown using the aspects of Admiration of Heaney towards his fathers skills and expertise, the Childs inadequacy to become like his father and the reasons in which he will never be like him or his grandfather, the respect Heaney has for his hard-working, skilled and relentless father and the guilt Heaney eventually feels after not perusing the traditional job as a farmer and not showing that he could also become an expert like his forefathers. The End. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay is an honest attempt to present a reasoned analysis of these 2 poems by Heaney. Many good points are made, mostly supported by apt references to the text. Some explanations are overlong and repetitive.

Paragraph and sentence structure are well-controlled throughout most of the essay, until the concluding paragraph, when the writer lets them run away with him/her. Lexis is generally up to the task.

3 stars

Marked by teacher Jeff Taylor 13/08/2013

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