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

With close reference to at least three poems by Seamus Heaney, explore the ways in which he makes his feelings and opinions about life in rural Irelandvivid for the reader.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

With close reference to at least three poems by Seamus Heaney, explore the ways in which he makes his feelings and opinions about life in rural Ireland vivid for the reader. Seamus Heaney was born in Northern Ireland in 1939, where he lived in the countryside on a farm. Even though he was technically British, Heaney was a Catholic and believed that Northern Ireland should be part of the Republic of Ireland not Great Britain. The conflict of the situation in Northern Ireland had a great effect on him as a child and as an adult, and this is evident in his poems. Many of his poems involve his life as a child and what it was like to grow up in rural Ireland. This can be seen in "The Death of a Naturalist", "The Early Purges" and "Digging". Seamus Heaney is very effective at making the images he creates vivid for the reader. In "The Death of a Naturalist" Seamus Heaney writes about a flax-dam that he used to visit as a child. The dam was smelly and rotting but Heaney still liked it, he would take frogspawn from the dam. One day Heaney found that the tadpoles had developed into frogs at the dam and he ran because he was scared that they were going to take revenge on him. ...read more.

Middle

At first he was upset and frightened, but later in the poem he changes his mind and thinks that if a farm is going to be run properly things like that have to be done. The way he changes his mind and becomes uncaring suggests that life in rural Ireland is hard drowning kittens has to be done to keep the farm going. There is a big contrast between his feelings as a boy and his later feelings as a man. Like in "The Death of a Naturalist" Seamus Heaney uses the technique of storytelling to make "The Early Purges" vivid for the reader, it makes them imagine themselves in that position, feeling what Heaney did for the kittens. Seamus Heaney uses vulgar language in "The Early Purges", "the scraggy wee shits" (line 2), "bloody pups", (line 21). This is effective in making the poem vivid because it shocks the reader and makes the poem more interesting for them. This kind of language shows that there is no pity or sorrow when killing the animals, they are not cared about or respected, they are just "pests". The poem is about a young child and so it has a na�ve feel about it, and this language is a great contrast to this. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is used at the beginning and the end of the poem. Seamus Heaney repeats the word "digging" throughout this poem; it reminds the reader of what Heaney is writing about and keeps a constant picture of farming and digging in the reader's mind. Heaney uses sensory imagery to make the image of the digging vivid, "The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap Of soggy peat" (lines 25-26). This description appeals to the reader's senses of smell and sound and makes the reader recreate the scene for themselves. Seamus Heaney not only writes about the digging, but also the effect of it, "scatter new potatoes" (line 14). His grandfather was "heaving sods over his shoulder" (line 22-23). This creates a vivid image because the reader can see the turf thrown everywhere. Seamus Heaney uses a great variety of different techniques that are successful in making "The Death of a Naturalist", "Digging", and "The Early Purges" vivid for the reader. They show his childhood was like in rural Ireland and what his thoughts and feelings are. All three of these poems show that life on an Irish farm can be cruel, harsh, dirty and smelly, but despite this Heaney still likes and enjoys it. His poems are honest and tell what life is really like, they show the reader what rural Ireland really is. ...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

    Seamus Heaney's poems explore the loss of childhood and the cruel awakening into the ...

    4 star(s)

    We are alone in adulthood. It is dangerous and dark. Adulthood is boring and monotonous too. There is a sinister tone to the poem. It is almost chilling. What seems to be a normal place is now frightening and creepy. It transforms a normal farmyard barn into an adult apparition, full of doom and insecurity.

  2. 'The Early Purges' by Seamus Heaney focuses on the traumas of childhood, and how ...

    killing these animals; rats eat grain stores, rabbits chew crops, old hens are useless, and crows attack lambs. Also these animals (with the exception of the hens) are also free, they are not in any way helpless, they are free to escape to the best of their ability, the idea

  1. Compare and contrast the way Seamus Heaney and D.H Lawrence depict childhood feelings and ...

    Seamus Heaney, as a poet, would undoubtedly have a wide range of vocabulary; showing that the poet wanted to convey that it was written from a child's point of view. This makes the poem even more poignant and emotionally distressing to the reader.

  2. GCSE English Seamus Heaney - 'At a Potato Digging', 'Follower', 'Death ...

    On My First Sonne - Poems explore the relationship that exists between fathers and their children - sense of affection in both poems. Sonnet - Description of the natural world and a sense of affection / ease with the natural world.

  1. Critical Analysis of Poems by Seamus Heaney

    This reference to Bluebeard may simply relate to his love of nature and blackberries. Although Heaney knows that the berries he picks will rot, he is still driven to pick them, just as Bluebeards wives were driven to open the closet.

  2. How Seamus Heaney Evokes the Sensations and Emotions of Childhood by Comparing any Three ...

    Day" but not in the other poems because there is no need for it. 'The house would stink acrid as a sulphur mine' (Line 27) describes the aftermath of "Churning Day", how it would stink. Heaney's other use of the sense of smell is 'sour-breathed milk' (Line 33)

  1. "Both Seamus Heaney and Carol Anne Duffy explore childhood in their poems - What ...

    His poems are very simple and he makes "Mid-Term Break" as simple as he can get it. The last line of "Mid-Term Break" is very striking: "A four foot box, a foot for every year" It is so striking to us because of the finality of the statement.

  2. The Early Purges by Seamus Heaney.

    This may suggest that even Dan may feel a little sorry to those animals he killed. The poet also describes the kittens' struggling before death by the phrase 'like mad'. The phrase 'like mad' has two meanings, one is the sound when the kittens try to get out, and the

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