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

    The second poem I have chosen to examine is 'Mid-Term Break.' It explores the feelings of Seamus Heaney and his family about the death of his four year old brother. Although the poem is not overly sentimental, it contains a lot of emotion, and gives the reader a good insight

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

    sogged remains Turn mealy and crisp as old summer dung" The wet effect again comes into play, with the word 'sogged' being used. More imagery is used in the form of a simile; 'Turn mealy and crisp as old summer dung' The simile helps the reader think of other mealy and crisp items, most of them won't be very pleasant.

  1. Discusssome of the ways in which Seamus Heaney makes use of the past in ...

    Onomatopoeia is used often throughout the poem 'rasping', 'sloppily' and 'squelch and slap', this engages the reader's attention by imagining that they are with the poet, hearing those sounds. By repeating the words 'digging' and 'roots' it "shows how the poet, in his writing, is getting back to his own roots (his identity, and where his family comes from)".

  2. How does Heaney make his childhood experiences in rural Ireland vivid?

    We know this because it says, "when shrill pups are prodded to drown I just shrug, bloody pups" Saying that we know that he has no problem with killing animals. So he is now like Dan Taggart. One way that Seamus Heaney makes his childhood experience vivid to the readers is by the use of oxymoron.

  1. 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)

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

    His father was crying and this was entirely out of character and the family friend Jim Evans was there. Old men greet the child and shake his hand. The poem ends with a change of scene and time, as the child enters the room of his dead brother the next

  1. Critical Analysis of Poems by Seamus Heaney

    be taken to represent the private space which he longs for, himself and his wife, away from the public eye. However, the next couple of lines show how he didn't always get what he wanted: "To build a wall" this is saying that although he wants his private space away from the world, possibly to spend time with Marie, "Yearly...

  2. Looking at the poems in Death of a Naturalist discuss how Heaney use’s language ...

    an example or enjanbement (run on lines, making you want to read on". In his language Heaney uses metaphor for example "Roots" as a metaphor for Irish history and language. Sounds are used, such as "Clean rasping sound" another example of enjanbement, he does this to bring you into the poem and read on with interest.

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