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

The opposition between architectonic masculinity and female feeling for mystery and divination underlines much of Heaney’s writing and may be seen in the two part divisions of Wintering Out and North

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sarah Bailiff                Yr 12 Lit

Seamus Heaney Long Essay

Question 4

“The opposition between architectonic masculinity and female feeling for mystery and divination underlines much of Heaney’s writing and may be seen in the two part divisions of Wintering Out and North[1]. In literature, representations of femininity and masculinity may be seen in terms of contests for power and possession. In Heany’s work, the representations of gender can be read as two opposing yet complimentary representations of gender interactions. The first of which, can be seen in ‘Tollund Man’, from Wintering Out, 1972. The poem represents “a woman who dooms, destroys, puzzles and encompasses the man”[2]. In this poem, Heaney conveys the seductive power of the bog  goddess, and the weakness of the unearthed ‘bridegroom’. The poem functions to comment on Heaney’s society, by relating it to the fate of the Tolland man, yet it also represents the power held by women in a gendered hierarchy created by foundations of fear. This was due to the way Irish society related ordinary women to ideas of Mary, the mother of god, and Celtic mythological heroines. In the poem, the bog is represented as a place of sex and marriage, but also as a place of execution and necrophilia.

...read more.

Middle

“I could risk blasphemy,

Consecrate the cauldron bog

Our holy ground and pray

Him to make germinate”

The religious instances of part two are particularly important in the construction of women in terms of power and possession as it reinforces the fears produced by men, by likening women to the mythological goddess in part one, and here, a representation of religious sacrament, or mother Mary, in part two. Mary’s role as the embodiment of maternity reinforces a biological instance on a woman’s function as reproducer.

Adoration of her paradoxical virginity masks a hatred of the unclean female body and denial of female desire. This belief is what drives the poem to function as a representation of the imagery of woman that drove men to misogamy. The hatred of ‘unclean’ women, teamed with the imagery of the ‘goddess’ raping a corpse in order to ensure the renewal and fertility of the territory. It depicts the idea that the goddess seduces ‘bridegrooms’ to satisfy her female desire and her biological instance to reproduce.  This imagery shows that women are portrayed as the dominant sex particularly to the male inclination to fear them. However, this religious reference also likens the bog to that of a Holy place “Our holy ground and pray”.

...read more.

Conclusion

*2137 words*


[1]  “The poetry of Seamus Heaney ” (Gender, colonialism, nationalism); edited by Elmer Andres – Pg 120

[2],3 “The poetry of Seamus Heaney ” (Gender, colonialism, nationalism); edited by Elmer Andres – Pg 128

* “Seamus Heaney – New Selected Poems 1866-1987”; Faber and Faber, London, 1990

** “The oxford English Dictionary” C.T. Onions, 1983, Oxford University Press

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations 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 Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations essays

  1. the representation of women in Greek tragedies

    Yet, it is impossible to separate Medea's actions from the limitations placed upon her by a chauvinistic society. Medea's opening speech to the Chorus eloquently emphasizes the injustices that befell women in ancient Greece. While Athens was the birthplace of democracy, Euripides shows that this was a privilege reserved only for wealthy adult males.

  2. Investigation on the shape and size of limpets on a sheltered rocky shore called ...

    At the vertical height of 3m from chart datum all the results looked quiet ordinary, however there was the following height/base ratios which did seem out of place. Lower Shore 3m Number Height (mm) Base (mm) Height/ Base Ratio 13 17 26 0.65 The above measurement of limpet number 13

  1. Is there a difference between male and female conversational styles in today's society?

    1Peter Trudgill found that men "tend to use ain't whereas women use isn't". However in this conversation it is the female who uses the term 'ain't'. Similarly 'gonna' is used instead of 'going' and 'wiv' is used instead of 'with'.

  2. An eating disorder is a serious disruption of a persons eating habits, it some ...

    The often occurrence of other mental disorders suggests that it might not be bulimia that is inherited but a genetic weakness to mental disorders. A more recent study has no concluded that 83% of cases are genetically influenced and that anorexia is only 58%.

  1. I believe that women are less threatening and more polite in conversation with members ...

    or you had a years sentence (.) what happens to the female who has been violated? How do you think they cope? (.) I actually spent (.) it took me two years to get over this (.) I had (.) I did have and eating problem when I was a kid, but I got over that (.)

  2. Critique: Too Much In Mangaia by Donald S. Marshall, focuses upon "Sex-sex for pleasure ...

    There is no evidence of homosexuality on Mangaia. For Mangaian girls, the first sexual experience with a man rarely results in marriage. Once married, a Mangaian male emphasizes more on the amount of evenings he can copulate rather than the amount of orgasms.

  1. Was Plato’s View of the Nature and Capabilites of Women any More Positive than ...

    So we have arrived at a scenario which is familiar when reading into Plato's 'feminism'. There are cases where Plato appears to advocate complete equality between certain men and certain women, to allow them to participate in the same upbringing and education, to give them the same

  2. Statistics coursework part 1

    25 26 51 Total 181 174 355 Based on the number given of males and females in my stratified sample I am going to use these samples of 30% of each gender in order to make my frequency density histogram of the males and females weights During this I used

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