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

An Analysis of Digging

Extracts from this document...


Sarah Jones Period 6 August 31, 2007 The poem 'Digging' by Seamus Heaney is focused on a father-son relationship in Ireland. This eight stanza poem has no rhyme scheme and no strict structure to the lines. There are two tone shifts in this poem. The first is after the sixth stanza where the tone goes from inspirational to an unmotivated tone. The second is after stanza seven where the tone goes from apathetic back to an encouraged tone. The poem is literally about a boy watching his father work in the fields outside his window. He then goes on to explain the potato farming has run in his family for generations. The setting of this poem may be during the famous potato famine in Ireland and that would mean that the potatoes that they are planting are very important to them and to other people. ...read more.


The last three lines of the poem are the most empowering to the speaker and are where the tone changes in such a way that it seems as if the speaker has found his purpose. "Between my finger and thumb/ The squat pen rests./ I'll dig with it." (Lines 29-31) These lines show that the speaker intends to influence the world with words instead of the way his father and grandfather affected people with their work. The speaker is saying that writing can be just as hard and as influential as what his ancestors did. The fifth and sixth stanzas are emphasizing how important the job of planting potatoes is to his family and how significant it is for him to continue doing it. The speaker looks up to his father for what he does and says, "By God, the old man could handle a spade,/ Just like his old man." ...read more.


When the speaker talks about writing he says, "The squat pen rests; as snug as a gun." (Line 2) I think that when use of the word "gun" foreshadows that his writing might not be welcome with his family. A lot of people find guns worthless and a waste of time. "When the spade sinks into gravelly ground :"(Line4) This predicts that difficult decision that the speaker has to make later in the poem, whether to do what his family wants or what he wants. Digging into the ground that is full of rocks is a hard job which is why I think that this line foretells of his choice. This poem, although literally describing the process of digging and planting potatoes also describes the relationship between a son that doesn't want to do what his father ants and a father that wants his son to continue his legacy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. A Mother's Legacy In Mary Shelley's "Mathilda"

    The chief responsibility of a mother is to give her daughters a good education, but generally, mother's wish the best for their daughters and therefore encourages them to find a good husband by the methods that are described in Gregory's A Father's Legacy to his Daughters.

  2. Commentary on Seamus Heaney(TM)s Twice Shy

    The use of consonance and cacophony with the words, 'shook', 'swan' and 'swam' also is a sign of the couple's worry. 'A vacuum of need Collapsed each hunting heart.' The use of words here is effective as these words as the use of the word 'vacuum' in the beginning of

  1. Comparative Seminar Analysis- Women of Sand and Myrrh and Rasie the Red Lantern

    pleasure of sex, it is said that Maaz calls her a hermaphrodite. The theme of feminism is present as Suzanne tries to move away for the status quo but the male domination of Maaz indicates the constant female oppression. Likewise, in "Raise the Red Lantern" Songlian considers herself as that

  2. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel Chapter Analysis

    The sesame seeds foreshadow the exposure of Tita's breasts perhaps represents sexual temptation because it is what drew Pedro into the kitchen. Then instructions for the recipe are continued but describing how the almond and sesame seeds are to be prepared.

  1. Part 2- Non-fiction work

    Avondale where Caxton Press published her first book with a collection of stories, The Lagoon. In 1951, Frame made her debut as a writer for the book and won the Hubert Church Memorial Award, one of the nation's most prestigious literary prizes.

  2. History research - Early Australian bushrangers. English writing -my region and favourite authors.

    go back at least 50,000 years and some argue closer to 65,000 years. One of the reasons Aboriginal cultures have survived for so long is their ability to adapt and change over time. It was this affinity with their surroundings that goes a long way to explaining how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples survived for so many millennia.

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