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In the poem Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney, the ideas of death, trauma, grief and finality are explored. The poem portrays a boy arriving home from boarding school,

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Introduction

Background of the poem: Seamus Heaney wrote this poem as a reflection on the death of his infant brother, Christopher, who died in a car accident in 1953 when Heaney was fourteen In the poem Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney, the ideas of death, trauma, grief and finality are explored. The poem portrays a boy arriving home from boarding school, to where he is informed of the tragic death of his younger brother, whose doomed fate forever marks the narrator, whom is the boy's older brother. The boy recounts the experience of losing a loved one. The author has incorporated many elements and style distinct manner. The poem portrays a boy arriving home from school, "moaning in the college sick bay" to hear the news that his four year old brother has been killed in an accident. ...read more.

Middle

But no-one expected the death to hit quite so close to the heart. Then the poem revels that the parents no longer were the spectators of the funerals, now that their own flesh and blood had been taken away from them. The theme within the poem is subtly expressed, with an almost childlike innocence. The theme is set out in a simple manner, yet pays much attention to detail. The theme is one of "finality." Hence the title plays a huge role in the revealing of the theme. "Mid-Term Break" suggests finality of one's life and Time. Along with death brings finality, and along with finality comes the repercussions of death, such as trauma and grief for all involved. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is also an ongoing contrast between the young and old; life and death. However, the structure of the poem is free verse; therefore the poem tells a story without rhyme. This style suits the poem because it has a sad mood and each stanza reveals much of the story; a reflection of life and death. The style and language are both simple, yet distinct and therefore this helps to reveal the theme. The simplicity of the poem's content is what makes it so descriptive. The innocence is shown within the poem and a child view of death and this is reveled with language such as "Next morning I went into the room." The style of the poem uses a lot of visual images, which are detailed "Snow-drops and candles soothed the bedside," this contribute to the mood of the poem, the style and the audience's perception. ...read more.

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