The Early Purges

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The Early Purges By Seamus Heaney

In my opinion the poem focuses on the traumas of childhood, and how impressionable we are when we are young. Just like the poem ‘Nothing’s Changed’ I think this poem could be classed as an autobiographical poem expressing his emotions and telling a story of his life through this. The poem has a sad atmosphere: it is about a child who sees kittens drowning, along with many other animals being killed in various aggressive methods on a farm. At the time the child is terrified, “suddenly frightened, for days I sadly hung” but by the end of the poem the fully-grown child is doing all the deeds he was scared of when he was younger, “ I just shrug, 'Bloody pups'.” Heaney used many literary techniques to get the feelings and thoughts across effectively, this essay will look at how, and why he did this.

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The main theme of the poem is all about how we change when we grow up. The poet shows this by showing a direct contrast between the first and last line: “I was six when I first saw kittens drown” and the last line; “On well run farms pests have to be kept down.”

In the first line of the poem, the poem recalls a particular incident; “ I was six when I first saw kittens drown.” By saying the ‘first’ time Heaney, as a boy witnessed the farmhand killing kittens gives me the impression that after this incident it ...

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