The theme of father and son relationships in Digging and Follower

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Examine the theme of father and son relationships in Digging and Follower.

In the two poems, Follower and Digging by Seamus Heaney there is an obvious, strong, father and son relationship between Seamus and his father. Seamus has written the poems in accordance to his childhood.

In both poems, there are a sign of respect for each other. In
Follower, Seamus praises his father a lot of his expertise: ‘His shoulders globed like a full sail strung,’ Seamus is describing his fathers well built shoulder muscles and how they globe out like a ships sail in the wind does. Seamus also respects the way that his fathers work is always perfect and nothing can go wrong: ‘The sod rolled over without breaking.’ Here, whilst at working in the farm, Seamus’ father rolls over the mud in perfect piles without breaking. He also says, ‘the polished sod,’ which conveys an image of perfect shiny piles of mud all neatly mounded in a row. In Digging, Heaney says how his father and his grandfather were both expert farmers, but he could never follow in their footsteps, ‘But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.’ This shows how Heaney respects them both, he uses the word ‘them’ to point out the different generations. Heaney shows some guilt for not becoming a respectable farmer like them when he says, ‘Through living roots awaken in my head.’ He is showing his guilt because both the men above him were experts at their farming jobs and he can never be like them, but he can be an expert at being a poet.

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Heaney shows a high amount of admiration towards his father in both poems. In Follower, Heaney explains how his father had the horses trained so well: ‘The horses strained at his clicking tongue.’ He is explaining that by the small click of his fathers tongue he can control the horses and do whatever he needs them to do, Heaney admires the way he does this. The use of complex farming vocabulary is used when Heaney says, ‘And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.’ And ‘At the headrig.’ The use of these words points out the fact that Heaney admires his father’s expertise ...

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This essay is an honest attempt to present a reasoned analysis of these 2 poems by Heaney. Many good points are made, mostly supported by apt references to the text. Some explanations are overlong and repetitive. Paragraph and sentence structure are well-controlled throughout most of the essay, until the concluding paragraph, when the writer lets them run away with him/her. Lexis is generally up to the task. 3 stars