- Term Papers and Free Essays

Compare The Ways By Which Heaney Conveys His Thoughts And Feelings In Mid-Term Break And Death Of A Naturalist

Essay by   •  January 3, 2011  •  1,193 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,538 Views

Essay Preview: Compare The Ways By Which Heaney Conveys His Thoughts And Feelings In Mid-Term Break And Death Of A Naturalist

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

Compare The Ways By Which Heaney Conveys His Thoughts And Feelings

Death of a Naturalist & Mid-Term Break

Heaney has many different ways of conveying his thoughts and feelings in these two poems. I feel the first and most obvious is in the titles. Death of a Naturalist is straightaway obviously more dreadful than his other title, any reader upon seeing the word death is shocked. However the title, Mid-Term Break is much more subtle, even though it is the more awful of the two poems, it doesn’t seem that way in the title. However, upon further inspection of the titles, you can appreciate that Death of a Naturalist could have two meanings. The title could either mean the physical death of a person attached to nature, a naturalist, or it could mean the death of a naturalistic personality beheld inside the person in question.

The next comparison I came to was the use of line breaks. In Death of a Naturalist Heaney uses line breaks to maximum effect. In the first line of the first verse, Heaney writes, “All year the flax-dam festered in the heart”. He ends the line on a bit of a cliff-hanger as you don’t know who the heart belongs too and also the word вЂ?festered’ makes the вЂ?flax-dam’ sound like a cancer of the heart. Only until you reach the second line are all of these issues resolved. Heaney uses many line breaks in this poem, another one I found had most effect was in the second stanza. Heaney writes, “Then one hot day when fields were rankвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ This is automatically changes the tone of the poem, showing the change of heart, the character in the poem, has had towards nature. In the second stanza Heaney continues to use line breaks for almost every line, this means there is a moment of suspense after every line. In Mid-Term Break, Heaney does use line breaks, but not for shock-factor. I feel that in Mid-Term Break the author’s line breaks are used so the reader stops to contemplate about all the emotions in each line. For example in the first line second verse, Heaney writes, “In the porch I met my father cryingвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ I think this is very effective as it makes you stop to think about the tragedy that has happened to make a grown man cry. I believe this line is also successful in putting the reader in the right mood for the rest of the poem. Heaney then goes on to say, “He had always taken funerals in his strideвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ The poet enters another break. I deem this as the best line break in the poem as it lets you put the previous line together with the line you are presently reading. This causes the already sad scene to be more unpleasant. I believe is does this because who have already established that it is a grown man crying, you then find out that the grown man is fairly familiar with death and funerals, but you also realise that someone has died in the poem, the first hint at what the rest of the poem is to contain.

My next discovery of how Heaney conveys his thoughts and feelings is his choice of language. In Death of a Naturalist uses many words which are quite repulsive to show a child’s happiness when playing with mud and frog spawn. Heaney writes, “But best of all was the warm thick slobber of frogspawnвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ It is written much like a child telling his mother of his day. Heaney uses very heavy words in this sentence such as slobber. Slobber is often associated with dog dribble, making your first thoughts of this phrase rather disgusting. However, whilst the reader may find the choice of words revolting, they are chosen to show how an innocent child doesn’t see anything wrong with вЂ?the warm thick slobber of frogspawn’, but as he enters adulthood he will perceive the slobber of frogspawn like the rest of the adults, with disgust. This is exactly what happens in the poem. It shows the transformation from childhood to adolescence, the love for slobber to the hate for slobber. In Mid-Term Break Heaney



Download as:   txt (6.8 Kb)   pdf (88.8 Kb)   docx (10.7 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on