Mid-Term Break Essay

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Mid-term Break Questions 1. What is strange about the speaker referring to the school bells as “knelling”? School bells don’t knell, they just ring indicating the end of a class or the end of the school. In this stanza, the author refers to the bells as “knelling” because he’s comparing them to the bells of the church, which knell at someone’s death. So the bells in reality foreshadow the death of a family member and that someone’s life has come to a close. 2. What is so unusual about his father “crying” and how does this contrast with the phrase “in his stride” on the next line? This is unusual because it shows that the father can’t keep within his formality which is expected at all Irish funerals. The father has also become weak whereas one would expect him to be strong since he is used to attending and having funerals (taken funerals in his stride). 3. What can you say about the phrase Big Jim Evans says: “it was a hard blow”? Why should this phrase be considered an effort in trying to be correct, but somehow it becomes a mistake to say? He’s trying to be euphemistic but realizes that he has said the exact same thing with the same impact and effect upon the family members using words “hard blow” which really wouldn’t be liked to use in such a serious situation and thus end up becoming embarrassing. 4. How does the image of the “baby” cooing and laughing create an awkward contrast? This is an awkward distraction and shows the obliviousness of the baby. Also, the people of the funeral don’t know whether to coo at the baby as they would normally do whenever they saw one or should they cry over his death. 5. With “old men standing up to shake [his] hand”. What does this reveal about this culture’s attitude towards funerals and why should the speaker be “embarrassed”? This shows that these

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