Mid-Term Break Essay

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Mid-Term Break One of the main themes of the poem 'Mid-Term Break' by Seamus Heaney is 'grief'. I intend to examine the way Heaney conveys this theme, through a discussion of the poetic techniques used. The poem 'Mid-Term Break' deals with a young boy having to face his emotions after the death of his younger brother. Having been taking out from boarding school early, Seamus arrived home and was confronted with his grief stricken family. He hadn't seen his younger brother in six weeks and when he got to, it was in his coffin. We find out that the young child was only four years old at the end of the poem. From the first stanza, Seamus' word choice suggests the poem will have an upsetting theme. The word "knelling" would usually describe the sound made by funeral bells, so this implies that the bells are ringing mournfully. Of course, they are school bells, not funeral bells, but the word "knelling" suggests that the narrator feels sad. The implication is that this is going to be with an unhappy theme. The theme is made explicit when the narrator arrives at the family home. Being a farmer his father normally took birth and death easily, but this was one death he couldn't cope with. "In the porch I met my father crying..." this shows with being a strong man his father was vulnerable and embarrassed about the death and didn't want friends or family to see him so weak. As a reader of the poem I felt sorrow for his dad as he is portrayed as the strong member of the family but in this case he is seen by Seamus in his emotion state of mind. He usually would stand by his family, but I feel that he is too upset about the death of his son to face the sorrows of his friends. The reactions of the other people in the house are also made clear. The writer, Seamus Heaney is confronted by a room full of strangers and was embarrassed by the maturity that had been
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