Carpet Weavers And Mid-Term Break By Carol Rumens And Seamus Heaney

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Through the poems, Carpet Weavers and Mid-Term Break, poets Carol Rumens and Seamus Heaney communicate a loss of innocence, interpreting expectation, perception and transformation of children in differing sets of circumstances. Both poems portray the plight of children experiencing a harsh reality that undermines social assumptions and forces responsibility upon them. In Carpet Weavers the children ascend to a premature maturity, being deprived of childhood due to their responsibility to earn money labouring in impoverished conditions. Mid-Term Break traverses the influence of bereavement on a child’s character as Heaney recounts the death of his younger brother, demonstrating his metamorphosis into an adult environment.
The act of assuming responsibility is a shared trope between the poems, representing a child’s involuntary transition into adulthood. Rumens illustrates the working conditions of the weavers contrasting it with the privileged lifestyles of children in the first world. She achieves this by placing the children at the “loom of another world”, connoting their alienation from modern society. The metaphor refers to the children being at the verge of another reality; the repetitive, arduous task at the loom making them in effect machines. It also alludes to the inescapability of their predicament, in a “world” away from freedom, oblivious to their hardships. The children adopting their family’s financial burden marks their entry into a cycle of poverty, a parlous
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