Mid Term Break Seamus Heaney Analysis

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In the poem “Mid-Term Break,” Seamus Heaney expresses the reality that death provokes in a family and within himself through the use of devices such as emotional diction and symbols.
First off, Heaney begins the piece by having the speaker observe the family members around him, seeing all the grief and sorrow that has engulfed them from the tragic death of his little brother. The family members observed are rather openly distressed, for they seem to express their feelings rather than contain them. For instance, the speaker states how when he first gets home he “met [his] father crying,” which may not seem too unrealistic for this type of scenario. However, by using a father figure in this instance, a sense of irony is created; men are normally
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Furthermore, the speaker is also able implement more ‘natural’ occurrences of expressed emotion, as seen in women through society’s perspective of social norms. As the speaker explains how his mother is responding to the situation of death, he uses phrasing such as “coughed out angry tearless sighs” in order to emphasize the emotion felt by his family members. The use of emotional diction, such as “angry” and “tearless” works to in order to reach out for the audience’s compassion to try to help them relate to the family’s grief-stricken souls, in addition to feeling the true meaning of death. As a result of this, the reader can also begin to understand the severity of death that the speaker is surrounded by, which can be seen through the “counting bells knelling classes to a close.” Normally, a bell can be used to signify an event of greatness celebration or pain, yet when the word “knelling” is used, it indicates a sorrowful mourning period that the speaker foreshadows. In addition to this, the personification of the bells also goes to show the connection
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