Poem Analysis: War Photographer By Seamus Heaney And War Photographer

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IGCSE World Literature

Centre name: Island School, Hong Kong.

Centre number: HK010

Candidate name: Ada Ytterdal

Candidate number: 5231

Coursework Assignment 1:

Critical Essay

Question Title: How effectively do the authors of ‘Mid-Term Break’ and ‘War Photographer’ explore people’s feelings in the face of death?

Word Count: 1,236

‘Mid-Term Break’ by Seamus Heaney and ‘War Photographer’ Carol Ann Duffy both explore people’s feelings in the face of death. Heaney depicts the death of his younger brother. ‘Mid-Term Break’ is written from his point of view and shows the emotional response of the people around him. Duffy creates a grim mood of a war photographer having just returned from capturing the horrors of war. The poem displays the photographer moving between two different worlds, past and present. I will individually analyse the different techniques used in each poem to explore peoples feelings in the face of death.

In ‘Mid-Term Break’, the author focuses on the reactions of the people around him, instead of his own feelings. As suggested in the phrase, “the neighbours drove me home” his parents were too distraught to come pick him up. It also might have been that Heaney was not very close to his parents. Adding to this idea, the poet uses word such as ‘mother’ and ‘father’ to describe his parents. These are very informal words, implying he was not close to his parents.

His father was portrayed as not being his usual self. Usually he ‘took funerals
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