Seamus Heaney Poem Analysis

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Written task 2- How and why is a social group represented in a particular way? Seamus Heaney is a well-known Irish poet who had a Roman Catholic upbringing in rural Northern Ireland, his poetry is subject to, but not limited to the themes of nature, loss of child hood innocence and life around the farm. This text shall explore how and why Heaney portrays farmers within his poetry. Heaney grew up in and around farms and was raised by a family who worked the land for generations, thus his experience around the farm and gradual realization of how farms/farming works have led to a distinct portrayal of farmers. Heaney was the first member of his family who grew up not to become a farmer, thus his statement “I will dig with it” refers to his…show more content…
“Worked with fine intent until your fingers moved somnambulant” (line 10). This shows the skill of the farmers is so natural that they are somnambulant. Meaning that they move like they are sleepwalking, or the skill required to make the little straw figure is so natural that it is almost of second nature or like “sleepwalking” to his father (also a farmer). Moreover in the poem of digging the skill of farmers are described through the skill of using the plough and his spade. He (Heaney’s father) knew how to "handle a spade" (line 15). This shows the expertise and Heaney’s admiration toward his father and the extent of his skill with using his shovel. All in all the use of their skilled hands to make fine objects and the skill of using the spade shows the great and wider varied set of skills possessed by farmers in…show more content…
“I first saw kittens drown, Dan Taggart pitched them and drowned them, 'The scraggy wee shits '. The efficient and ruthlessness way of killing animals show the ruthlessness of the farmers“ (lines 2-3). Later on after he kills the cats he states that 'Sure, isn 't it better for them now? (line 7), this shows us that even though he violently killed the kittens it shows that he has reasoning behind the purges, which is to not let them suffer. Moreover Heaney states that he also went on to kill and snap the back of old hens and vermin’s, which go on to show that these are his chores, and were he not to “purge”, or cull these pests on the farm, they would be infested and diseased and would disable it from running at full levels of efficiency. Conclusively the ruthlessness of the farmers is justified by making the lives of their family easier by killing of pests, thus making farm more
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