Show MoreReading a story or poem about death is usually sad and overtly predictable. However, Seamus Heaney inverts this mundane typicality to deliver a poem shrouded in mystery. The main aspects of Heaney's poem Mid-Term Break are the plot development and how the diction sets the somber tone that slowly reveals the mystery.
One technique Heaney uses is diction, which aids in plot development. In the first stanza he uses words that draw out the stanza and make it seem to last a long time. In the first line the use of the word all drags out the line. The sense of time is apparent in this first stanza. The second line, Counting bells knelling classes to a close, uses words that describe him listening and counting the bells that…show more content…
The third stanza changes the focus from who died to the people gathered at the home. The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram. This line seems irrelevant in the development of plot but actually it provides detail and aids in contradicting the somber tone. It sheds light on a sad subject of which the reader is not yet fully aware. This stanza also helps draw out the plot so that the reader is still wondering what happened. The third and fourth stanzas describe what usually takes place in the homes when family members die. This aids in the development of plot because it is subtly letting the reader know that it was someone in the family but obviously not the father because he was crying and it was not the baby. Could it be the mother? Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest, Away at school, as my mother held my hand. This line tells a lot. Knowing that he is the eldest still supports the theory that maybe his mother or a grandparent died, but it is obviously not his mother. Who could it be?
The fifth stanza begins with his mother holding his hand and coughing out angry tearless sighs. The reader still does not know what is going on for sure. Action and major plot development occurs in the next line, At ten o clock the ambulance arrived with the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses. The time is now ten o clock, so a lot of time has passed since two o clock, which is actually seen in the poem with the diction,
Essay Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney.
934 Words4 Pages
Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney.
'Mid-Term Break' by the poet Seamus Heaney is about a personal experience that he has encountered. It deals with the issues of life and death in a family and also how different people cope.
The title at first suggests that the poem is going to be about a holiday, but as you get into the poem further, you realise that the title has a far deeper and darker meaning...
In the first stanza, we learn that Seamus Heaney is in a college sick bay waiting to be picked up. You get suspicious when he is being picked up his neighbour, which could indicate that something serious has happened.
Time is passing slowly, and Heaney uses alliteration to show this.
"Counting bells knelling classes to a…show more content…
For example, in a couple of the stanzas, he uses the word 'hand' to link the verses together. This is a very obvious way of using enjambement but it works really well.
As Seamus Heaney walks into the room, he talks about how he was embarrassed to see old men standing up and shaking his hand to show their respect. He is then met by his mother who is in such a state of shock and disbelief that she is coughing out angry and tearless sighs, meaning that she cannot come to terms with what has happened. We now start to realise that something has happened which would make a mother and father break down, and suggests that it is a brother or sister of the poets.
Later on in the poem, we find out that it was actually the brother who was killed. The fact that Heaney had been away at boarding school and had not seen the boy for six weeks, makes you feel sympathetic and you can almost feel Heaneys' pain by this point.
When he goes in...
"Snowdrops and candles soothed the bedside"
The snowdrops simply represent the innocence of the boy, and maybe even hint at the time of year that this had happened. The candles are to light the souls journey to heaven, and possibly also as a sign of hope for the family. Since the family are Catholic, they leave the body for friends and relatives to see and say their last goodbyes, and