Critical Essay On Mid-Term Break

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
the

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Mid-Term Break- Critical Evaluation

1865 WordsJun 11th, 20068 Pages

Critical Essay-Poetry
"Mid-Term Break"
Darren Parker

Séamus Heaney's "Mid-Term Break" is among the few poems that have emotionally moved me. The writer uses many techniques including similes, metaphors and beautiful lexical choice to convey the sombre and miserable situation of his brother's death. In this essay I am going to analyse the language of the poem and discuss, in more detail, the techniques used to convey the real sadness of the situation.

"Mid-Term Break" is a very emotive poem in which Séamus Heaney reflects on the untimely demise of his little brother Christopher and explains what was going through his mind at that time. The poem's title suggests a holiday but this "break" does not happen for pleasant reasons. For most of…show more content…

"I was embarrassed by old men standing up to shake my hand and tell me they were "sorry for my troubles" whispers informed strangers"

The writer clearly illustrates that when he enters his home, his first emotion is embarrassment as a result of hand shaking from old men who do not really know how Heaney feels or how they themselves should react. The emotion of embarrassment is unusual for a young boy of Heaney's age to experience at this time for his brother has just died and most people would be depressed and miserable. In addition, in a very hushed atmosphere, Heaney noticed that strangers were whispering about him which must have made him felt very uncomfortable.

"the ambulance arrived with the corpse"

When the day has passed and night falls, the child's body is returned home however, Heaney sees this as a "corpse" and not a person. This therefore proves that Heaney has not come to terms yet with the fact that he has lost his brother forever which emphasises how heartbreaking the situation was. I think that the poet has been very effective here as he has efficiently elucidated how he felt in the company of the people who attended his brother's funeral. The writer uses an enjambment which has great effect on us. Furthermore the writer uses cold and clinical lexical choice which illustrate that he is

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