Preview
Preview

Seamus Heaney's Mid-Term Break Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1190 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Midterm Break Interp

“Mid-Term Break”

Seamus Heaney’s “Mid-Term Break” is an extremely tear-jerking poem. The story begins and ends in a very depressing manner, while in between we are treated to a very vivid and blunt view of life and how it can all come to an abrupt end. While “Mid-Term Break” does use death to grab at the reader’s heart strings, the story is most likely a description of life in Heaney’s native Northern Ireland, not Heaney’s life, but a very general view of life in Northern Ireland, how it can all come to a screeching halt at the hands of others and for no apparent reason. The warring in Northern Ireland has cost a lot of lives and due to the staggering amount of those who have passed for their cause, it is easy to see it in mere numbers and not recognize the level of loss. This serves as a sort of reminder that these are people, not statistics, and through its vivid details of the child’s death, the story gives us a clearer picture of the suffering suffered by families at the structure of the rules they are forced to live by as the struggle goes on around them.

As the story opens, we are given the mood, almost entirely, in the second line. It is important to notice how Heaney uses assonance and alliteration here to emphasize the funeral sound of the bells and the feeling of time dragging by. “I sat all morning . . . counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o’clock our neighbors drove me home,” (Heaney 1-3) You get the sense of time slowly dragging by as the narrator sits in the hospital, waiting and waiting and waiting. This is due to the beginning of the stanza talking about how the narrator “sat all morning”and then it is two o’ clock in line three to show that hours have passed as he waited. It could easily be interpreted that this represents the waiting that whichever faction the author is sympathetic to in the conflict of Northern Ireland, is now going through as its members die and suffer. The waiting symbolizes the torture that those, still alive, are dealing with as their loved ones die.

The second stanza begins with the image of Heaney’s father “crying”. (Heaney 4) The father, “Big Jim Evans,”(Heaney 6) lends an image of powerful, strong man of few words, simply due to how he comments that the father “had always taken funerals in stride” (Heaney 5). This shows that Big Jim Evans is usually a source of...


... middle of paper ...


...ust have felt. There is an element of shock for the reader reading it for the first time also, when they discover who has died, and that he was a mere four years old. A description of an innocent, as children are generally portrayed as innocent and with a sense of blind faith. The death could either be that of a bystander who happened to be caught in crossfire or the infamous bombs that are used in the Northern Ireland conflict, but more than likely, its meaning to show that every casualty brings about a further setback to the conflict, and the belief is the true casualty. The death is what is in that box, and despite how long the conflict has raged, it is shown here as a child, to perhaps articulate that the belief of that faction is still in its early stages and that if more do not take up the cause, the belief will die along with those on the battlefield.

To call “Mid-Term Break” a story of the death of a four year old is selling short the conflict presently going on in Heaney’s Northern Ireland. Though, he may not reside there now, its far reaching implications on those who once resided there are unimaginable. A very sad piece about a very controversial and heated conflict.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Séamus Heaney's Mid-Term Break Essay - Séamus Heaney's Mid-Term Break 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....   [tags: Mid Term Break Seamus Heaney] 1865 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney. Essay - 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....   [tags: English Literature] 919 words
(2.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney Essay - Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney Looking first at the poem written by Seamus Heaney it portrays a very powerful and clear message. I guess that it is set in Ireland, he gives clues of this throughout the poem and as he is originally from Ireland I think that it is a safe presumption to make. Mid-Term break an incredibly sad poem. In Mid term break Seamus Heaney's tells of the tragic death of his younger brother, who was sadly killed. Seamus Heaney describes in the poem of what he did that day when he's younger brother was killed....   [tags: Papers] 1242 words
(3.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Mid-term Break by Seamus Heaney - Mid-term Break by Seamus Heaney I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home. In the porch I met my father crying-- He had always taken funerals in his stride-- And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow. The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram When I came in, and I was embarrassed By old men standing up to shake my hand And tell me they were "sorry for my trouble," Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest, Away at school, as my mother held my hand In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs....   [tags: Papers] 620 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Seamus Heaney's Mid-Term Break Essay - Midterm Break Interp “Mid-Term Break” Seamus Heaney’s “Mid-Term Break” is an extremely tear-jerking poem. The story begins and ends in a very depressing manner, while in between we are treated to a very vivid and blunt view of life and how it can all come to an abrupt end. While “Mid-Term Break” does use death to grab at the reader’s heart strings, the story is most likely a description of life in Heaney’s native Northern Ireland, not Heaney’s life, but a very general view of life in Northern Ireland, how it can all come to a screeching halt at the hands of others and for no apparent reason....   [tags: essays papers] 1190 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Strongman by Tony Curtis and Mid-term break by Seamus Heaney Essay - Strongman by Tony Curtis and Mid-term break by Seamus Heaney deal with the subject death of a family member. Compare both poems showing how the poets introduce their subjects. Which poem did you prefer and why. One of the poets, Tony Curtis, is Welsh, whilst, Seamus Heaney is Irish. Seamus Heaney has grown up on a farm in Northern Ireland with his brothers and his parents. The whole family has taken on the family business of farming, while Seamus Heaney received an education. Both poets are still alive today....   [tags: English Literature] 1223 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Out-Out by Robert Frost and Mid Term Break by Seamus Heaney Essay - Analyse the two poems Out-Out by Robert Frost and Mid Term Break by Seamus Heaney by paying particular attention to the similarities between the two poems 'Out-Out' was written by Robert Frost who was an American poet born in 1874. He moved to the New Englandfarm country, where most of his poems were inspired. 'Mid Term Break' was written by Seamus Heaney, who was born on a farm in county Londonderry in Northern Ireland. The two poems are very similar and are both about the deaths of a young child, one about a boy who loses his hand whilst using a buzz saw; unfortunately, he also loses his life....   [tags: English Literature] 1302 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Comparison of We Are Seven by William Wordsworth and Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney - Comparison of We Are Seven by William Wordsworth and Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney William Wordsworth was a defining member of the English Romantic Movement. As we can see from reading his poem, his personality and love of nature is conveyed. Wordsworth was probably inspired from his upbringing and most of his mature life living in the Lake District with picturesque landscapes influencing a true love of nature. Some describe Wordsworth as a profoundly earnest and sincere thinker who displays a high seriousness tempered with tenderness and a love of simplicity....   [tags: Papers] 535 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Comparing Robert Frost's Out Out and Seamus Heany's Mid Term Break Essay - Comparing Robert Frost's Out Out and Seamus Heany's Mid Term Break Works Cited Missing The subject of both poems is the untimely death of young people in tragic accidents rather than sickness. Strangely both boys are killed by machinery, the boy in "Out, Out-' by a mechanical saw and the boy in "Mid-Term Break" by a car. Both poems describe the reactions of the families to the deaths each of the families reacting quite differently. Both poems talk about the deaths of young boys who have older or younger siblings; one has at least one sister, while the other has an elder brother and a younger sibling....   [tags: Papers] 1583 words
(4.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Comparing Seamus Heaney Poems Follower, Mid-term Break, and Digging Essay - In this essay I will be comparing three Seamus Heaney poems we looked at in class these are called, “Follower”, “Mid-term Break” and, “Digging”. There are differences as well as similarities, the similarities include: they are all poems about and set in Seamus’ childhood memories In addition, all the poems more or less use some of the same poetic devices and techniques like: onomatopoeia and some of the same characters appear in all three poems such as like: Seamus (himself obviously) and his father....   [tags: essays research papers] 3939 words
(11.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]