The theme and tone throughout “Mid-term Break” being expressed in a simplistic manner, (yet pays a lot of attention to detail) reflects the boy’s voice. The title plays a part in revealing the main theme; death. At first the reader thinks the title “mid-term break” is deliberately misleading for affect, but as you look at it more it has another meaning. “Mid-term”, meaning in the middle. So the title means that the boy’s life has been broken, he has died in the middle of his life. He has died too young.
Mid-term Break opens with a boy “Sitting the college sick bay”; the reader assumes that the boy speaking is ill, “Counting knelling classes to a close”. Immediately the theme of death in introduced to us, with a knell being a funeral bell, this begins to give the poem a sombre tone, as the reader can hear the bell in their head. It is also like the “classes to a close” is the boy’s life coming to en end. The first stanza in particularly effectiv...
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...e has become more peaceful and relaxed overnight. In this half quite a bit of light/colour imagery has been used, for example, “snowdrops”, “candles”, and “paler”. Along with these words, the fact that he says “I went up” makes the atmosphere heavenly and pure. Although dead the boy is portrayed as angelic and perfect, as there are no scars.
“Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple”. This lays emphasis on how the boy’s death was unnatural and so unfair; as the “poppy” is associated with war, soldiers, young soldiers who were too young to die!
At the end of the poem the boy says “A four foot box, a foot for every year”. This is an excellent ending. It is shocking, as it is very blunt and straight to the point. The fact that it rhymes with the previous line means that it stays in the readers head, haunting them.
Mid-term break by Seamus Heaney
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- Reading 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... [tags: Heaney Mid-Term Break Poem Poetry Essays]
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1841 words (5.3 pages)
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1242 words (3.5 pages)
- 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]
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