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Compare and Contrast Death of a Naturalist, An Advancement of Learning

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Compare and Contrast Death of a Naturalist, An Advancement of Learning and The Early Purges. In this essay I am going to discuss ‘Death of a Naturalist’, ‘An Advancement of Learning’ and ‘The Early Purges’ by Seamus Heaney. I will focus on the similarities and differences between these poems in terms of what they are about, their language and themes. The first out of the three poems by Heaney that I have studied is ‘Death of a Naturalist’. This poem is about Heaney as a young child, exploring a field. He comes across frogspawn and remembers when his teacher would tell him about how the “Daddy frog was called a bull frog”, “and how the mammy frog laid hundreds of little eggs and this was frogspawn”. Heaney then writes about when he used to steal the frog spawn and put it into a jam jar for school, and how he would watch them grow into tadpoles. When he finishes describing what he did, Heaney starts a new stanza. The mood changes in stanza in this stanza. Heaney describes the frogs as angry, and that they were croaking in a way he had never heard; “The air was thick with a bass chorus.” Heaney claims in the poem, that the frogs were angry at him for stealing the frogspawn when he was younger. Heaney “sickened, turned and ran.” The second poem entitled “An Advancement of Learning”. This poem is about Heaney taking a walk along an embankment and coming across a rat that was crawling out of the river. Heaney writes “I turned down the path in cold sweat”. However he comes across another rat. Heaney claims that the rat was staring at him, “insidiously listening”. He describes the rat having “raindrop” eyes. Heaney stares back at the rat – “forgetting how he used to panic” when he lived on a farm. The rat “... ... middle of paper ... ... In conclusion, the main similarities between the three poems are in the language used. By this I mean that of particular phrases such as war words and the usage of similes and alliteration and the fact that they are all about animals and fear. The main differences are that “The Early Purges” is a different structure to the other two poems. I have learnt about parts of Seamus Heaney’s childhood and his coping with fear. I have also learnt different techniques to use in poems, for example alliteration. I have enjoyed the excitement Heaney builds up in each poem. My favourite poem is “An Advancement of Learning” because I can understand and picture everything Heaney describes. Also it is my most preferred poem due to the fact I can relate to confronting a fear and not having a path to turn to and then the fear swam away from me, so I can relate to the story.
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