Deciding Your Own Future: Seamus Heaney's Digging

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The art of living is difficult to master especially when it comes to creating one’s own model to follow. Perhaps this is because of our lack of world knowledge. Or maybe it’s the fear of failing that keeps us from exploring new opportunities. Possibly it’s just because we live our whole lives trying to figure out how to live. Hence, it is common for most children to embody the character traits, occupational goals, and creative interest of their parents. While children who follow their parents footsteps find it to be acceptable, it is important that children follow a path of their own creation to transmit knowledge in their own unique style and even provide encouragement to the ones who instilled qualities in them. While it is acceptable for children to mirror the lives of their parents this particular process of growing up does not allow the children to decide for themselves what the future will be like for them. As evident in “Digging” by Seamus Heaney, the writer decides that’s while his father and grandfather were good at what they did, his dreams, desires, and focus were on another path which lead him to conclusion “I’ll dig with it” (Heaney 31). The use of the word “dig” creates a parallel that suggest that the writer plans to be as skilled with his pen as his father and grandfather were with their tools. The writer ambitiously decides that he wanted to follow his own path according to his own interest while still highlighting the importance of the work done by his predecessors. Had he followed the occupational example of his father and grandfather it is evident that the writer would have been unhappy as expressed in the imagery used to describe the work his father did. Conversely, the poem “Axe Handles” by Gary Snyder supp... ... middle of paper ... ...n says “…every man has two educators: 'that which is given to him, and the other that which he gives himself. Of the two kinds the latter is by far the more desirable. Indeed all that is most worthy in man he must work out and conquer for himself”(Woodson 126). This leads me to the conclusion that although following ones parents may seem ideal, it is better for children to develop and pursue their own ambitions for Works Cited Baraka, Amiri. "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note." Read A Little Poetry. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. Heaney, Seamus. "Digging." By Seamus Heaney : The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. Snyder, Gary. "Gary Snyder:Axe Handles." Gary Snyder:Axe Handles. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. Woodson, Carter Godwin, and H. Khalif. Khalifah. The Mis-education of the Negro. Drewryville, VA: Khalifah's ellers, 2006. N. pag. Print.

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