Literary Analysis Of Mid-Term Break By Seamus Heaney

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Distant Grief Author Seamus Heaney, in the poem “Mid-Term Break,” gives the reader a snapshot of death, detached from any emotional perspective, using narration, imagery, and foreshadowing. This event greatly affected the young poet and he recalls to the reader his memory the events precisely to the hour, with bells dismissing classes at two o’clock, to the ambulance arriving at ten o’clock. The speaker in the poem, assumed to be the poet himself, a young college student returns home mid-semester to attend the funeral of his 4 year old brother at his family’s home. The older brother finds his sibling lying in a small coffin, the color drained from his little cheeks. With the death of his young brother, Heaney is moved to write about the experience and in turn he gives the reader a somber look at death in his family. One of the examples seen of literary devices used in the poem is in the use of narration. Seamus Heaney wrote “Mid-Term Break” from the perspective of a first person narrator, with the main character assumed to be the poet himself, to recall the events surrounding the death of his younger brother. Haney uses the narration to try and separate himself from the reality of his brother’s…show more content…
For the majority of the poem, a lot of information is only hinted to the reader through the use of foreshadowing. This extensive use of foreshadowing also serves to distance the narrator from what is happening around him, putting him in an almost observatory state. The narrator sees his father and mother crying, his neighbors and family friends offering their condolences, and the ambulance arriving with the corpse are all hinting to the death of his brother. The reader does not get an idea of even who has died until the very end, knowing only that the death has greatly affected the narrator and his
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