1051 Words5 Pages
Overtime, the meanings of words have been stripped away from their original definitions. An example where this is seen is with the word tragedy. When one thinks of the word tragedy, they often connect it to sad situations. Yet, the definition of tragedy is much more than sad situations, and is defined as "an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe." Although the two literary works of Seamus Heaney's "Midterm Break", and Ernest Hemmingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" may be considered tragedies, "Hills Like White Elephants" and its classification to the category of a tragedy, can be debated, since it doesn't meet the requirements of what a tragedy is. This is because it deals with a couple battling a tough decision that has the power to change both of their lives forever. "Midterm Break", however, depicts a true tragedy that pertains to the death of a loved one. From the title of "Midterm Break", the reader wouldn't necessarily associate death with the concept of the poem. Within the first stanza, there is more distorted information such as "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." This introduces the speaker, a college student who remained nameless throughout the poem, and suggests that he was returning home for a conventional break from school. Jumping ahead to the last few stanzas, the reader discovers that the college student had a four year old brother as seen in the final line "A four foot box, a foot for every year." From the line "No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear," the reader is told that the younger brother was killed after being h... ... middle of paper ... the child on her own. Either way, the relationship between Jig and her lover staying the same is unlikely and although that may cause some type of suffering and distress, it would be Jigs own decision, not a serious accident or catastrophe. Seamus Heaney's "Midterm Break" provided an idea that no one is prepared for the death of a loved one. Ernest Hemmingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" presented a controlling idea that helped to explain that relationships are tricky and the love of each partner is tested all the time. Both of these literary works having sad aspects within the story, makes it quick to deem them as tragic. However, "Midterm Break" depicts a tragedy whereas "Hills Like White Elephants" describes a situation that even though it may not be easy to deal with, it still isn't caused by a catastrophe or serious accident to consider it a tragedy.

More about THIS

Open Document