Blackberry Hunting And Death Of A Naturalist Analysis

Superior Essays
Loss of innocence can be a result from conflict and is something that everyone experiences. The following writers give an example of how it can change us forever. Blackberry Picking shows Seamus Heaney looking back on a childhood pastime of picking blackberries where eventually he feels guilty over the unnecessary amount he gathers. Similarly, Death of a Naturalist also written by Heaney is about the narrator stealing frog spawn. The idea of war is hinted at and the effects of the loss of innocence is seen. Denise Levertov’s poem, What were they like? is about the Vietnam War where it shows that not only people can be lost in the war but the culture too. Slaughterhouse Five is written by Kurt Vonnegut and is based around Billy Pilgrim who was …show more content…
In comparison, Levertov and Vonnegut have a more serious context where loss of innocence comes about because of the horrors and destruction that war causes.

Loss of innocence is seen throughout Blackberry Picking and Death of a Naturalist through different conflicts. Heaney is reflecting on a childhood pastime of picking blackberries in the late summer. Heaney and his friends get greedy and take too many, and ultimately a lot of blackberries go to waste because they rot, “each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not”. Heaney describes the blackberry picking in language that is associated with violence and murder “our hands were peppered with thorn pricks, our palms as sticky as Bluebeard”. There is also a reference to Jesus taking humanity’s sins, relating to the idea of guilt. Heaney is drawing parallels between grabbing an unnecessary amount of blackberries and the killing of people like Bluebeard. The idea that we do not learn from our mistakes is shown by Heaney. He and his friends continue to pick and overly excessive amount of blackberries every year. The guilt Heaney comes to feel about the waste symbolises his loss of innocence. In Death of a Naturalist, Heaney has fond
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and Slaughterhouse Five. Levertov writes about the Vietnam War and illustrates how the effects of the war have damaged the culture as well as the people. She uses the different stanzas to help establish the culture as something like beauty before the bombing. “Did they hold ceremonies to reverence the opening of buds?” is in the first stanza where it suggests that the speaker is very curious, hence not quite understanding how personal the questions are. In the following stanza Levertov answers the questions by saying “but after their children were killed, there were no more buds”. This helps us to understand the consequences of other people’s actions, not just our own. The loss of cultural beliefs and innocence can be easily recognised throughout the poem as the buds can be a representation of the people and the culture. Levertov uses horrific imagery and other language techniques to show the effects of the war. Metaphors are used to create an effect such as “the flight of moths in moonlight” with the moths that represent the people and the culture, which have flown too close to the light and have been burned. Similarly, in Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut shows the effects on war through the protagonist Billy Pilgrim demonstrating that the conflict has resulted in a loss of innocence. His different time travels are primarily caused by the effects from World

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