Literary Analysis Of Mid-Term Break, By Seamus Heaney

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Mid- Term Break Analysis
“Death keeps no calendar” is an old saying, which means death comes at no particular time. It may be quite unexpected by most and can bring sudden heartache to loved ones. In the poem Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney, it is about death and grief. The emotions in the poem are so deeply displayed that it allows the reader to be taken into the scene of the poem and to understand it from the narrator’s point of view. The title of the poem sounds like the poem will be something fun and happy, but as it goes on, one realizes that it is far from the feeling happiness. Heaney uses a consistent metrical pattern of iambic pentameter throughout the majority of the poem to help articulate the very unfortunate event that just took
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Irony is the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite of what one means. The irony throughout the poem emphasizes the true tragedy of the death that has happened in the family. The title “Mid-Term Break” is true irony in itself. Mid-term break is usually a time period that students get off from school to relax, take a break from school work, and enjoy their time off by partaking in fun activities. From the titles a reader can think that the poem is going to be something cheerful and fun, but as the poem goes on it shows to be a terrible tragedy, and a time of grief. So, instead of the narrator participating in what is done by a student on mid-term break, they are grieving, and most likely not enjoying their time off from school. There is also irony in the baby’s actions. In the third stanza, first line, Heaney writes, “The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram”. While every person in the household is quietly mourning because of the death, the baby is content which shows its innocence. The baby is too young to understand what is happening and this sticks out because it diverges from the mood that is consistent throughout the entire …show more content…
It shows an older sibling dealing with the terrible tragedy of losing their four year old brother. This poem is very warm and heartbreaking at the same time. The narrator knows how to control their own emotions and the tone of the poem. The first stanza the idea of this mid-term break being fun for this student. The first line suggest that something is wrong; the “I” and “college sick bay” show that the student is alone and may be sick or something bad has happened. To knell is to ring solemnly, especially for a death or funeral. In the second line it is clear that a death has happened because “bells knelling” is used. In the second stanza, the narrator has arrived home and begins to meet people. He meets his father crying on the porch, which shows that the father is quite upset about the loss because he is grieving away from others. Also in this stanza, the narrator says that the dad normally takes funerals in stride, meaning that they have experienced deaths before and the father is a man when it comes to emotions. In the last line of this stanza, it is said that “it was a hard blow”, a reader may assume that it was a hard blow on the family especially since the father was crying; but, we later find out that “hard blow” is taken literally because the child was hit hard by a

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