Summary Of The Poem Mid-Term Break

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The poem Mid-term Break by Seamus Heaney tells a story that reflects back on a memory from when he was younger. Heaney writes about the death of his younger brother that died in a Car accident when he was fourteen. The title of the poem ‘’mid-term break’’ is ironic as it indicates that the break is a sort of holiday from school, a happy time, however the reason for the break from school is actually unofficial and an unfortunate event.

In the first stanza the reader learns that He is at school, which we later find out he has been there for six weeks as Seamus Heaney attended a boarding school. It says that he’s been waiting ‘’all morning in the college sick bay/ Counting bells knelling’’ This emphasis how long he has been waiting to be picked
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It also says in this stanzas ‘’ our neighbours drove me home’’ which leads to the question of why is his neighbours picking him up and not his parents. This stanza creates an unsettling mood for the poem and leaves the reader wondering what’s happened. In the line that’s written ‘’ I met my father crying/ he had always taken funerals in his stride’’ it shows how bad the situation actually is, that his father would usually be okay, but this death is too much for even him to handle. ‘’Big Jim Evans’’ who gives the impression that he is somebody close to the family as he uses a nickname for him tells him ‘’it was a hard blow’’ this again gives the reader an idea of how bad the effects of the death has had on everyone and also signifies that the death was caused by a hit, which we later find out that he was hit by a vehicle In the third and fourth stanza’s he shows a feeling of embarrassment when Heaney writes that ‘’ old men standing up to shake my hand/ and tell me they were sorry for my trouble’’ this indicates that as he is not used to it this could be his first experience with death and also …show more content…
The poem goes on to tell us that h is the eldest and shows that his mothers reaction to the death, he writes ‘’ as my mother held my hand/ in hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs’’ these two stanzas shows that he is expected to comfort his mother while she needs him as he is the eldest and in that period of time the first born was seen to be there for his mother in times of need. Contrasting the two different types of emotions from his parents, with his mother feeling ‘’angry’’ and his father ‘’crying’’ are opposite and also throughout the poem Heaney shows a distance from the death and not showing much feeling as if he’s numb to the situation, and the most obvious reactions from a close person dying is either sadness, anger or not showing a reaction to the death because the person is not ready to deal with it yet and through out this poem it shows all three which makes it easy for any reader to relate to it. During the Sixth stanza he writes about him going up to see his brother, ‘’ Snowdrops and candles soother the bedside’’ this is use of imagery and the snowdrops and candles symbolise rebirth and remembrance appose to giving the feeling of death and sadness, the mood of this stanzas changes in this

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