Reflections and Interpretations on "Digging" Essay

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Reflections and Interpretations on "Digging"

When you read poetry there are a lot of elements in the poem that you as the reader or listener have to pay close attention to in order for you to follow what is going on and what the main point of the poem may be. In the poem "Digging" by Seamus Heaney you have to look deep into the poem in order to get the true meaning. Some of the elements of the poem that you'll need to pay close attention to are symbolism, imagery, persona and setting. If you look at each of these and then break the poem down, you will understand the whole theme of "Digging."

In the first few lines of the poem you will be introduced to the setting of the poem, or where the poem takes
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The most important piece of imagery that is used in the poem so that you can understand it is the use of the word "digging" which is the title of the poem and shows up three other times. The use of this word is important because it tells of the kind of work that has been done by the father and grandfather, and that the son is proud of the work done by them, and that he is confident he will make them proud in what he does. In the last three lines of the poem you get a great description of how the son thinks. It reads, "Between my finger and my thumb / The squat pen rests. / I'll dig with it." ("Digging" 29-31). This tells you that the son along with his pen will do as much or more than what his father and grandfather did in their time with a shovel. And this is how he compares himself to them. Although he's not disappointed in what he does, he has to validate his choice of work especially when compared to his father and grandfather's life of hard working laborers.

All poems have symbolism or should have some kind of symbolism. In this poem the writer uses that of a pen and a shovel. The father and grandfather grew up and made their livings with a shovel, and the son plans on doing the same - only with his pen. These two symbols are used to compare everyone and to link them together throughout the poem. Heaney uses this to both open and close his poem. In the first two lines you'll read, "Between my finger and my thumb / The

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