Mid term break by Seamus Heany


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analysis of the poem 'mid term break' by Seamus Heany

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Mid term break by Seamus Heany

  1. 1. Mid Term Break by Seamus Heaney Presentation by Sofea & Doreen
  2. 2. Structure Of The Poem
  3. 3. • The poem is told from the poet‟s (young Heaney‟s) point of view, about the death of his 4 year old brother, Christopher, and how people (including himself) reacted to the situation. • The poem successfully conveys Heaney‟s sense of grief through various poetic techniques such as metaphor, simile and alliteration. • Has no specific rhythm, but full rhyme is found in the final two lines in the poem. • Has 7 stanzas and 3 lines per stanza
  4. 4. Meaning : First Stanza • The first stanza does not explain what is the reason for the break was, but Heaney's wait in the sick bay sets up a feeling that something is wrong. • The use of the word 'knelling' rather than 'tolling' for the school bell has connotations of death.
  5. 5. Meaning : Second Stanza • Second stanza shows how devastating this tragic accident was for Heaney's family. • Heaney remembers that he met his father crying “In the porch I met my father crying He had always taken funeral in his strides”
  6. 6. Meaning : Third Stanza • The third stanza, in contrast, opens with a description of the baby of the family that 'cooed and laughed and rocked the pram', showing that in some aspects family life went on as usual amid the grief.
  7. 7. Meaning : Fourth Stanza • The fourth stanza show how different Heaney's mother's reaction to the event was from his father's. • As she held his hand she 'coughed out angry tearless sighs', conveying the sense that she was too upset to cry but sensitive to the need of her eldest child for comfort.
  8. 8. Meaning : Fifth Stanza • In the fifth stanza Heaney describes in a matter-offact way that the ambulance brought the corpse, giving a sense that at first Heaney could perhaps not think of the body was his late brother‟s. • In stanza 5 there are instances of half rhyme (sigh/arrived) (corpse/nurses)
  9. 9. Meaning : Sixth Stanza • He describes the presence of snowdrops and candles as soothing the bedside; this is a transferred epithet, as they actually soothed his feelings. • Heaney mentioning that his brother now looked paler than the last time he had seen him six weeks previously.
  10. 10. Meaning : Seventh Stanza • The final line of the seventh stanza tells us that the little boy had no 'gaudy scars' as the car knocked him to one side rather than running over him. No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear. A four foot box, a foot for every year. • It is in the final two lines of this stanza that the poet uses the only full rhyme found in the poem. • This helps bring closure to the poem and gives the ending a sense of finality, emphasising the theme of death.
  11. 11. • The last sentence of the poem : A four foot box, a foot for every year. • Heaney describes strongly how young his brother was and how tiny his coffin.
  12. 12. Literally and Figurative Side
  13. 13. Literally Side Figurative Side “sick bay” • Sense of isolation • Immediate suggestion of sickness and death “had always taken funerals in his stride” • Death had been experienced before, although not in this way “cooed and laughed and rocked the pram” • Baby is an innocent, unaware of the events that are taking place. “sorry for my trouble” • Condolence (feeling affected on someone‟s death)
  14. 14. Literary Devices
  15. 15. Repetition the word “foot” Alliteration (f) “A four foot box, a foot for every year” Onomatopoeia “bells knelling” – the sound of funeral bells Literary Devices Assonance (o) “A four foot box, a foot for every year” Euphemism “sorry for my trouble”
  16. 16. Themes Of The Poem
  17. 17. Death • „Mid-Term Break‟ is a first-person account of the experience of facing death for the first time. • This poem takes the audience along on the poet‟s journey to accepting his beloved little brother‟s death. • As he confronts death for the first time he sees how it affects those he loves. In the porch he saw his father “crying”, and later his mother holds his hand. She is too upset to cry, instead she “coughed out angry, tearless sighs”.
  18. 18. Mourning • He shows how death affects neighbours and the local community. The poet‟s neighbours, old men like “Big Jim Evans” use phrases like “it was a hard blow” and “sorry for my trouble” • The neighbours show respect for the grieving family by standing up and shake the poet‟s hand. These are conventions that people use in the situation of a death. • Then the poet focuses in on his parents. The poet is shocked that his father is crying. Because the father is showing his emotions, it shows that the death has affected him deeply.
  19. 19. Moral Values
  20. 20. 1. Accept the death of our beloved as a part of life journey There are times when unexpected and sudden death occurs, and in those times it is the deceased‟s family that suffers the most. This poem takes the audience along on the poet‟s journey (when he was still young) to accepting his beloved little brother‟s death and how he accepted the reality.
  21. 21. 2. Love your family One cannot build a family without the existence of love. The feeling of love is always flowing in a family, even after some members had passed away. True love between family members can be seen in the poem, when Heaney was returning home for the funeral of his younger brother who had been killed in a road accident. It shows how devastating this tragic accident was for Heaney's family, and because he loves his family, he is willing to face all the situations during the funeral.
  22. 22. Lesson Learnt From The Poem
  23. 23. We must be tough and emotionally strong when facing obstacles and tragedies in our life. We must know how to handle difficult situations. Life must go on, even without the ones we loved. We must learn to accept that death is a part of life. Death sometimes, happens without expectation, or warning.
  24. 24. What The Poet Tried To Convey
  25. 25. • The title „Mid-Term Break‟ suggests a holiday of sorts, a time of enjoyment, but the poem deals with a time of grief and emotional upheaval. • A man‟s broken heart. His (Heaney‟s) father is not his practical self, exhibiting emotion upon the death of his child. Usually he took „funerals in his stride‟, suggesting that he was already used to death. • The roles of the parents seem to have been reversed with Heaney‟s father taking on the more „feminine‟ emotional role. His mother could be angry with any number of people because she was too tired of crying over the lost.
  26. 26. • The last line of the poem gives the idea of the brevity of life. • The use of „box‟ rather than coffin suggests that Heaney is separated from the reality of what has happened. • The phrase “sorry for my trouble”, suggests that people are almost afraid to mention the real truth to Heaney. At that time, the poet was still a young boy.
  27. 27. Relation With Real Life Situation
  28. 28. • The poem relates with real life situation about the need of love, care and support among family members towards each other in emotionally depressed situations. • The poem also gives a hint of the feeling of gratitude towards what we were granted in life. In reality, we have to face death and we cannot escape from it because nothing is eternal, so be thankful for what was given.
  29. 29. End Of Slide Thank You For Your Attention 