Essay on By the River by Steven Herrick

653 WordsJul 4, 20133 Pages
Steven Herrick’s work of “By the river” displays a bildungsroman novel in which harry goes on a journey through life, facing love and loss. Steven Herrick’s verse novel “By the River” is very successful in conveying the significant ideas about human nature. He uses key themes such as grief, environmental influence and coming of age to explore these ideas. To convey the themes Herrick uses multiple techniques such as imagery, repetition, personification and positive and negative influence throughout his text. Grief is a key theme throughout Herrick’s novel “By the River” highlighting the suffering and distress from losing a loved one. Herrick explores this theme through the death of Harry Hodby’s mother and his close friend Linda. The…show more content…
Also the use of depressive connotations like squashed and dead in “A dead snake, cane toads squash flat, nothing that lives, and nothing that shines”. Herrick uses this theme to create a sense of the environmental effect on Harry Hodby’s identity, and to show the significant ideas about human nature. Coming of age is another major theme throughout Herrick’s novel “By the River”. In this novel we see Harry go on a journey through childhood to adolescence experiencing various changes and pleasures of life in a country town. In the quote “I see clearly now/which part of me/is my dads/the part inside/the good part/the part that knows/Johnny Barlow/Linda/the ring/the white cross” Herrick uses a list method and lists multiple things to show how much Harry has taken in over time and realized what has actually happened throughout his journey. This shows his change from child to adolescence. Herrick uses the repetition of the word “part” to emphasise to his readers that Harry has finally found the part of him, which belongs to his dad. Coming of age is a very important theme in this novel and expresses very significant ideas about human nature. Herrick was very successful in conveying the key elements of human nature by expressing them through the themes, grief, environmental influence and coming of age. The poetic techniques Herrick used to explore these themes are clearly shown throughout his verse

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