Death of a Naturalist analysis Title * Dramatic * Evokes sadness – Heaney’s childhood innocence is lost * Metaphorical death – ‘death of innocence’ Content * It is partially linked to Blackberry-Picking in that: * It shows the good side of nature * It shows the harshness of nature * It shows Heaney’s childhood * The first stanza, Heaney describes how the frogs would spawn in the lint hole, with a digression into his collecting the spawn, and how his teacher encouraged his childish interest in the process. * The second stanza deals with the harsh side of nature again; Heaney records how one day he heard a strange noise and went to investigate - and found that the frogs, in huge numbers, had …show more content…
The movement of flies is described with a metaphor: 'bluebottles / wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell', a fascinating image synthesising all the different senses, which enhances the experiences by conjuring up an atmosphere. Line seven hints at the beauty of the scene with its 'dragonflies, spotted butterflies'. * Lines fifteen to twenty-one (the end of the first stanza) are a very childlike account of how the schoolteacher, Miss Walls, taught Heaney's class about frogs and frogspawn. Simple, childish language features in this section, such as 'the mammy frog laid hundreds of little eggs'; there are four clauses each joined by 'and' in this sentence, just as though it were written by a child. The final sentence of the first stanza continues in the same style, telling us that frogs are yellow in sunny weather but 'brown / In rain'. The last, brief two-word line of the first stanza seems to underline the fact that this is the end of a period of innocence and that a change is forthcoming * Alliteration: ‘coarse croaking’ the harsh ‘c’ sound creating a violence, adding to the unpleasant, threatening nature of the frogs to the child (Heaney). * Onomatopoeia: ‘the slap and plop were obscene threats’, here ‘slap’ and ‘plop’ are both hard and unpleasant, almost vulgar sounds, emphasising the vulgar, slimy nature of the procreating frogs. * Simile: ‘their loose necks pulsed like sails’ gives a sense of the movement of the necks of the frogs
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Heaney continues to do this by glorifying the frogspawn, using alliteration “jam pots of the jellied specks”. This creates a soft and gentle rhythm for the reader, portraying Heaney’s fascination with nature a child.
“Steam rising from ovens and showers like mist across a swampland” has a double meaning, steam rises from ovens and showers, but also in summer, as it rains on a hot highway, steam rises. It is comparing the lives of the people living in these houses to the disorder of a swampland by using the simile “like mist across a swampland”. It may also be suggesting that as cities expand, more land is being stolen from nature. The last line of this stanza “The cricket sound of voices and cutlery” is appealing to the reader’s sense of sound, indicating that the people on the highway can hear the noise of the people in the houses. It is likening the noises of the people to noises made in nature by crickets. In the next stanza Foulcher has written, “Only the children remain outside”, which informs the reader of what it is now like, with all of the adults gone inside. He describes the children as, “bruised with dirt and school”, this gives the indication they are both covered in patches of dirt, and bruised, which are similar colours. Also informs that they are relaxing by play after a hard day at school.
A shift in focus from the students to himself creates an interesting structure in the poem. Collins began discussing his disinterest of his students and their laughable yet pathetic lifestyle. Then toward the end, the author shifts to speak about himself. He expresses the impact of being a long time teacher and the loneliness that comes along with it. Collins creates the detailed image of his colonial house, the deflated car, and vines growing on the porch swing, revealing his depression and sense of being trapped. Therefore, the author connects how past students have driven him to insanity and caused him to create a false reality in his head.
Dillard's primary analogy is that of a spider. an exercise in parallelism connecting between the fourth and tenth paragraphs, literally—printed as a book, the fourth paragraph is superimposed on top of the tenth; this cannot be a coincidence. Dillard is the spider, and the husks of insects are her students, in correspondence with stereotypical impressions of schools. Just as the spider leaves the insects empty, it is a commonly held belief that schools suck children dry, empty. The spider is hanging over the mess of bugs like Dillard speaks in her classroom. But there are different types of insects, sowbugs, earwigs, and moths. Sowbugs, just like a sow's ear, are run of the mill students, uniform, unimpressive, and simple passing through. Covered in a coat of thick armour, it is difficult for Dillard to reach the sowbugs, engage them, interest them. Ambling along, they will pass through her class much the same as the went in, their looks never changing, yet all the while fragile enough to be on the brink of destruction: the epitome of a "C" student, an unengaged student who scarcely skates by. They are "hollow and empty of colour," scarcely being noticed. Then there are the mysterious shreds of an earwig, a corpse who somehow seems less present, but still shows promise, "shin[ing] darkly and gleam[ing]"; the whole creature which Dillard describes only superficially, lacking the vivid imagery and relying instead on scientific nomenclature. The moths are last, described as "wingless and huge" and as "arcing strips of chitin...a jumble of buttresses for cathedral vaults," signifying that she has students, the Nick, Margaret and Randies,
The poem suddenly becomes much darker in the last stanza and a Billy Collins explains how teachers, students or general readers of poetry ‘torture’ a poem by being what he believes is cruelly analytical. He says, “all they want to do is tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it”. Here, the poem is being personified yet again and this brings about an almost human connection between the reader and the poem. This use of personification is effective as it makes the
‘The Secret Life of Frogs’ is a poem that delves into the childhood perception of war, in particular World War I, and the experiences of their fathers. ‘The Secret Life of Frogs’ deals with the idea of misunderstandings incurred when children attempt to understand adult concepts. This is evident through the use of punning. The term ‘Frog’, which is frequently used throughout the poem adds amusement to the text because to the readers, it not only translates literally to a frog, but also represents the rival French people in the war through a negative light. However, the narrator, who is also one of the children in the poem, does not understand this other meaning attached to the term ‘frog’. This can clearly be seen in the final sentence
The speaker also chooses her diction precisely, so that there is clear contribution to the overall idea that the poem is indeed about the quest for change and longing from escape from the swamp. Two very different forms of description are used to represent this source of dread: once by the simple name, swamp, and
Repeated onomatopoeic terms again set the scene. We are told that a hunt is in progress, and it is described in descriptive detail. Anderson does not romanticise the scene as the duckling cowers from a ‘fearfully big dog’.
Ichabod loved marvellous things, and equally loved deciphering it. These had both grown because of the region he was currently staying in.No tale was too big or crazy for him to digest. After the school day ended, he enjoyed to relax on the riverbed of clover that bordered the brook that traveled by his schoolhouse. There he would read over Mather’s book, until it got to dark out for him to see the words. As he would stroll home to the place he was being quartered, every little noise of a plant or animal would catch his attention. Some of these were the moan of the
The speaker says, “Sunsets would threaten us,” which means that they can’t continue their adventure and fulfil their curiosity without light (5). Since light is a symbol of knowledge, it also means that they can’t go on without knowledge. Also, the image of a snake shedding its skin shows change and improvement (1). Molting shows that a snake is growing, and it helps the snake see clearly1. Overall, the storytelling has a lasting effect on how the speaker sees the world, which is illustrated by the line “Her voice travels my shelves” (19). Her influence on the “shelves” of his mind will allow the speaker to appreciate his heritage. The very end implies change as well when the speaker says that the two boys are “still” joined in one shadow (21). The word “still” implies that this will eventually change, perhaps after they are no longer in the shadow of
The author of “The School” grabs the reader’s attention at the beginning of the short story by using the narrator's story, about the time when the children planted trees to teach them about growth, nature and responsibility. All the kids had to plant their own little tree, but all the little trees ended dying, and as a result they ended with little brown sticks instead. By using the word little when expressing the trees and later the sticks the author is trying to convey a mood of depression and sensitivity. Barthelme is trying to portray the image of a lot of small kids sad for the death of their small trees. The narrator then proceeds to explain how before all the trees died all the snakes had died too due to a strike which resulted on the boiler being off for days. The kids understood
The Schoolroom on the Second Floor of the Knitting Mill starts with a mostly lighter tone. A traditional, happy, school room is depicted. The speaker expresses that they “miss” the teacher, Mrs. Lawrence, her room, and the school in general. The tone changes at the somewhat ominous line 15, “somehow it happens,” The line of children crosses the threshold and the speaker, Judy, is told she is not a good leader. The tone is mirrored in the reader’s opinion towards Mrs. Lawrence. Informal diction is used and, on a second reading, several words indicate that even from the beginning the poem may not be as light and sweet as it initially appears. Mrs. Lawrence “carves” her nails, the chimney “[breaks] up the sky”, and it is said that moving over
Heaney uses onomatopoeia in the words ‘slap’ and ‘plop’ to create an image on the readers mind. This section also shows the punishment from offended nature for the boys arrogance – when he sees what nature is really like, he is terrified. This part of the poem is also very ambiguous – we see the horror of the plague of frogs, ‘obscene’ and gathered’ for ‘vengeance.’ – at least in the child’s mind.
‘Now, you dear good old Ratty,’ said Toad imploringly, ‘don’t begin to talking in that stiff and sniffy sort of way, because you know you’ve got to come. I can’t possibly manage without you, so please consider it settled and don’t argue – it’s the one thing I can’t stand. You surely don’t mean to stick to your dull fusty old river all your life, and just live in a hole in a bank, and boat? I want to show you the world! I’m going to make an animal out of you, my boy!’
The next stanza begins with possibly the most wonderful line in the poem, which speaks to personal survival, joy, and the continuation of life: “You laughed with the spirit of your husband who would toss stars!” (Harjo). Here Harjo uses the metaphor again, this time to compare the widow’s tears to a butterfly, which is both beautiful and fragile. But here, because of the Butterfly Dance, it takes on a special meaning, bringing their daughter into the circle of death and rebirth.