Mid-Term Break Essay

1680 WordsMay 22, 20137 Pages
The poem 'Mid-Term Break' by Seamus Heaney is a first person ballad concerning the death of a boy’s 4-year-old brother while he was away at boarding school, and the individual reactions of each of his family members towards the tragedy. Poet Seamus Heaney did well at taking the extremely heavy subject of a child’s death, and producing a substantially lighter poem that still resonated the right emotions for the theme of the poem. In my opinion, 'Mid-Term Break' can be broken up into three different sections. The first of these sections includes Stanza 1, where the boy is still at school. The first section of the poem describes the main character waiting in the sick bay for someone to drive him home, which tells the reader that…show more content…
The sentence "as my mother held my hand in hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs" also gives the reader an insight into just how shattered the family is after the death, as his mother is described as being 'too upset to cry,' and that the main character feels that he now has to step up, being the oldest child, and comfort his family as an adult. The final part of the poem is the boy goes to the room where his brothers body is being is laid out. This is the event that the entire poem has been moving towards, essentially the climax of the whole poem. The final stanzas of the poem emphasise how tragic the event is, by leading the reader to imagine the younger brother as a helpless, pure, and peaceful child. Through the line "He lay in the four foot box as in his cot," the younger brothers youth and purity is better exemplified. The imagery used in the third section of 'Mid-Term Break' is the 'last goodbye' when the main character goes to visit his younger brother, as he hasn't seen him in six weeks. This 'final goodbye' is the peak of emotion in the poem, and takes the awkward subject of peace and gives it a form of peace and serenity. The final goodbye also refers back to the deeper meaning of becoming an adult, as the main character is not only saying goodbye to his baby brother, but also his childhood. Seamus Heaney's choice of words in this poem is what
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