Ministry of Fear- Seamus Heaney Analysis

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Using Ministry of fear and another appropriately selected poem explore the sense of place Heaney conveys with reference to the troubles in N.I, with particular reference to the effects of any political and social context and Heaney’s own views. Ministry of Fear is from Heaney’s ‘North’ collection, written in 1975 while Heaney was staying in Wicklow, Casualty was written shortly after in ‘Field work’ in 1979. Through these two poems Heaney conveys a strong sense of place, namely Northern Ireland, through ‘Ministry of fear’ Heaney describes four events throughout his life in N.I that had a strong influence on him, ‘Casualty’ is similar but more focused on the Troubles in N.I and some of Heaney’s feelings towards those events. ‘Ministry…show more content…
For each poet the fisherman is “ the most unlike, a kind of anti self, who embodies independence, wisdom, integrity – a refusal to submit to the will of the crowd.” By hinting at Yeats- an Irish poet- Heaney further emphasises the sense of place conveyed in this poem, this time through a more social context as opposed to a political one. He also references a famous Christmas carol “while shepherds watched their flocks” which because of the very religious nature of the Irish Catholics and indeed the protestants is as much an indication of Northern Ireland then as it is now. In ‘Ministry of fear’ Heaney alludes to many other poems and poets, the most obvious of which was Patrick Kavanagh, An Irish Poet who’s work Heaney discovered in the early 1960’s and for which he developed an increasing respect throughout the decade, Kavanagh seemed to Heaney to illustrate the split he himself was experiencing between “the illiterate self that was tied to the little hills and earthed in the stony grey soil, and the literate self that pined for the city of kings, where art, music and letters were the real things” He also alludes to Yeats as in “Casualty.” Yeats’s ‘ Ancestral Houses’ which speaks of a ‘rich mans flowering lawns’ and of his ‘planted hills’ much in the same way as Haney describes the “fine lawns of elocution. By referencing all these other poets,

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