Seamus Heaney & Tony Curtis Essay

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Seamus Heaney & Tony Curtis

On initial reading both the Follower and Strongman are simply about a son's relationship with their father. Whilst this relationship is a central theme of both poems, the poems also explore a range of issues including cultural identity, guilt and social class. This essay will attempt to analyse both poems individually and to also identify areas of conflict and similarity between the poems.

The first two words of Follower by Seamus Heaney are "My father" which immediately establishes the poet's emotionally involved relationship with the subject of the poem. In contrast the poet of Strongman writes in the third person for the majority of the poem and it is only really in the last two lines that the …show more content…

The father in
"Follower", however, is viewed by Seamus Heaney as an "expert" and this is reinforced by the poets use of precise technical language "set the wing And fit the bright steel-pointed sock" and "Mapping the furrow exactly". It is implied to the reader that Seamus Heaney, since childhood, has studied his father's work, which therefore introduces a nostalgic theme to the poem. In contrast whilst there is still a strong sense of admiration present in Strongman, the focus of the narrator's attentions is directed more on to the physical strength of his father rather than any skilful aspect to the work. Tony Curtis uses hyperbole to highlight his father's physical strength "Chest like a barrel with a neck that was like holding onto a tree".

(deracinate / deracination) = rootlessness

The first half of the Follower can be described as memories of the poet's father. The second half of the poem shifts a gear to become a haunting collection of personal reflections. Whilst admiration of his father is the dominant emotion in the first half of Follower, it morphs (?) into guilt in the second half. Guilt is a prevailing theme in Seamus Heaney's work. The poem Digging is a particularly relevant example of how the poet contrasts the intellectual and middle-class nature of his work as a poet with the working-class labours of his family. In Digging, Seamus Heaney directly compares his work tool of the pen with the

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