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Theme Of The Lesson By Lucie Smith

Decent Essays
Lucie-Smith’s father has just passed on and he eloquently expresses the idea of grief behind various metaphors and images in ‘The Lesson’.
The poem immediately begins with the poet’s headmaster bearing tragic news to him regarding his father’s death. Lucie-Smith describes the headmaster’s bald head as a ‘shiny dome’. This detailed description gives us inkling that when somebody is grief-stricken, their surroundings instantly become conspicuous. This is proven when the poet notices the headmaster’s ‘brown tobacco jar’ as well. We think that grief is a gradual process in one’s childhood, and the first stage of it would be heightened awareness of one’s surroundings because as a child, the moment he learns of the loss of his father, is when he
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Similarly thought in ‘The Lesson’, crying is a common expression of profound sadness inflicted by grief. We are led to believe that when one is faced with a death, grief is an epidemic of sorrow that results in the same symptom [crying or another action of deep sadness]. This further supports our perception of grief to be a constraint that conjures up absolute despair in people. We also learn that Heaney’s father had ‘always taken funerals in his stride’. This suggests to the audience that his father had always dealt with grief calmly. The fact that he is crying now makes us think that grief comes in different magnitudes, depending on who just passed away. No matter how composed or how experienced Heaney’s father is with death, he will always have an emotional threshold that is fragmented by grieving the death of his family…show more content…
Whilst people were getting informed about the poet, we learn that his mother ‘coughed out angry tearless sighs’. The words ‘coughed out’ illustrate grief as a disease, emphasizing that it has a negative impact on everyone emotionally, regardless of age. His mother’s reaction to grief is ‘angry tearless sighs’. This suggests to us that grief is an ailment that affects adults differently as opposed to the poet as a child, who would only grieve at a later time. It seems as if grief adversely affects his parents right from the start, but Heaney is virtually immune to it at the
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