Heaney strongly stresses his relationship with his father by creating a forceful comparison between himself and his dad and by doing so raises another important issue that is present throughout both works, the significance of the nature of change.
However even though the depiction of the father in both poems seems quite similar at first glance it later is evident that there are nevertheless certain differences between the two images created.
Follower and Digging both give a clear account of Heaney's affectionate feelings towards his father with particular emphasis on the poet's response to the physical labour of his father. Both works effectively capture the contrast between past and present, Heaney's life and that of his father and once again highlight the re-occurring theme of the nature of change. This notion of transformation is effectively conveyed in the poems by the display of the father's and also Heaney's journey through life. Both poems paint a clear picture of their lives that spans over several years, even generations and that so effectively condenses the happenings in that time.
. . .
In these lines the poet evidently realises his incapability to follow in the exact footsteps on his father whom he admires so much but comes to the understanding that his work in a way is the mental reincarnation of the father's physical work. The only meaningful difference between the two fathers that are portrayed is really only the fact that Digging concludes in a rather positive fashion whereas in Follower the picture of the father is in the end distorted to a slightly negative aspect.
In conclusion however this air of respectfulness and admiration really dominates the two poems therefore annihilating any negative assumptions of the fathers that might arise from their rather controversial endings. Heaney realises... [continues]
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