Death of a Naturalist Seamus Heaney Analysis

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Death of a Naturalist analysis
* Dramatic
* Evokes sadness – Heaney’s childhood innocence is lost * Metaphorical death – ‘death of innocence’
* It is partially linked to Blackberry-Picking in that:
* It shows the good side of nature
* It shows the harshness of nature
* It shows Heaney’s childhood
* The first stanza, Heaney describes how the frogs would spawn in the lint hole, with a digression into his collecting the spawn, and how his teacher encouraged his childish interest in the process. * The second stanza deals with the harsh side of nature again; Heaney records how one day he heard a strange noise and went to investigate - and found that the frogs, in huge numbers, had taken over the flax-dam, gathering for revenge on him (to punish his theft of the spawn). He has an overwhelming fear that, if he puts his hand into the spawn again, it will seize him - and who knows what might happen then? Form & structure

* The poem is set out in two sections of blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter lines). * There is a significant change in the second stanza
* The rhythm is regular
* The enjambment emphasizes that the event occurs annually and shows that it is continuous: for example from lines 12 to 14 we get a sense of fluidity, ‘nimble swimming tadpoles…’ and we also gain a visual image, an explosion of life. Language

* The phrase 'flax-dam festered' in the opening line combines assonance and alliteration, and begins to create the atmosphere of decay, and a sense of oppressive heat ‘daily it sweltered there’ all together creating an unpleasant feeling. * The sun seems like an oppressive leader ‘punishing sun’ inflicting pain on all beneath it, also using personification. * The onomatopoeia of ‘bubbles gargled delicately’ creates a calm image, where everything moves slowly due to the heat. * The blue bottles are attracted to the smell of the rot, adding to the...
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