Mid-Term Break & Out Out Comparison

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‘Mid Term Break’ and ‘Out, Out’ are both poems which have a similar story about a tragic death of a child. ‘Mid Term Break’, written by an Irish poet Seamus Heaney, describes how a young boy dies from what we assume is in a car accident. This being similar to the storyline of the poem ‘Out, Out’, written by an American poet Robert Frost, about a young boy who dies from another tragic accident.

The title of Heaney’s poem ‘Mid Term Break’ doesn’t suggest any sign of death. The words that Heaney uses in the title suggest a holiday however this ‘break’ doesn’t happen for pleasant reasons whereas Frost’s poem title suggests death. This because of when we refer to a famous line in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth – ‘Out, out brief candle…’ when Macbeth considers the life of Lady Macbeth’s to be short and brief like a candle. Foreshadowing continues in Frost’s poem when he uses the verbs ‘snarled and rattled’ which gives the power tool animalistic life. The use of onomatopoeia suggests how Frost has compared the saw with a furious animal’s warning sounds which also makes us suspect that an attack may follow. Foreshadowing continues in Heaney’s poem however isn’t as dramatic in ‘Out, Out’.

‘I sat all morning in the college sick bay

counting bells knelling classes to a close’

This quotation suggesting death. The word ‘all’ that Heaney uses describes how the time was interminable. Furthermore, the verb ‘knelling’ also suggests death because it is used to announce a death.

In both poems, we see the difference between the way the family reacts to the news of the child and the community. In Heaney’s poem we see how it’s a close community. We see this when the narrator tells us ‘at ten o’clock our neighbours drove me home’.

This suggests how it is a close community because his neighbours are bringing him home. However, this could also be questioned as to why his parents aren’t taking him home. This could suggest that something serious has happened. The...
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