Seamus Heaney's Mid-Term Break

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Tacit Mourn Have you ever first handedly experienced losing the life of a loved one or had the obligation of molding yourself from an innocent child into a mature adult? Mid-term Break takes us on the transition of an older brother’s mourn toward his younger brother’s death, a hauntingly beautiful poem which can reach the hearts of anyone. Mid-term Break by Seamus Heaney uses transitions of grief and growing up as its main theme, using elements such as tone, imagery, and symbolism as its gravitational pull. Seamus Heaney was a renowned Irish poet whom was born April 13, 1939 in County Londonderry, North Ireland (Biography.com). Heaney was the first born of nine children raised in a Catholic family, he later on received a scholarship to attend …show more content…
For example, In the porch I met my father crying” (Heaney, 4) This is the first sign in which the author knows something horrible has occurred. “The patriarchal image of the father-figure in the 1950s is torn down here.” (TheEnglishTutor). Heaney goes on to state even more descriptive circumstances taken place that day, “At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived- With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.” (Heaney, 14-15). The author describes that as the exact moment he and his family saw the young boys body for the first time after the accident. The author goes further on with the accidents visuals, “Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple, -He lay in the four-foot box as in his cot- No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.” (Heaney, 20-21) Heaney describes his little brothers body being so perfectly intact without scarring, due to the fact of the car bumper immediately killing him with one hit. These images are crucial to understanding just how much emotion is taking part in this story, seeing your baby brothers body as if he were not dead but simply sleeping, must be the hardest part of the authors task in accepting his grief. “The young boy sees his brother for the last time and faces death for the first.” (TheEnglishTutor). Nonetheless he must also come to terms with having to keep family and friends from falling apart, the brothers’ corpse is real now, not only a tragic …show more content…
The author though, is very aware of what is going on, his younger brother is now dead, and his baby sister is unaware of the incident as a whole. The author uses his baby sister to symbolize the innocence and youth he no longer has, he is basically the only child his parents can truly lean on. In addition, Heaney will be the go-to for his baby sister as well, when she grows up and begins to demand answers on her older brothers death who will she have to rely on for the non-edited truth? Her eldest brother of course. The authors baby sister is as well symbolism of lack of painful memories, which he himself would never be able to have. The final stanza in Heaney’s poem is the shortest, yet the most hauntingly painful one. We see the authors use of symbolism in, “A four-foot box, a foot for every year.” (Heaney, 22) Through that short sentence alone the author let us know his brother died only four years’ old, it is probably the closest thing we see to a reaction out of the younger brothers’ death from Heaney, which is a combination of grief, disappointment, and anger. That sentence profounds the hearts of readers because that four feet box symbolizes the young

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