Digging by Seamus Heaney Notes

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  • Created on: 23-05-11 13:09
Preview of Digging by Seamus Heaney Notes

First 305 words of the document:

Digging
Theme: Memory, Nature, Parent/child relationships, Love
Language
Begins in present tense, then past and back to present and then future.
Onomatopoeia ­ `squelch and slap' (Also alliteration) this helps to make what he describes
more vivid.
Anecdote ­ `my grandfather' ­ passed down through generations, skill strength of digging,
he is not following the same path
Halfrhyme ­ `ing' sounds, creating an echo and also thought of constant working.
Technical terms (lug, shaft) to stress that the spade is a precise tool. "By God, the old man
could handle a spade" (line 15) is a simple, loving exclamation of pride, and admiration.
Simile "snug as a gun" It shows how perfectly the pen fits his hand and, accordingly,
how well suited Heaney is to write. The gun image also suggests the strength of the pen: it is
a weapon for writing.
Repetition ­ `dig'
Alliteration "the spade sinks into the gravelly ground" is used a lot to recreate the feel and
sensation of digging: for example, where the s sounds suggest the slicing of the blade
through the earth, and the g sounds the gravelly resistance of the soil.
Structure
Enjambment between 2nd and 3rd stanza takes reader back twenty years, with the break
showing the passage of time. It is dramatic. The pause between the stanzas indicates the gap
in time.
It starts with digging and ends with digging.
Second to last stanza connects to theme of memory. It's a vivid memory and he can smell
and hear it, dream like state embedded.
`Dig' ­ wants to be a writer, journalist, digging and uncovering stories, showing people the
past and reflecting on Irish life.

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