Storm on the Island by Seamus Heaney

Notes on Storm on the Island by Seamus Heaney

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  • Created on: 18-04-11 16:41
Preview of Storm on the Island by Seamus Heaney

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Storm on the Island
Main ideas
A storm attacking a small island
The idea of being prepared and whether it can be withstood, as well as the fear of nature
The representation of nature as a friend or foe
Links to Irish troubles, the idea of a friend becoming enemy
Mostly short phrases except lines 7-10, creating crescendo, like tragic chorus in an opera,
which builds tension
Solemn- showing Heaney's confidence
Relaxed and chatty, taking mind off storm
Frightened, with anxiety or fear
Blank verse- unrhyming lines of 5 beats, follows natural pattern of spoken English, as if
Heaney is talking to us
Enjambment, often for sudden effect, sense of gusts of wind in storm
Alliteration to create sound of the storm
No article before title, could be generic, about any storm
Present tense- dramatic, happens frequently
Personal Pronouns- yet who else? No details, is this unimportant?
Use of "you" speaks to reader, or people in general. Is this to emphasise isolation?
Wind and waves personified,
Begins confidently, can withstand, sense of being used to this, part of life. Yet later admits
fear, showing unpredictability of storms, hence "huge nothing we fear"
Island as "wizened" complaint, yet also blessing as no worry of crops-personified
Absent trees personified. Showing what is lacking provides sense of barrenness, and
Oxymoron- exploding comfortably, showing lack of knowledge, or effortlessness, showing
great power
Simile, "tamed cat/Turned savage" contrast, shows lack of trust of sea, unpredictable
Wind-metaphor to fighter plane, which links to war. Power from nowhere, strange.


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