Last Updated 16 Jun 2020

Comparing Catrin, the Affiction of Margaret, Digging

Category Fiction, Grief, Love, Poetry
Essay type Research
Words 1093 (4 pages)
Views 364

In both “Catrin” and “The affliction of Margaret”, both poets talk about their child who is either changing or has left them. The main difference however is that “The affection of Maraget” is a narrative while “Catrin” is written as a first person perceptive. Both poems use the metaphors of chains or ropes to symbolise the relationship between the mother and the child. In “Catrin” the “red rope” is used to symbolise the mother and child’s connection. It could mean that rope itself represents their love, and how both Catrin and the mother are spiritually tied by their love.

Or the rope could literally mean the umbilical cord which is physically connecting Catrin to her mother at birth, at the beginning of the poem. In other sense the rope could be used represent the conflict for power between Catrin and her mother, it could seen as a Tug of war rope. The word “red” used in this in this metaphor is ambiguous because the colour “red” could represents the love between Catrin and her mother that is still there even though Catrin grown up; or it could also represent the anger and frustration between Catrin and her mother for the fight for power.

Red is also a warning colour, it could be warning about changes in their relationship, showing that there might be more trouble in the future. However in contrast the “chains” in “The affliction of Margaret” symbolise the opposite of the “rope” in “Catrin”. It represents the separation between the mother and her son. We can see that mother in poem is feeling a great amount of grief and pain. We can tell that she is in this pain when she says “thou, worse to me than dead. ” This phase emphasis the mother grief, this shows that mother is in a lot pain, and that she feels excluded from the world around her.

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Through-out the poem you can that tell that mother has a great affection for her son, you can tell this by the repetition of the possessive pronoun “my”, which normal followed up by “son. ” The repetition of the “my” emphasise the bond the mother and son have; also it could should that mother feels that it is her problem alone to face. The structure of “The affliction of Margaret” backs the point that she has in an unstable mind-set. There are 11 paragraphs with very different meanings. They are random statements with no connection between them except, the loss of her son.

It looks like the mother has written the first thing that has come to her head. Because there is hardly connection between the paragraphs, it shows she is rapidly thinking of event that might have happened to her son, which highlighting the grief that she feels. In contrast, “Catrin” is much more ordered than “The affliction of Margaret”. It has two sections; the first section is the birth of Catrin and second section is an event in Catrin childhood when she wants to skate for an hour more. The ordered structure of poem could symbolise the hospital, a clean and ordered place.

It could also symbolise the mother’s control over Catrin. In this poem Catrin’s mum has a lot of authority in Catrin’s life; the most when she is a baby. However we see in second paragraph, when Catrin is older that line length in the paragraph starts to vary more and the structure is more irregular. This could represent the control over Catrin depleting, showing that Catrin is getting more power in their relationship. “Digging” is a first person perspective poem about the poet breaking free from the family tradition of being a potato farmer.

While “On my first sonne” another first person perspective poem which is about the poet grieving over his death son. I both of these poems the poet has great admiration for their relatives In Digging, Seamus Heaney use simple, colloquial diction through-out digging, to emphasise how easy his father did his job. “By God, the old man could handle a spade”. This quotation doesn’t only show how simple his father found his job, but also show how the poet aspire to be as talented as his father. The phase “By god”, is used to describe his describe the talent that his father has; he compares his talent to god.

Also like in “The affliction of Margaret”, there is a repetition of the word “my”, it show that father and son have good relationship; it also emphasise son admiration for his father. Ben Jonson also uses simple diction in “On my first Sonne” to emphases the poet grief of losing his son. If you’re grieving, it is difficult to complex vocabulary. Also religious diction is used such “hope” and “joy”. The main why these religious word are used, is to fit in with key theme that god has taken his son way from him.

However these words are also used to describe what emotions boy gave him; this show much the poet admired and loved the boy, to give him these emotions linked to god The structure of “On my first Sonne” is very short; it is only 14 lines long, the reason for this, is because the length of the poem is used to symbolise the life of Ben Jonson Jr, it was very short.

In the title, the word “Sonne” is used, this word sound like the word “sonnet”, which a poem with15 lines, this poem has 14 line, so it is incomplete sonnet, like the poet’s son’s life, it incomplete, lso “Sonne” has one letter missing to Sonnet, this is other way the poet show how incomplete his son’s life was. Both in “On first Sonne” and “Digging” both feel that they done something wrong to the other family member(s). The poet in “On first Sonne” feels that he has love his boy too much, refers to his love as a “sinne”. This show that the poet trying to explain his pain, he say constantly through-out the poem, that it is sin to love too much.

The poet in “digging” feels that he has broken the family tradition, but in contrast to “On first Sonne”, there is an acceptance “The squat pen rests. I’ll dig with it” This show the poet is proud of his choice of becoming poet, and says that hasn’t broken the tradition, because his is still digging. We see in all these poems that there are closes bonds between the parents and children, we also that separation or disagreement in these relationships can cause confliction and grief between the parents and the children.

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