The Follower

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In writing a poem involving a son who follows and admires his father, Seamus Heaney allows the reader insight into the nature of perspectives. Heaney’s use of syntax such as parallel structure, imagery and irony highlights important aspects of one's perspective and how it can change with time. In reading the poem “The Follower,” one the many things stand out is the Poet’s use of parallel structure. After closely examining this use of syntax, it is clear that the similarities in structure are a ploy Heaney uses to draw attention to certain narratives; this could be substantiated through the excerpt, “I stumbled…I wanted…I was…It is…” Heaney uses parallel structure to tell the follower’s perspective…show more content…
This use of parallelism is particularly effective because the reader notices a change in pace and has to slow down and think. In doing so, the reader takes notice of the fact that perspectives have also changed. One of the things that are immediately noticed when first reading “The Follower” is the use of imagery. Imagery is frequently is used in Heaney’s poem—from the opening line to closing line. Imagery is effective in reinforcing the theme of perceptive change because it allows the reader to thoroughly understand each point of view. “The Follower” begins by mentioning the father’s shoulders that “globed like a full sail strung”. This attention to detail is purposeful and happens often throughout the poem and is even further reinforced by imagery of how the son pales in comparison. After accumulating various images, the reader thinks he has an idea of how things are, but once perspective changes and the boy become a man, it becomes clear that things aren’t as permanent as they seem; the following is imagery used in the latter perspective: “But today it is my father who keeps stumbling…” The word “stumbling” is an ideal wording choice because it creates an image of weakness

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