Compare And Contrast Out-Out And Mid-Term Break

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The poem out-out was written by roger frost. It’s about a young boy who loses his hand while using a buzz saw; unfortunately he also loses his life. Seamus Heaney wrote mid-term break, this poem is also about a young boy who loses his life, but this death was caused by a car accident, he was only left with “a poppy bruise on his left temple. ” The two poems give the same message: deaths of a young child, but both are very different. In out-out the young boy was from a poor working class background, which meant that the young boy had to complete a full days work to help the family to survive.

But the young boy from mid-term break was from a fairly rich middle class background. It was easily noticed in the difference in the reactions to the two deaths. In out-out the family and friends of the boy had to carry on working when his life ended because they couldn’t afford to take time off work, they where living for survival. In mid-term break the family and friends had time to mourn his death being middle class they where able to afford time off work. The similarities of the two poems where that the both deaths were caused by accidents also both were very brutal.

In both poems the message indicates that life is delicate and accidents do happen and some can be deadly. The response to the dreadful accident showed the difference of classes of the two families. The boy in out-out was working day in and day out cutting stove length logs of wood to keep the house nice and warm. Him doing this day in and out would mean that he would get a bit bored of doing the same job day in day out, so I expect he would of lost his concentration a few times, because of this he lost his life. “His sister stood beside him in her apron, to tell him supper. ”

I believe that the young boy had most likely had a hard days work and was almost certainly hungry, and when he caught his sister standing with her apron on in the corner of his eye he rushed the last piece of wood he had cut to try and get to supper earlier, but in doing so he paid the penalty (his life). The boy was left holding his hand up after it had been amputated by the buzz saw let out a rueful laugh, he was just flabbergasted about what he had done. The family was so poor they couldn’t afford to let the death stop them from working; they had to readjust quickly to carry on surviving.

The boy’s death comes to a surprise to most readers, with the death being tree quarters of the way through the poem. Where as in mid-term break the death of the boy is known from the start as well as the cause, but the main difference of the poems is the two different reactions of the families. In out-out the family didn’t have a funeral, whereas in mid-term break Seamus Heanley begins with the accident and builds up to the funeral. As they are middle class the family can take it easier and have time to grieve.

The two poets have unique ways of gaining their response in the reader. In out-out roger frost starts with writing about the buzz saw, this eventually the main cause of the boys death. Whereas, Seamus Heanley in mid-term break begins with writing about the boys death, and builds up to the funeral. “In the porch I met my father crying, he had always taken funerals in his stride. ” This is a clear image that means that the father usually had taken funerals quite well, but when someone so close to him dies its too hard for him and he breaks down and cries.

There are many examples of figures of speech in ‘out-out by the poet Roger Frost. “The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard” This is a good example of onomatopoeia, and also alliteration. I think the use of the verbs snarled and rattled makes the reader believe that the saw is a nasty piece of machinery even before the boy’s accident. In the end the buzz saw was what caused the boy’s tragedy. Roger frost spoke in the entire poem no more than once. “I wish they might have said to please the boy, by giving him the half an hour”

This means that if the boy were aloud the early finish then the boy would have been still alive. Mid term-break is split into seven verses of three lines each. Out-out only has one verse, but with thirty four lines. Both poems don’t rhyme. Some poets use rhyme to create a happy affect, but the two poem are about the story of the death of a young child, so there is definitely no need to create a happy affect. In mid-term break there are seven verses of three lines and there is also an extra line at the end, which says, “a four foot box, for every year”

This really made me think about how sad the accident must have been for the family, and this sentence coming from a boy of my age or even younger must have been from his heart, the sentence was about a boy of four years old and who needed a four foot box for his grave. It’s an isolated line for a powerful picture. I think that the two poems must reflect the poets’ pasts. What I mean by that is most skilled poets write from past experience. The poets might have been close to a young child that had died. Roger Frost had lived in California and Seamus Heaney in Ireland. The two poets choose the same theme, that being the death of a young boy.

The differences in the two poems are that in out-out the poet speaks whereas in mid-term break its just the brother of the young boy that speaks. For me one of the biggest highlights of the poem ‘out-out’ was when the sister came to relieve the boy from his hard days work when she said ‘supper’ this probably made the boy hurry to get finished and ready for his supper, he was probably on the last piece of wood, so he rushed it, and he paid the penalty for not taking his time and concentrating, unfortunately the penalty was his life. In mid-term break it was when the neighbours went up to shake the hand of the boy.

He was unaccustomed to this being from a middle class family, where respect for elders was essential, and children where seen and not heard. My response to the rest of the verses, is that you should try to always be happy, and enjoy your life from the start to the end because, you only live once, and there’s no second chance, because life is to fragile. I felt really sympathetic for the two families, having lost someone so young and innocent, what has anyone the age of four done to deserve to die. The phrase ‘life is not fair’ is said quite often and lost some of its meaning but something like this is not fair.

I had similar responses to the two poems, compared with the way the two poets wrote the poems. I fell that the prime similarities of the two poems are that both of the heart-rending accidents were very brutal, and it shows how accidents can be deadly. I felt sorry for both of the families, but more for the family in out-out, this is because they didn’t have time to mourn, but in mid-term break the family were rich enough to take time of work etc. I believe that it would of taken the family in out-out a lot longer to recover from the boys death because they didn’t have tome to mourn.

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