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Word Count: 394
In the poem Digging Seamus Heaney incorporates figurative language and imagery to depict the theme of reflecting on identity Through his memories of his father and grandfather he proves that someones identity is not defined by heritage but rather by interests and strengths The reader is first introduced to the speakers held pen which is as snug as a gun this simile conveys that the pen is comfortable with him By comparing the pen to a gun the object is given a personal and powerful aspect to it which hints at his identity as a writer As stated above the snug feeling also plays a role in this simile by connoting that the pen belongs with him Furthermore the poet incorporates an extended metaphor of digging in his poem The speaker has a hard-working family of manual diggers But he has no spade to follow men like them The squat pen rests Hell dig with it Metaphorically the poet is comparing digging to the two different lifestyle choices By digging with his pen the speaker is also conveying that he enjoys the same passion and sense of identity in writing that his father and grandfather enjoy in digging In addition the poem is composed of the memories he has of growing up with labor workers Under my window a clean rasping sound When the spade sinks into the gravelly ground The rasping sound is an example of sound imagery and this sound also allows the reader to imagine a spade sinking into the gravelly ground In the second line the meter also changes to sound like digging and this adds to the effect of the imagery Moreover the speaker is reflecting on his memories and making the distinction between their lifestyles and his own Reflecting even farther back into his memories he recalls The cold smell of potato mold the squelch and slap Of soggy peat the curt cuts of
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