The reader will be shocked and moved - Sample Essay
” Back to ‘The Eviction’, the opening of the third stanza shows us euphemistically how people’s homes being taken away from them is work – the army does evictions on a day-to-day basis and this is how it is seen. There is also an irony here “The sheriff’s painful duty must be done;” in reality he enjoys his work. From the homes, emerge the most pitiful selection of people “Girl, matron, grandsire, baby on the breast. ” This show the inhumanity of those who are doing this to them and it dehumanises them, all these people are innocent and defenceless against them.
“One old man, tears upon his wrinkled cheek, Stands trembling on a threshold, tries to speak, but in defect of any word fro this, mutely upon a doorpost prints a kiss,” this is make the scene seem more real and to make us understand the way the evictees must be feeling – in particular, this man cannot turn his feelings into words and prints a kiss upon the doorpost to show his affection for the house or possibly to say goodbye to it. The next line “The children run bewildered, wailing loud” gives us an idea of the tragedy and panic of the event.
Following this, a woman, Oona, is brought out from the house reclined in her chair – she is old and frail, another example of innocence and dehumanisation of the army. Now that she is losing any protection she had from the elements, it is likely her condition will deteriorate meaning she could die as a result of the soldier’s inconsideration and humanity. There is a short stanza after this, the household fires symbolic of home; of sustenance and of comfort they have lost. Meanwhile Paudeen Dhu pretends to be woeful “with meekly dismal face.
” I would consider the authors use of irony here to be subtle – he could have said “with dismal face” which would have been obvious but the word “meekly” is to show that this dismal face is pretend and is a cover. For this reason I would say that this use of irony is effective. The soldiers in the next stanza give any evictees who wish, to get into the cart that will take them to the workhouse – he says this without any emotion but yet being serious, he is polite “Time shall be given; and there are carts below If any to the workhouse choose to go” shows this.
A woman then runs in and falls on her knees onto the ground and screams “Vengeance of God Almighty fall on you, James Pigot! May the poor man’s curse pursue, the widows and the orphan’s curse, I pray, hang heavy round you at your dying day. ” This shows her anger and frustration at Pigot for making people go to the workhouse and taking advantage from their misfortune. Her vehemence is contrasted to the empathy with the evicted; it demonstrates her harsh reaction and her bitterness.
In the final stanza, Oona is carried out on her bed on poles and she is described as being a “sick girl in her litter; bed and all”, this is to evoke pathos. Also calling her a “sick girl” is a contradiction to when she was described as “old and frail”. We think nothing much of an “old and frail” woman – age is usually a result of frailty and I think that the change to “sick girl” speaks more volume to us and we feel more for Oona – she is not an old woman, she is suffering as a girl would. The following line also evokes pathos “children weak and small.
” The use of onomatopoeia is again shown in “clink and thwack” to give the poem a sensual reality. The soldiers then break down all their houses with iron bars “of iron bar on stone, let creep away, the sad procession from that hillside grey” and also objective correlative is used to illustrate how terrible the event is that has happened in the use of rain and dire colours. ” We are left with the scene of shattered house, doors hanging from their latches and also a fire buried underneath the thatch to remind us of the comfort and sustenance that the evictees have lost.
The rhetorical question we were left with in Claudy “what’s wrong about that? ” is answered in the next stanza of the poem “Not much, but before she comes back to the road, that strange car parked outside her house will explode”. This is an abrupt statement and is to link everyday innocent life with the explosion to show that these people have done nothing to deserve this. “An explosion too loud for your eardrums to bear and young children squealing like pig in the square,” is to give us an idea of the enormity of what’s happened and just as animals would panic, so do the children.
The contrast in colour on the next line shows how the shocked chalk-white faces are streaked with blood among the glass, dust and the dead. This is a scene of chaos so as we understand more what is happening. “For an old lady’s legs are ripped off, and the head of man’s hanging open, and still he’s not dead,” gives us an explicitly described and graphic picture of what the bomb has done, to show that what happens to humans in a bomb is more than glass and mortar being destroyed on a building.
These scenes evoke pathos and we sympathise with the man and his son – he is about to lose his life and his son is about to lose his father. The next line “And Christ, little Katherine Allen is dead and Mrs McLaughlin is pierced through the head,” is again another example of how imagery is used to convey the carnage and suffering of the bomb. There is a minor inconvenience at the end “Meanwhile to Dungiven, the killers have gone, and they’re finding it hard to get through on the phone.
” – the ironic fact that the killers cannot get through on the phone is contrasted to the suffering caused. Both of these stories convey the chaos, the innocence and the injustice well. The first poem “The Eviction” does this mainly through the use of parts of prose-like onomatopoeia, alliteration, synecdoche and also through the types of people being evicted – innocent, feeble and defenceless. An example of this would be in stanza three when “Girl, matron, grandsire, baby on the breast” is used to show innocence.
I feel that the second poem, Claudy, shocked and moved me more. My reasons for this would be that I think the poet has been very clever in building up to the explosion by giving us a cheerful picture of the town and giving us a background to the daily lives of the people of the town. Not only does it set us up to be moved more by what is going to happen but it helps us to feel more sympathy and horror when we know these people a little. I also think that the matter of fact lines in the poem provide a punch in the story and reinforce the story.
Also, the graphic description of the injuries the people such as the man’s head is lying open and the woman’s legs are ripped off, make the horror of the bombing seem more real and more effective. However on the other hand, I would not say that I did not find “The Eviction” shocking or moving, as I read for the first time I was shocked but I felt that after reading Claudy, it used simplicity and matter of factness better to convey the horror of the story.