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    Storm on the Island and Patrolling Barnegat Essay

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    The poem Storm on the Island is written in the first persons point of view and describes what is happening as a personal incident and allows you to connect with the characters in the poem, and show that Heaney may have had personal experience with a storm on an island.. However in Patrolling Barnegat the poet has used the third persons point of view but the poet uses empathy to tell the story of the storm, using empathy for the people and describes what the storm is doing to the island.

    There is a dramatic opening to the beginning of Patrolling Barnegat that has powerful words such as the ‘roar of the gale’ that lead to powerful images that relate to the ferocity of the storm and the lashing of the waves in the see when the poet says the sea is shouting with ‘demoniac laughter’ which tells you of the fierce sounds coming from the sea. In the poem Storm on the Island there is also a strong opening, but this tells of the positive actions the people of the island have done to try and protect themselves from the storm.

    This also tells of how proud they are that they have ‘build our houses squat’ and that they ‘sink walls in rock and roof them with good slate’ showing that they have had experience of the storm before. Towards the end of the poem the poet describe the storm to a war to emphasise the ferocity and danger of the storm on the island and shows the sea as an enemy during storms, but a friend when the weather is calm and the weather is pleasant, but turns on them like a wild animal.

    The ending to the poem is surprising that the island people should fear nothing when there is a ferocious storm, they may say they fear nothing because they have prepared well and there village will not collapse, or they may not fear anything because the islanders know that they can just rebuild anything that breaks as they have each others help to do the tasks that lie ahead. In Patrolling Barnegat the poet has personified the wind making it seem evil as it has ‘evil laughter’ and the wind had intention of destroying obstacles stood in front of it.

    The storm that is raging is happening at night. Night is associated with danger and the mystery of not knowing what is there making it spooky and mysterious as the storm is to the reader of the poem, this comes from the storm being associated with the supernatural earlier with ‘demoniac laughter’ and ‘death-wind’. The eeriness and spookiness of the storm makes you feel pity and a need to help the people in trouble because they cannot run away from such a dramatic and dangerous effect of nature.

    The language used in Patrolling Barnegat gives emphasis as alliteration is used which gives you a point such as ‘on beachy slush and sand spirits of snow fierce slanting’ which makes you think about the storms condition and the use of imagery shows the storm to be like a winters day due to the sand spirits of snow, but this is an opposite to what the poem is telling you about the storm.

    Throughout the poem onomatopoeia is used which lets us hear how harsh the storm is and the diabolical truth that is happening during the storm such as ‘demoniac laughter’ and ‘beachy slush. ‘ The poem has repetition to get the point across and the listing used gives many facts at once that you have to analyse to get the point across in a strong and dramatic way, such as the endings to the lines all end with verbs without subjects which creates questions as to what is doing the verb.

    On line two in Storm on the Island the poet used one syllable words to show how everyone is alone when the storm comes and attacks the town, as it is everyone for themselves and no one can protect you from the storm. This tells me how lonely it must be for the people who live on the island if they are on their own, and how scary it must be fro them as they have no one to turn to for help and no one can help or protect them.

    In Storm on the Island the poet is connected to nature and seems to know what it would be like to be there in the storm as he has lived the experience. The poet knows that the storm would not be the same if it was to happen in a big city as they have strongly constructed buildings and if one was to fall down they could rebuild it easily but out on the island they would have to gather resources and they cannot easily construct a building, or do it as quickly as in a city as they do not have machines to work for them.

    However on the island people are connected to the land and would rebuild their homes without damaging the land unlike the city dwellers who destroy habitats. The people in the poem work together as a community as the poet talks as ‘we’ not ‘I’ which shows they work as one unit not separate people. The poet in Patrolling Barnegat also shows connection to nature even though he is writing in the third persons point of view.

    The onomatopoeia in the poem invites excitement and interest and helps you to imagine what is happening out at sea and how scary it must be for the people involved. There is a tension built as there are links with the supernatural such as ‘demoniac’, and ‘spirits’ which add interest and makes the poem spooky, which is not something that is usually associated with a storm, the usual feelings are to be scared but to think of it as spooky or otherworldly would not have originally been obvious.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Storm on the Island and Patrolling Barnegat Essay. (2017, Oct 10). Retrieved from

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