The Turnip Snedder

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sijia
Words 498
Pages 2
Discuss the main ideas and their presentation in ‘The Turnip Snedder’

The Turnip Snedder by Heaney presents four main ideas, including Heaney himself justifying act of violence, Heaney’s thinking about peace, war with its affect to modern word and remembering the past. Heaney associated manually driven turnip-crushing machine with these three themes perfectly in The Tunip Snedder. Heaneay mainly use description, allution, sarcasm and contrastion to convey themes to readers. Following passage will focus on the themes of The Tunip Snedder and methods Heaney used to present main ideas.

First Heaney uses descriptive languages to present his memory to the past. “In an age” refers to a bygone time, and words ”bare hands and cast iron” emphasis that at first work was done by people, not machine. The flowing stanza “the clamp-on meat-mincer, the double-flywheeled water-pump,” also points out the past and the machine use, and brings a little comparison of the past and now. These two stanzas are used to initiate the poem. It builds up a relatively melancholy and serious atmosphere to readers.

To illustrate war’s affect to modern world, in the first place Heaney uses military words “breast-plate”, “guard” and “greaves” to relate the war to the function of snedder. In fact the Turnip-sneeder is a metaphor of military machine that can turn soldiers into meat-mincer. He says that “’This is the way that god sees life,’it said,’from seedling-braird to sneeder’”, which pointsone of the themes that like the function of sneeder, war’s function is to cut and to kill by cutting. Moreover, Heaney presents his self-justifying of violence through describing snedder’s mind and behavior ironically. ‘This is the way the God sees life’, it said, ‘from seedling-braid to snedder,’ fully endow snedder with single minded, unintelligent mentality. As the handle turned and turnip-heads…...

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