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“Follower” refers to the relationship
between children and their parents evolve
over time
In this stanza
there are lines
that end with a
rhyme such as
Heaney portrays his father as a “expert” who
knows how to position the plough’s wing and
“bright steel-pointed sock” so that the ideal
sod(turf) can be rolled over without breaking,
how to handle his sweaty crew with minimal
e ort, how to determine his mission with
unerring expertise.
This stanza extends the a ection for the father and
focuses on him. “Reins”(tied to the horses). The
horses quickly and returned to plowing. Lines 11 and
12 talk about his father’s speci c movements. His
squinting, narrowed eyes are visible as he watches the
ground in front of him.
“I” was stated in this stanza making it rst person. “Hobnailed” refers
to the ruts in the eld created by the plow and plowman’s foot. He
trips behind his while he was watching him work. The author doesn’t
sound like he was that helpful, but “polished” refers to smooth and
polished dirt. “Dipping and rising” indicates riding on his fathers
The author looked ups to his father’s work and wants to plough
as well since he admires him so much. Since “all he ever did
was follow” his father across the eld, it seems he never
physically learned how to do the job hands-on manner. It also
seems that he lived in his fathers shadow according to his
The author acknowledges that he was always in the way of his
fathers work. With his “nuisance, tripping, falling, yapping,” over the
plowed elds he wasn’t much help. He brought the reader back to
the future by using “today” at the end of line 22, and gives us a clue
that he has improved due to the word “but.” Now he is a grown man
and his father is a old man who nds it di cult to keep up with his
son. Which represents follower.
The speaker began the poem by saying his
father is a “horse-plough” which means we will
be an important role in the poem and that he is a
farmer. Plough is a British spelling for plow,
which may mean they are from Britain.
These lines refer to his father’s shoulders appear
round from the rear, as sails do, since they are
hunched and strained with the desire to stem the
plow. And he usually has the strength to plow the
The word “strained” refers that the horse
works hard for his father and listens to
his orders.
He used to never keep up with his fathers
work and now his father can’t keep up
with his work
This poem appeals to ethos because
the author expresses his emotions and
himself about his father. Stanza 5,
relates to this rhetorical appeal because
he showed emotion about how he
wants to grow up and become like his
father to plough.
Analysis Paragraph
The poem “Follower” by Seamus Heaney, re ects on the bond between a father and his son, moving
from past to present and providing the reader’s insight into a son’s response to the passage of time
and the aging of the same. As shown in the poem Heaney, showed how he idolized his father by the
way he described his childhood. One piece of evidence that shows bond between a father and son is
stanza 4 “In his broad shadow around the farm.” This indicates how he was always with his father even
when he was working, even in his shadow. This is critical to the title because it proves that Heaney
followed his father during his childhood and looked up to him as a child. Another example of the poem
moving from past to present, is he brought the reader back to the future by using “today” at the end of
line 22, and gives us a clue that he has improved due to the word “but.” Now he is a grown man and
his father is an old man who nds it di cult to keep up with his son, which also represents followers.
This is ironic because at rst the son couldn’t keep up with his father and at the end the father couldn’t
keep up with his son. This is essential to the thesis since it provides evidence of how the author moved
from past to present in the poem. The nal documentation of the poem is line 19 and line 22,23&24“All
I ever did was follow,” “But now, It is my father who keeps stumbling, Behind me and will not go away.”
This validates when the author was a child he was always following his father, but through time the
father began to follow his son. This evidence is valuable to the thesis because it evidently proved a
son’s response to the passage of time and aging by demonstrating the how through time parents and
children’s roles change. In conclusion, this passage evidently focused on the connection between a
father and a son, move from past to present and give the reader an overview into the reaction of a son
to the passing of time and age.