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The Modernist theme of mechanization, brought on by the beginning of World War I and the technological revolution of the era, manifests itself powerfully and completely in the language of Seamus Heaneys first poem, Digging. From various literary devices, as well as graphic imagery the mechanization of the human spirit comes to life in the form of his father, and grandfather. The past and present become one, with the common bond the honest work of the Irish poor. In his own way, and with his own pen, Heaney develops the idea of mechanized men who, through the drudgery and repetition of their lives, create a life for them and their families, taking pride in their work, and acceptance of their fate. He develops seamlessly the idea of a man-machine, a hybrid of automation and human, married by toil and tool. Likewise, Heaney writes this as a way to tie himself to his ancestors in the British Isles, illustrating the power that they wielded with shovel and sweat, making their contribution no less enlightened than his own. In his first poem, Heaney develops the image of mechanization and automation that follows the poor of his country, through graphic imagery, sound, and literary mastery. Heaneys imagery throughout the poem echoes the automation of the workers, illustrating the type of work that they do as something that could be done by machinery. Titling the piece Digging immediately highlights for the reader the verbal connotation of the work, and puts the theme of work, and of manual labor into the limelight. As well, Heaneys use of the word gun to describe his squat pen in line 2 places the emphasis on machinery allowing a comparison of the human condition to present technology. This theme continues throughout the poem, as Heaney likens his fathers act of digging to that of a machine, as his father nestled on the lug, the shaft/Against the inside knee was levered firmly. (ll.10-11) These words take the labor out of the realm of man, by ...

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