Digging Questions and Answers
by Seamus Heaney

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How does the poem "Digging" address the theme of family heritage?

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Seamus Heaney's poem "Digging" has a lot going on in its 31 lines. One of the themes Heaney explores in the poem is how ideas and values get passed down through the generations of a family – family heritage.

The speaker narrates the poem as a member of the youngest generation of the family, a modern man who can look back and respect the hard work his father and grandfather put into their survival and livelihood. He describes their dedication to hard work in detail, when watching his father work:

"his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low" (ln 6-7).

The speaker also recalls what a diligent worker his grandfather was, bragging:

"My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog" (ln 17-18)

and recalling a time when he was...

(The entire section contains 409 words.)

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