Students consider the word class, connotations and effect of specific words within 'Storm on the Island'. Detailed answers are included to share with students. Also includes a great 'guess the line' drawing task.
Word class: adjective
Connotations: The adjective ‘squat’ implies the short houses are built with the purpose and hope they will withstand the weather.
Effect: The manmade houses are ‘squat’ in contrast to the traditional ideas of beauty within nature. The houses are built with the intent to survive the storm, perhaps demonstrating the control nature has over man as well as its destructive power. Although Heaney here uses ‘squat’ as an adjective, when used as a verb it could refer to unlawful inhabitation, arguably how nature views humanity’s presence.
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