• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An 'A' Level candidate described Larkin as a "grumpy, old, git". Based on High Windows how far do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An 'A' Level candidate described Larkin as a "grumpy, old, git". Based on High Windows how far do you agree with this statement? Larkin could be seen as conforming to the image of a 'grumpy, old, git', as thought by critics and even more so by the youth of today. Through his anthology 'High Windows' a window itself is opened into the Larkin's complex character where grumpy, old and git do apply, however this could be seen as generalisation as many poems suggest otherwise. In High Windows there are two definitions of Larkin as old, the first of which is Larkin resigning himself to the past with a sense of despair as to being and feeling old. In 'High Windows' this is shown reverently with the use of the simile "like an outdated combine harvester" through this he evokes a mood of despair. It shows Larkin to feel old-fashioned and out of date, thus alienated from modern on-goings and society, presenting an image of Larkin rusting away forgotten replaced by the next generation. In 'The Trees' Larkin portrays the sadness at the youth he no longer feels "their greenness is a kind of grief". Instead of viewing the beauty of youth and the pleasure which it brings he shows a selfish view, one of which portrays a bitter and miserable old man. Larkin uses parenthesis in 'Annus Mirabilis' to visually illustrate to the reader his isolation "(Which was rather late for me)". ...read more.

Middle

Another poem in which Larkin conveys to the reader his resentment is "This be the verse", where he says "man hands on misery to man". From this an image is conjured that of the older generation relieving their problems for the younger generation to bear. Thus showing misery as inescapable and an intrinsic aspect of life as in the penultimate line "get out as quick as you can" shows that death is preferable to living. Larkin's views on humankind and life are negative, thus supporting the claim that Larkin is in-fact grumpy. A literal representation of the anger which Larkin feels is also shown in 'This be the verse' through the use of swear words "they were fucked up". The swearing corresponds with the image of a grumpy and unhappy being as it again reverently demonstrates the displeasure and anger that he feels. Another of Larkin's traits is his ability to counteract a celebratory or positive thing with a negative as seen in 'Show Saturday', "Grey day for the Show" and "The wrestling starts, late". It shows Larkin to view happy things such as show where it is a day of relaxation and fun, to instead supply endless disappointment and an anti-climax. If Larkin was not in fact grumpy, he would cast a positive instead of a negative spin on what he sees and writes about however this is not the case in the majority of the anthology. ...read more.

Conclusion

Larkin uses vivid imagery such as "the small hushed waves' repeated fresh collapse up the warm yellow sand", its effect is to present the reader with a beautiful picture and positive connotations. Causing them to relate back to their own memories of seaside visits, thus relating with the reader on a personal level and so far removed from an antisocial image of Larkin as a 'git'. In 'Dublinesque' Larkin casts a positive spin over a somewhat depressing theme of a funeral, he rejects a pessimistic approach but instead favours optimism with "there is an air of great friendliness". His positive attitude is illustrated in the final line where he leaves the reader with an emotional and lasting statement "all love, all beauty". Therefore impacting upon the reader and removing himself from a stereotypical view of funerals having a macabre atmosphere. In 'The trees' lyrical language dominates "yet still the unresting castles thresh in fullgrown thickness every May". This language has connotations of romance, love and optimism it shows a pleasant side to Larkin far removed from a git. The reasoning for Larkin as 'grumpy, old, git' could stem from a misunderstanding of his poems realistic approach to life, and not solely because of the anthology's somewhat pessimistic tone. However it is true to say that there is a concurrent and underlying theme of dissatisfaction, lack of opportunities and a misspent youth. Therefore it is justifiable to call Larkin a 'grumpy, old, git' to a certain extent. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philip Larkin section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay chooses appropriate texts from High Windows and quotes telling extracts from them but it sometimes takes phrases out of context to support its arguments and is inclined to use sweeping generalizations to represent others' views.

Marked by teacher Tony Scola 02/04/2012

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philip Larkin essays

  1. A Study of Reading Habits by Philip Larkin- Critical Essay on Theme of ...

    However the reader can also see that this is all fantasy when the persona refers to women as being like meringues. This shows that he sees women as being sweet, delicate and innocent as the white colour of meringue suggests, but this is a false idea of women so the

  2. 'Afternoons' by Philip Larkin.

    The wind acts as an idea of change. This is continued moreover in the third stanza via the use of enjambement. This enables Larkin to carry on and develop his point. Larkin's use of imagery is very effective. The 'courting places' which were once used by the young mothers are changing but so are their children.

  1. A Critical Appreciation of Toads Revisited

    The emotions triggered by these adjectives, e.g. hare-eyed potentially meaning a worried clerk overwhelmed by pressure at his workplace, leave a negative sounding impact on the audience. The use of the metaphor 'toad work' strikes up the stereotypical image of a typical toad: ugly, large, wart-ridden, slimy and heavy.

  2. How typical in terms of subject, theme, structure and versification is 'Faith Healing' by ...

    Therefore, I feel that Mr Bleaney and Here are closely linked to Faith Healing in terms of structure and versification. Faith Healing is an ambiguous poem that seems critical of religion.

  1. Free essay

    Theme of religion in Philip Larkin's Church Going

    it the religious associations affect a person that counts "I've no idea, What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth, It pleases me to stand in silence here". Describing the church as "accoutred" and "frowsty", is very negative and archaic show that the church is old fashioned and that its place in modern society is obsolete.

  2. Philip Larkin's Church Going.

    As he notices writing, he pauses to examine it, however as soon as he reaches a point where he must reflect on the religious aspect of the prayer, he ignores it and continues to describe the architecture of the church, commenting on the renovation, and proceeding to mount the lectern to preach "here endeth."

  1. "The Past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." Referring to L. ...

    Many factors contributed to the "breakdown" of the young go-between, not solely the revelation of the sexual act. The twelve-year-old Leo Colston was emotionally immature. He knew nothing of the facts of life and believed that by being a go-between he was a "messenger of the gods" so high were the Maudsleys in his esteem.

  2. Larkin has often been regarded as a hopeless and inflexible pessimist. In the light ...

    This is shown by the breakdown of the community shown by the materialism and language used n the poem. 'Mr Bleaney' has a more introspective view but is also shown by becoming more isolated. Change is an apparent theme behind Larkin's pessimistic poetry.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work