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

Compare the way Larkin and Plath present human relationships in their poems.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare the ways in which Larkin and Plath explore human relationships in their poems. Larkin- Talking in Bed, Afternoons Plath- Balloons, The Applicant The poems Talking in Bed and Afternoons written by Larkin, and Balloons and The Applicant written by Plath, present human relationships in different ways. Plath's Balloons focuses on personal experiences and happiness and is written from her own point of view. The Applicant mocks the relationship that is expected by society between a husband and wife, and criticises the role of a woman within a marriage. In Larkin's Talking in Bed, he expresses ideas about how time can affect and change a relationship between two people, and similarly in Afternoons he looks at what has altered in a husband's and wife's world since they have been together. Larkin and Plath both discuss romantic relationships, Larkin speaks from a pessimistic point of view, and Plath in a similar tone in The Applicant. However Plath's Balloons looks at a different kind of relationship entirely, the one she has with her children. Talking in Bed by Larkin shows how a relationship can change over time, and how people can grow apart emotionally, even if they are together physically. The poem opens with 'Talking in bed ought to be easiest', displaying Larkin's cynical outlook on the relationship. The use of the auxiliary verb 'ought' shows that talking in bed isn't easy, even though it should be, which is shown by the line 'yet more and more time passes silently'. ...read more.

Middle

This represents feelings of destress and the want to say things and express emotions that people can't, then the moment passes and it's too late to mention. The line 'and dark towns heap up on the horizon' shows that these feelings have been building over time. The 'horizon' represents the future and hope for the relationship, however the 'dark towns' problematise that future. This section of the poem presents images that are threatening and suggests that for the outside world their relationship has no meaning, shown by the line 'None of this cares for us.' This is ironic as Larkin is arguing that most relationships are like the one he is describing, shown through use of the inclusive pronouns 'this' and 'us'. The final stanza shows that these circumstances are not changing. 'It becomes still more difficult to find, Words at once true and kind, Or not untrue and not unkind.' The use of the word 'still' shows that things are not improving. The antonyms 'true', 'untrue' and 'kind' and 'unkind' are juxtaposed with each other to represent the feelings of emptiness. If the words are neither true nor untrue, therefore they are nothing, and meaningless. While Larkin uses nature to create imagery, Plath uses artificial objects to create images of falsity in The Applicant. The poem critiques a stereotypical idea of a man's ideal wife from Plath's feminist point of view. ...read more.

Conclusion

The lines 'And the albums, lettered/Our wedding, lying/Near the television' shows how the images of marriage can just be for show, as the wedding album is placed near the television and what people view on TV is what we want to see and not necessarily a true picture of a person's life. Afternoons shows how life changes from being young and in a relationship to being older and married. Larkin's techniques and language show that growing older can make you look back on things that once were, and the realisation of knowing it is going to come to an end, yet other people still have time to experience their own relationships. Both poets explore the emotions linked to relationships from different perspectives. Unlike Larkin, Plath shows her optimistic attitude in Balloons, and how time passing will allow the relationship with her children to grow and develop, rather than decay. Larkin's pessimism is shown in both Talking in Bed and Afteroons, where he explores the idea that human and romantic relationships will always come to an end, and once they begin all they can do is decay. However Plath's cynical attitude to romantic relationships in The Applicant is similar to Larkin's, which may be due to her marriage to Ted Hughes influencing her writing. Although Plath is more comfortable, writing from her own point of view rather than using Larkin's style of a non specific narrator, it is clear both poets write about different yet similar kinds of relationships based on their own personal experience. ...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 Comparative Essays section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 Comparative Essays essays

  1. Analysis of 'You're' by Sylivia Plath

    The narrator then goes on to describe the child behaviour as 'jumpy as a Mexican bean' implying that the baby kicks and moves around inside her. At the very end of the poem, 'a clean slate' is used to mean that as soon as the child is born, it will

  2. Compare the two "Wuthering Heights" poems by Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.

    "Lintel and sill have unhinged themselves" is probably a reference to the windows that Emily watched the moors through. This image give the reader the sense that Sylvia Plath also feels trapped as Emily Bronte did. Both poets use repetition to give an impression of the emptiness of the surroundings.

  1. The poem's 'I am not that women' by Kishwar Naheed and 'women work' by ...

    Mayo Angelou is writing from her own feelings, her own daily life and very narrow perspective. The poem 'Women Work' by Mayo Angelou is about black women in rural living conditions and explains the work done by a woman. The poem starts with a tedious list of jobs using no

  2. Duffy- Feminist Propaganda?

    Salome appears to be emotionally detached 'what did it matter... and doubtless I'll do it again... Salome's bed' this suggests that she has lost her femininity; she appears to be unhappy with her current state of being 'Never again! ...

  1. Compare and contrast the poems 'Blackberrying' by Sylvia Plath and 'Blackberry Picking' by Seamus ...

    The moods of the woman and boy and atmosphere are changed by the discovery of something new. The woman discovers that nature is not always nice but can be cruel and harsh. She sees the berries as friends, they love her but by the end her mood has changed and she's not as content.

  2. Compare the two poets Ted Hughes and Simon Armitage.

    lines and the last stanza has only two, therefore this poem is a traditional sonnet. Each line of this poem is very short the minimum number of words in a line is seven and the maximum number in a line is ten.

  1. Analysis Of Ted Hughs' "The Jaguar"

    The animals look so unnatural in fact that they could be painted for a frieze suitable for children. These types of pictures are simple and depict the animals as friendly and humble whereas in reality animals like tigers are extremely menacing and far more complex.

  2. Plath and Hughes wrote their last collections for different reasons, different audiences; there are ...

    In Birthday Letters Hughes writes ?Your silent howl through the night? Burned you like a lump of phosphorus? in a verse devoted completely for the mother shows the significance of his feelings, as well as the powerful emotive language reveal the strong feelings Hughes hold on the matter.

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