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

Comparing Larkin and Abse

Extracts from this document...


Larkin essay In this essay I will compare and contrast three poems by Philip Arthur Larkin, the three poems are: 'Dockery and Son', 'Mr Bleaney', and 'Self's the Man', all poems from Larkin's The Whitsun Weddings. 'Self's the Man' deals with Larkin's preoccupation with self by taking on the persona of the poem. However the persona does not interact with the character of Arnold but wonders whether he has a better life, by not being married. Whereas 'Mr. Bleaney' is about a man who carries out a very monotonous life all alone without being married like Arnold. 'Dockery and Son' describes the different paths that people take in life or the choices they make. "He married a woman to stop her getting away Now she's there all day," This is from 'Self's the Man' and displays Larkin's feelings towards marriage, he is cynical about marriage. The simple and predictable rhyming scheme displays Arnold's predictable life now that he is married. Irony is also an almost constant presence in Larkin's poetry and this is no exception as Arnold's hopes for a happy life are disappointed. All three poems suggest loneliness in our existence and treats it in a meditative way. ...read more.


'So he and I are the same,' Larkin's views of life are very bleak as we can see he does not believe in marriage or happy couples, he is miserable so he thinks everyone else must be as well. At the end of the poem Larkin still tries to tell us that he prefers his life to Arnold's married life. 'Only I'm a better hand At knowing what I can stand Without them sending a van- Or I suppose I can.' However the ending is ambiguous and it is not made clear who's life is superior, Larkin's or Arnold's. Larkin also identifies himself with Mr. Bleaney even though he doesn't want to. The tone of the poem changes with the word 'But,' preceded by a full stop which emphasises the change in atmosphere. The shift is further emphasised as the language before the turning point is very colloquial and easily accessible however it then turns into language which is typical of Larkin, full of pessimism pointlessness. 'And at his age no more to show Than one hired box,' Larkin may have chosen the words "One hired box" to represent a coffin, Mr. ...read more.


'Dockery and Son' also comments on how time equals loss and how time changes people and things, this is a strong theme in a lot of Larkin's poems. 'I try the door of where I used to live: Locked.' Larkin comments on how you cannot go back in time and how he is isolated from his past. The language is colloquial and there is a casual mood as the persona drifts through the poem as time goes on with use of enjambment. 'Yawning...I fell asleep.' The ending is pessimistic and is again typical of a Larkin poem. 'And age, and then the only end of age.' Larkin wants us to see that fatherhood and bachelorhood are only superficial differences over essential sameness. All three poems cover themes of choice and chance, the past and nostalgia, and life and death. They all seem to have bleak and miserable moods. Larkin seems to identify a small part of himself within every character he criticises and makes himself, but also the reader, think about how he lives his own life and how different it actually is from those people's lives. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tim Berendse ...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. The Historyof War Poetry and the works of Wilfred Owen

    All of his great war poems on which his reputation rests were written in a mere fifteen months. Owen's poetry of war was not just patterns of significant lines of verse, it was a message he wanted to convey. As most of the poets of his school, Owen wrote poetry

  2. In this essay I am going to compare the following poemsCrossing the Bar and ...

    This is another place where both poets differ as the first poem has a fixed rhyme scheme. This is because Roger Mcgough wants to show his audience his irregular attitude to death. This also mirrors the poets wish as he wants to die an unplanned, dramatic death.

  1. Compare the ways in which Duffy and Larkin write about the theme of Nostalgia ...

    There is also juxtaposition between abstract and concrete, expressed through the journey taken by the early mercenaries as they leave their families. Here, 'love' is the abstract object whilst 'money' is the concrete. We can discern that the abstract overpowers the concrete, where money is described as "dull crude coins clenched in the teeth; strange food".

  2. Analysis between Mean Time and Whitsun Weddings - Theme of Contemporary Society

    This would also make 'Cool,' also have connotations of fashionable, linking back to consumerism, however being desired, by people as they feel the need to look alike due to the pressures of contemporary society. 'Cool Store,' also gives us the image of a place where people gather to shop, if the sense of the word 'store,' was a shop.

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

    This idea is intensified in the seventh stanza due to repetition, 'it can sew, it can cook, it can talk, talk, talk'. The repetition of the word 'talk' suggests that men feel women talk too much, and should just be looked at instead of being spoken to.

  2. On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley and Langston Hughes's I, ...

    This call for equality is also underlined by the use of the word "brother" in the second line. Hughes sees the American society as one big family, including African Americans. Furthermore, the use of the word "brother" connotates an affinity towards white people.

  1. Larkin and Abse on relationships. The essay will discuss this contrast by examing Larkins ...

    Larkin states that their mode of dress is a joke, at that point you could begin to wonder if Larkin is mildly slightly jealous. From this we can infer that Larkin is unsatisfied by such relationships and how they haven't developed as he's have liked in his own life.

  2. Women are dismissed as insignificant in both the poetry of Larkin and Eliot. How ...

    satin? using the woman very obviously as an object of perfection to attract tourists, and therefore are exploiting the woman for their own means. The poem then becomes quite sinister in the language used. The woman has been completely defaced and violated with ?snaggle-toothed? and ?boss-eyed? face having been drawn on.

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