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Larkin explores the gap between romantic yearning and disillusioned pragmatism in the lives we lead. Examine what Larkin has to say about this gap in a choice of poems from The Whitsun Weddings

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Larkin explores the gap between romantic yearning and disillusioned pragmatism in the lives we lead. Examine what Larkin has to say about this gap in a choice of poems from ?The Whitsun Weddings? Philip Larkin wrote to engage his reader in the downsides and apparent depression of a post-war period in which aspirations and hope were high, as well as the romantic yearnings which seemed to be present in the majority of the population. Larkin wrote to explore the gulf between what we expect out of life and what he viewed as what we all have to at some point come to terms with, the disappointment and disillusionment that is life. Andrew Motion states that ?Larkin mirrors and vitalises a continual debate between hopeful romantic yearnings and disillusioned pragmatism.? This of course refers to the gulf that Larkin writes about so much as well as the continuous debate that goes on between these yearnings for something better and the dreariness of reality. ...read more.


The fact the poem is called Sunny Prestatyn could almost be seen as an ironic comment by Larkin on this gulf, it even seems like the poem at first is trying to sell something to the reader rather than draw our attention to our gap between the disillusionment and reality. The narrative opens with ?Come to Sunny Prestatyn? this straight away shows suggestiveness and the girl on the poster is the object of this suggestiveness, ?Laughed the girl on the poster,? Larkin would have used this language to make an ironic comment on the people who are buying into this poster, the girl in the poster could be seen as laughing at the cruel irony of the selling of these false realities to the public. Vulgar language seems to be present throughout the poem but not through adjectives which may typically be viewed in the manner ?seemed to expand from her thighs? It seems that in the context normally innocuous words take on sexuality. ...read more.


?huge tits.? It has to be exaggerated because the poem itself is not harmful but what is done to the poster and the exposing of lies is what is in fact harmful. This is why ?Titch Thomas? does the viewers if the poster a favour by exposing the falsities. He is harmless but whoever stabbed the poster is in fact harmful because they represent the realisation of the gulf romantic yearnings and disillusioned pragmatisms. ?She was too good for this life? This is Larkin really showing us that much like the girl in the poster the dreams she is trying to sell are non existent, lifes realities and what she represents just don?t go together. Then finally to really hit home the point about the false realities Larkin says ?Now Fight Cancer is there? in the early 50s and 60s, cancer was pretty much a death sentence, it is a real wake up call at the end to show that reality and the important things in it need to be concentrated on rather than romantic yearnings and false dreams. ...read more.

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