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

Larkin has often been regarded as a hopeless and inflexible pessimist. In the light of the 'Whitsun Weddings' how true is this statement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Larkin has often been regarded as a hopeless and inflexible pessimist. In the light of the 'Whitsun Weddings' how true is this statement? This statement is true to some extent, however, Larkin is regarded as this pessimistic writer of poetry because he is a realist poet. In his work Larkin focuses on intense personal emotion but strictly avoided sentimentality or self-pity, therefore this would create a pessimistic view on his work. Most of Larkin's poetry is very observational and provincial, and his feelings of failure could have affected this. The death of his mother was the main foundation of his depression however in January 1942 he failed an army medical examination due to bad eyesight. He was therefore deemed unfit for military service. This could have affected his depression, so as to outline a motive for his pessimistic poetry. Having saying this, the amount of positive successes' in Larkin's life out numbers the failures. ...read more.

Middle

"Life is slow-dying" He uses the expression slow and not slowly to emphasise change in the community. This statement is supported by a quote later on in the poem, "Hours giving evidence", this quote gives the readers an appearance of the community fading every hour. The poem ends with an inadequate contradiction. "Means nothing; others it leaves Nothing to be said". The poem is almost left with a two-sided argument. Larkin against the community. Larkin's side of the argument is shown through the "Nothing to be said" element, as he cannot stop the community fading whatever he says, consequently no matter what he say's it means nothing. Larkin uses this as a way of preserving ways of the past. He doesn't like contemporary life. We can see this through an unambiguous link between poems. We can see a sense of Isolation in 'Mr Bleaney' and 'nothing to be said'. ...read more.

Conclusion

An enigmatic reference to "the Bodies", presumably a nickname for Mr Bleaney's former workplace, is somehow apt. Its slightly ghoulish ring corresponds to the notion of him as a spectre, silently hovering at the speaker's shoulder. Likewise when the room is referred to as "one hired box", sounding like nothing so much as a coffin. The "saucer-souvenir" doubling as an ashtray reinforces the idea of migration that both the speaker and his predecessor were just passing through. And of course the poem's closing verses describe the fear that all our lives are no more than a 'passing through', furthermore, that our success, our happiness or otherwise in so doing are reflected by "how we live". Given this, the conclusion would seem to be that if all one has to show for oneself is a grubby rented room then one's life cannot have amounted to much. These are very negative comments Larkin makes which show pessimism in even his most pragmatic poems. ...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

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. Marked by a teacher

    Larkin is often portrayed as being obsessed by death, but High Windows is as ...

    5 star(s)

    They simply wait to be fetched by a nurse, as if death itself is choosing them. We see the importance of choice again in the next stanza; the people are at 'the vague age that claims/ the end of choice, the last hope' an age which Larkin seems to feel he is fast approaching.

  2. Larkin has been accused of a lack of sympathy in his poetry, based on ...

    their children" with freedom and choices but they are bordered by their parents values and opinions enforced on them and therefore they follow the conventional life that they lived. So he suggests that the freedom presented to us in the beginning of life, is actually a farce.

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

    Maudsley to witness the "two bodies moving like one". Leo's downfall had almost reached its peak. The climax arrived however with the news that Ted Burgess "had gone home and shot himself", releasing the metaphorical trigger that was to kill Leo the schoolboy and force him into an unpleasant adult world.

  2. The Whitsun Weddings - Philip Larkin.

    The innocence of the child in this poem is beautiful. The poem also shows a realistic firmness, as the child is probably too young to understand what is going on.

  1. A Practical Criticism on 'Here by Phillip Larkin 'Here' was published in 1964 as ...

    pheasants' and meets the boundary of the large town with 'surprise'; this implies that the town is surrounded by countryside.

  2. By Close Reading Of At Least Three Of His Poems, Discuss The Qualities That ...

    The final poem I have decided to study by Philip Larkin is 'Mother, Summer, I'. This poem, on the contrary to the other two, is about Larkin's family life rather than the public. It reflects his mother's feelings and he uses powerful imagery to show the difference between him and his mother.

  1. With close reference to 2 or 3 poems in 'The Whitsun Weddings', discuss the ...

    This is a very cynical view to take on life and express through his poetry. If Larkin is questioning his existence does he believe he actually has a purpose? This poem has a connection with 'Toads' and 'Toads Revisited" where Larkin describes work as a boring, pointless portion of life and says it is a waste of time.

  2. Marriage of the familiar with the unexpected makes the 'Whitsun Weddings' Larkin's most satisfying ...

    Some personas are relating to a character being discussed in a poem, others may be just remembering a time or an environment whilst in Dockery and Son, there is the main speaker and several other characters featured speaking to the main speaker.

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