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

"Afternoons" by Philip Larkin analysis.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss how the narrator approaches the themes of ageing and relationships This is a melancholy poem, which reflects on the subject of marriage. The poem deal with Larkinâs view on young mothers watching their children playing in a playground and he concludes that marrying young leads to the mothers losing their identity. Larkinâs description of young mothers taking their children to a playground seems like normal but the narratorâs point of view on life is expressed. What seems like an ordinary, everyday occurrence highlights the theme of change and how it cannot be avoided and the passing of time. Larkinâs choice of words, symbolism and imagery clearly portrays this passage of time and the routines of these mothersâ lives. The first line sets the scene at the beginning of autumn, âsummer is fading.â Seasons are used to symbolise certain stages in life. In autumn, most life starts to fade away in front of our eyes. This illustrates how these mothers lives are deteriorating, and how their family have become the only thing they live for. ...read more.


This shows that these motherâs lives will never change. They watch as their children play freely while time passes them by and they do not have a future to look forward to as it will be the same as every other day. The choice of words emphasises this, and shows the theme time. The narratorâs observations of these womenâs lives show just how much time has affected them. As the poem continues it implies how this mother past has been forgotten, âAnd the albums, lettered Our Wedding, lying Near the television.â This shows how the womenâs lives are drained of romance. A womanâs wedding day is the happiest day of her life which would be a significant and special memory. However, the narrator describes the pictures from this day are sitting next to the television which shows how they are just seem like a piece of clutter. The television is also a routine in which we all fall into. ...read more.


This theme of time and ageing is created by describing the demands of these children. These womenâs lives have been ruled by the demands of their children. The last two lines in the poem show the loss of control these women have regarding their lives. âSomething is pushing them To the side of their own lives.â This implies these women have no control and the only thing controlling them is the demands of their family. Their feelings are no longer valued, they cannot make a choice for themselves, and it has to benefit their family. This also suggests the narrator does not believe it is these mothers fault for the emptiness in their lives. They are not seen as worthy people, they are there to serve the needs of their children and husbands. This shows just how these womenâs lives have been affected by time. Their lives have diminished in front of their eyes, and now they will have to watch their children do the same. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Philip Larkin essays

  1. Examine Philip Larkin’s view of love and relationships expressed in his poems in The ...

    This enables one to discover the truth, as Larkin has. Stanza six reveals more of Larkin's view. Their image is fading and turns to 'untruth.' The main function of this stanza is to convey the insignificance of love. This presented by using words such as 'hollow' (suggesting emptiness) and 'scrap.'

  2. How Larkin Portrays The Past and Attitudes To It In MCMXIV and Home Is ...

    In the second poem, Home is so sad, Larkin emphasises the title by repeating it as the first phrase of the poem. The word home is associated with being safe, warm and belonging. This immediately forces the reader to question why Larkin says home is so sad.

  1. What interests you about Larkin's use of language and verse form in three of ...

    This description creates the impression that the protagonist is trying to group all the man made objects together so that he does not have to think about how many there are of them individually. A stark comparison can be drawn between what the protagonist saw in the countryside ("skies, scarecrows and haystacks, hares and pheasants")

  2. To what extent is "Essential Beauty" characteristic of the collection as a whole?

    The last line, (and message), "Smiling, recognizing, and going dark" is a very powerful one. The reality is that this perfect illusion is fading away and that no matter how many products are sold which she is advertising, the consumer will never attain her.

  1. Larkin has been criticised for a lack of sympathy in his poetry. Based on ...

    So in this poem we can see a change in Larkin's views from the sympathetic, mocking view to hesitating on whether in-fact are people sympathising with him because of his situation. The final poem i will look at, i feel of one of the saddest poems Larkin has written as

  2. My transformation of Philip Larkin's first-person adult poem, 'Mr Bleaney' into a third and ...

    to develop Philip Smith's views towards the old man, that is, he criticised him because he couldn't accept how he could identify with his loneliness, 'Like me Mr Bleaney also gambled'. Although the poem's plot is fairly uneventful, I enjoyed revealing what happened in Mr Bleaney's life and why he no longer lived in the bed-sit, 'till they moved him'.

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