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

    The reality is that they are closer to death rather than attaining perfection. A similar, but kinder message is seen in "Love songs in Age". Here the subject does not attain the love "promising to solve" her and the message is that life does not match this promise of fulfillment and that we expect too much from love.

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

    Also we can see Larkin sympathise with married women in general which is very surprising in itself as he says that 'stand husbands, 'their children' and 'an estateful of washing' dominate their lives. From this i have come to the conclusion that in relation to the question 'how fair is the criticism...

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

    Larkin goes on to explain that the memories of home stay the same, even if you have to leave it behind. Home is personified as a person, hoping that if they stay as how you fondly remember them, then you will no longer be able to stay away and come back.

  2. 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")

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

    Passage of time is described as 'soundless damage,' whose effect took place 'early.' This implies the couple was not aware of the impact of time, it is subtle yet has tremendous effect. But, the tomb is described as traveling though a 'stationary voyage,' which tells us the couple, or its original meaning, has not changed.

  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