• 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 Larkin?s view on young mothers watching their children playing in a playground and he concludes that marrying young leads to the mothers losing their identity. Larkin?s description of young mothers taking their children to a playground seems like normal but the narrator?s 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. Larkin?s choice of words, symbolism and imagery clearly portrays this passage of time and the routines of these mothers? lives. The first line sets the scene at the beginning of autumn, ?summer is fading.? 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 mother?s 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 narrator?s observations of these women?s lives show just how much time has affected them. As the poem continues it implies how this mother past has been forgotten, ?And the albums, lettered Our Wedding, lying Near the television.? This shows how the women?s lives are drained of romance. A woman?s 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 women?s 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. ?Something is pushing them To the side of their own lives.? 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 women?s 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. 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 ...

    My interpretation of this slowing of the pace is that it is mirroring the view illustrated in toads and toads revisited that the city will drag everyone in and make it hard for them leave even if they wish to.

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

    I chose to transform the poem into a short story as it allowed development of the characters and setting by using descriptive language, for instance; 'He stared at the brownish wallpaper, hypnotised by the marks of damp and neglect that sometimes appeared to him like magical worlds' This enabled me

  2. Choose two poems in which Larkin explores places, Discuss his use of language, form ...

    Many claim that this is most strongly conveyed through the strict half rhyme scheme which run's through this poem. It is made up of three, four-lined stanzas, the first and third of which run parallel to each other, Larkin deliberately does this to invite the reader to make a comparison between the two.

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