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Is Larkin entirely cynical about the possibilities of love bringing meaning and happiness to life or is he a close tromantic?

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Introduction

Is Larkin entirely cynical about the possibilities of love bringing meaning and happiness to life or is he a closet romantic? In the poem 'Talking in Bed', Larkin displays a rather bleak and cynical view of lasting love. In the first stanza, Larkin uses a pun in the second sentence. Lying together there goes back so far The word 'lying' can be looked at as physically lying, or the act of lying. Larkin shows his cynical side here as he talks of deceit in the relationship that 'goes back so far'. I believe that Larkin means they are lying about their love for each other, that they don't really love each other but feel they have to because they have been together for so long. An emblem of two people being honest. This sentence follows on from the next in the way that they believe they are being honest by staying together, but really they know they don't love each other. ...read more.

Middle

Outside, the wind's incomplete unrest Builds and disperses clouds about the sky. Here Larkin uses another metaphor. 'The wind's incomplete unrest' reveals the unease felt round each other and the 'incomplete' is almost like there is something missing from the relationship. I think this is Larkin's way of talking of a loveless relationship and this sparks off anger as conveyed in the following sentence. The build up of tension in the relationship flares up at times and the metaphor of clouds, to me, is the clouding of their relationship because of this lack of love. This is also shown in the final stanza; It becomes still more difficult to find Words at once true and kind Or not untrue and not unkind. This final stanza shows the deterioration of communication between the couple. Larkin says it is hard to find kind words or unkind words and so sees the relationship at its end. ...read more.

Conclusion

The stone fidelity they hardly meant has come to be Their final blazon, The word 'hardly' suggests that their love wasn't quite meaningful but now together in stone they have no choice but to be together, whether or not they meant it to be like that . Our almost-instinct almost true: What will survive of us is love. Here I believe Larkin is saying that if anything survives it is love but nothing survives after we die. He is trying to say that it would be nice if love did survive but the love that has survived in this poem is the love that is set in stone and Larkin wonders whether or not this was real love or something comprehended by friends. In the poem 'Wild Oats' we see another approach to love told in a story with the characters of 'bosomy rose' and 'specs'. This poem shows Larkin's view of how love is unreliable and he speaks of it in a bittersweet way. ...read more.

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