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

Afternoons - Commentary

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Afternoons Philip Larkin The poem 'Afternoons', written by Philip Larkin, shows his fairly cynical view that he has on marriage. It also leads us to see a still image moment of a council estate life, with all the details finely outlined by Larkin. The poem emphasizes the stress that children can put on their parents, particularly the young mothers, as well as young marriage, and the responsibility young couples have to take, as they mature too early, and become an child living in an adult's body. There is a sense of decay and a decline throughout the whole poem, and Larkin finishes on an extremely melancholy note, with the last three lines. In the first stanza of the poem, the first and thus the opening line of the poem reads "Summer is fading." This asks the reader to consider that time of year, and entertains the ideas of a bright light of summer, slipping slowly away into the darkness of an oncoming winter. The following line, "The leaves fall in ones and twos" shows that the seasons are in the transition between summer and autumn, commonly thought as one of the most beautiful times of the year. The fact that Larkin has used this particular time of year shows that whilst on the surface, the "young mothers" that we see "setting free ...read more.

Middle

Instead, they are stuck in a life of responsibility and children who need looking after. The third stanza repeats the fact that these are very young people that we are looking at, in the line "But the lovers are all in school". We then get the idea that these lovers, although they bear the brunt of responsibility now, and have entered adulthood early, that they still wish to be their young selves, rather than these unripe adults they have become. The line "finding more unripe acorns" shows us that the children of these young mothers will follow in much the same footsteps as their elders, leading a life of regimented despair and emptiness, as this is all they know, and all they are taught - even if not intentionally - by their mothers. The line "Expect to be taken home," with the use of the word 'expect' tries to reinforce the idea of a routine and regimented lifestyle, and shows that the children are familiar with these ideas and know that they will come. The last lines of stanza three, and therefore also the closing lines of the poem, read "Their beauty has thickened. Something is pushing them to the side of their own lives." ...read more.

Conclusion

Take for example, the line "Expect to be taken home." The use of the word 'expect' brings about the ideas of a knowing, routine lifestyle, one that is done every day without emotion or thought. A regimented, structured, time-table of a life, designed to fill the gaps that may occur. Larkin uses the metaphor "unripe acorns," which allows us to decide for ourselves what the "unripe acorns" may be. The fact that he has let us do this, gives us our own insight into the poem, letting us take it for what we want it to be. The poem as a whole shows a biased side of Larkin's atheist ideas about marriage. Although the poem strictly follows Larkin's ideas, we are left to make up our own minds about the extremities described. The poem's mood is melancholy, dark and empty, and shows us life without emotion or pain. It is robotic, and gives us a sense of helplessness. The poem and its poet exhibit ideas of fraught marriage, decay, decline and pain. They are issues that many can relate to, and are contemplated carefully and with a lot of thought on the poet's part. It is well written, and reflects a true image of young love, one that should be learnt from, and taken notice of. ?? ?? ?? ?? Daisy Atkin English A1 HL 511581 Mr. John 07-01-2008 Larkin/Afternoons ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. IB English Poem Commentary - "Child and Insect"

    The visual and aural image of his mother laughing, putting an arm around him, and him shaking her off, adds an interesting layer to the central image. It shows two things; 1) the boy's rage and frustration and 2) that the boy is growing older, by displaying his rebelliousness and his pride.

  2. Commentary on the poem "Will V-day be Me day too?"

    In conclusion, figurative comparisons are employed to enable the reader to visualize a vivid picture. Another point which can be made is that Langston Hughes makes numerous amounts of reference to Jim Crow in this poem. Jim Crow is notoriously known for his strict rules and regulations which involved black individuals being treated unequally in society.

  1. Enter without So Much as Knocking Commentary

    Dawe quickly finishes off the development from teenager to an adult in few lines. This speed of the story indicates that everyone in the society was grown up in a same way that the process of growing does not worth a lot to write.

  2. History research - Early Australian bushrangers. English writing -my region and favourite authors.

    The Queensland force continued until 1900. Although the activities of the Native Police forces were often kept secret, its brutality toward Queensland Aborigines has been able to be documented (see Reynolds, 1990 and Elder, 1998 under our Print References section).

  1. The decay of lying

    creates a separate world of meanings finding his truth into respect and improvement of its code.

  2. Vietnamese Poetry and Language

    To�i g��i chuye�n: - Co� � ga�n �a�y kho�ng? - Nha� em be�n Kinh Ba�c. Mo�i la�n ve� que� ngoa�i, em la�i le�n chu�a. Co� c��i ba�ng hai ma�t: - ... Nga�t tro�m ba bo�ng hoa. Hoa ho�ng que� chu�a Tha�ch Ta�n th�m la�m. To�i cho�c: - Te� ra co� la� tie�u �a�o ta�c.

  1. Christmas - origins, traditions and ideas for making gifts.

    Don't forget the feet. For that friend or relative who is on their feet a lot, nothing would feel better than soothing foot salts, a soft pumice or clay stone and peppermint foot lotion. Package them inside a cute pair of slippers.

  2. Parachute and Otherwise Poem Commentary

    The speaker here is characterized by living aside with nature, while its lover is characterized by living aside by urbanized areas. The contrast between the examples symbolizes the long distance that they are separated, as the traffic or television is artificial noise while huge tides come from nature.

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