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A critical analysis of Philip Larkin's 'Mr Bleaney'.

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  • Essay length: 1398 words
  • Submitted: 01/01/2004
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Rachael Ward Tutor: Mr R. Pooley

Twentieth Century Literature: 20% Exercise

A critical analysis of Philip Larkin's 'Mr Bleaney'.

Richard Davie once claimed that whilst he "recognised in Larkin's [poetry] the seasons of present-day England, [he also] recognised...the seasons of an English soul".1 In fact Philip Larkin's very interest in human nature, together with his dislike of "...self-indulgent romanticism..."2, contributed to the character and final draft of 'Mr Bleaney'. By pulling the life and personality of the ordinary English bachelor with that of the poetic personae who is about to buy into Mr Bleaney's apartment, not to mention his life and ways, Larkin is able debate whether 'how we live [actually] measures our own nature', a fear that plagued the author as well as the poetic personae.

As we are escorted around Mr Bleaney's apartment the landlady describes how he stayed there 'the whole time he was at the Bodies'. To be at 'the Bodies' suggests that Mr Bleaney's stay in the apartment and even on this earth was only temporary. His body appears to be just a casing, thus implying that Mr Bleaney was simply the shell of man who was

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