Larkin's Poetry Is Predominantly Pessimistic

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Larkin's Poetry Is Predominantly Pessimistic

By | October 2012
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Larkin’s Poetry is Predominantly Pessimistic.
How far do you agree?

Larkins writing is largely pessimistic because of his inability to accept change throughout the era of his writing, he’s bitter character largely reflects personas in his poems for example Mr.Bleaney, whilst in others he prefers to mock those who lead alternative lifestyles to his own. Although his writing has a heavily pessimistic style to it, more of his character make-up is revealed. I feel we can see more clearly Larkins emotional un-clarity with the idea of being alone. It is this obscured view of reality that raises the question as to the sureness of his pessimism. Whilst I don’t doubt Larkins hatred for women, marriage and consumerism I question the reasons why.

Larkin shows his pessimism by revealing his outsider position in society. In Dockery and Son the repition of “No son, no wife, no house” states the external expectation of society, however the persona contrasts what he actually wants by the absence of all these things being “natural” to him. Despite this the use of “quite” doesn’t fully convince the reader that he accepts his outsider status. It could be said that Larkin has not so much an aspiration, but a fascination for the norm. Similarly there is a feeling of distance in Here as Larkin describes the “Frinton folk” who “Put him up” for the summer. The use of fricative is showing an immediate lack of intimacy as the literary device uses harsh, sharp words. The vague description of “Folk” further confirms his lack of desire for family. Larkins clever use of words “put him up” have connotations of the family having to put up with him. Larkins decision to have the family reciprocating that lack of compassion could have more personal implications of the fear of being rejected, should he choose to attempt to begin a relationship. Likewise in Dockery and Son Larkin places a statement “I catch my train” next to a negative verb “ignored.” This displays how this seemingly normal...

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