Mr Bleaney

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'Mr Bleaney'

'Mr Bleaney' by Philip Larkin is a poem which describes a person in an interesting way. The poem is about a man who rents a very small, basic bed-sit. While living in this room, the persona learns about the previous tenant's, Mr Bleaney, life, and how the basic and empty room reflects his personality. The persona's unspoken thoughts gives the reader a clear insight to Mr Bleaney's monotonous life and the sort of man he was. By the end of the poem, the persona realises that by accepting these terrible living conditions, he is in fact becoming Mr Bleaney. Larkin uses many poetic techniques in a way that makes Mr Bleaney seem interesting.

From the beginning of the poem, the reader is intrigued by the character of Mr Bleaney as it seems he has no control over his life. The reader first sees this in stanza one when the persona is talking to the landlady.

“.. till
They moved him.”
This suggests to the reader that Mr Bleaney had no choice in the matter of moving or where he moved to. The reader gathers this from the word “they”, it shows that Mr Bleaney was moved unwillingly from the bed-sit or else the poet might have instead wrote “he”, showing the Bleaney wanted to move. Here, the character of Mr Bleaney is interesting to the reader because of his lack of independence despite his age.

Also in the first stanza, the reader is intrigued by the emptiness of Bleaney’s life which is conveyed by the emptiness of the bed-sit he once lived in. The poet continues to describe the room throughout the poem.

“.. Flowered curtains, thin and frayed
Fall to within five inches of the sill,”
“Flowered” has connotations of natural health, beauty and life which is ironic to the bareness inside and outside of the room because the persona then goes on to describe the curtain’s as “thin and frayed”, showing to the reader that the curtains are in a poor condition and they will not serve their purpose of keeping heat in the small room. In the last line...
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