During the Modern Age, there was a popular growth in education. Phillip Larkin was a known figure in the “The Movement.” His ideas were more direct and personal. Larkin enjoys writing about typical everyday things. The views of this poem are about going to church, not religion. Phillip Larkin’s “Church Going” shapes the poem with the speaker’s attitude, observation of the decline importance of churches, and the change in tone throughout the poem.
To start with, the reader is greeted with the speaker of the poem. He strolls into an empty church. Larkin is very descriptive of this church. He describes everything from the little books to the restored roof. The speaker unveils himself here, ...view middle of the document...
He also predicts what this church will become since it has been abandoned. Larkin is signifying the church is almost useless:
But superstition, like belief must die,
And what remains when disbelief has gone?
Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,
The speaker is unhappy with his surroundings. If religion is so important why is the building empty? Someone who is not religious would think that this church was pointless. With the grass tall and the weeds growing through the pavement anyone can vision that this church is just another building. People often get in a routine and forget the purpose of certain things that use to be in their life. Once a sanctuary now almost invisible.
Lastly, Larkin’s tone is the poem can be view as controversial. West expresses Larkin’s tone, “Indeed, “Church Going”’ sounds like a particularly eloquent and opinionated person (of a particular place and time) developing a line of argument as he speaks” (6). Larkin sneaks the tone into the structure of the poem. Religion is a serious subject and can often be debated. His tone changes between unfortunate, controversial, and ironic. Larkin often reveals that some of the aspects of the poem are dull, which gives off an indifferent tone. The style of this poem is simple so that his audience can relate to it. Larkin expresses a thoughtful side, “It...