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The Poems In 'the Whitsun Weddings' Show An Interest In The Lives Of Ordinary People. Discuss What Larkin Has To Say About Them In At Least Three Poems. (Philip Larkin The Whitsun Weddings)

943 words - 4 pages

In many of Larkin's poems, he talks about the lives of ordinary people. He talks of the ways they live their lives and the ways in which their lives are failing or have in fact already failed.A poem which most certainly talks of the lives of ordinary people is 'Talking in Bed'. This poem talks about the isolation and disappointment in relationships and talks of the problematic values of human life in general. The poem is brief which reflects on the meaning of it; that there are difficulties in communication even if you're in a loving relationship/are happily married. The title of the poem implies intimacy. It is misleading however, as are many of his poems, as the title in fact implies isolation. Also, the title is heavily ironic and very sarcastic as the couple actually cant talk in bed.The second line of the first stanza says, 'lying together there goes back so far'. This line suggests to me that lying in bed is something they've always done, however, now getting deeper into their relationship/marriage, they realise they cant communicate and find it hard to break the silence. The word, 'lying' is ambiguous. It could literally mean lying next to each other, or it could also mean that they have been lying to themselves/each other about the way their relationship/communication skills are going. When saying, 'an emblem of two people being honest' , it is talking about them in the generic sense, suggesting that all human relationships in general are like this. This is what Larkin feels most everyday people will experience in their lifetime with their partners. It shows confusion as to how 'Talking in Bed', should be easy, yet people still lie there in silence.The second stanza talks of the 'time (passing) silently'. There is a break in the text before this line to emphasize the passing of time. The next line talks of, 'the wind's incomplete unrest', this line, along with the next few lines mention the weather using sympathetic fallacy. The weather is used as a metaphor for the unresolved issues in the couple's relationship. The 'unrest' could be the unrest of the people in bed, or it could be the unrest from the wind outside, which seems to be reflecting their relationship.Another poem which talks about the ordinary lives of people is, 'Afternoons. In this poem, he focuses on the lives of women after having children. Larkin uses nature to reinforce people's emotions or experiences through pathetic fallacy in this poem. As the summer is usually seen as a 'happy', 'uplifting' time, the fact that it's fading could suggest that the women's lives are in fact disappearing.When saying, 'hollows in afternoons', it suggests that the women are feeling empty and hollow, however it could mean that the people are in the afternoons...

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