English Literature AS Larkin and Abse

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Themes - Death

Death

  • Mr Bleaney - speculates on the meaning of life and reflects back onto his own interpretation of what his life must of been like, too see if he deserved to die?
  • An Arundel Tomb - effigy of a couple - how since their death different interpretations have been made about their relationship. Did they really love each other?
  • Days - Addresses the issues of mortility, illness and death in remarkable simplicity.
Abse
The death of Aunt Alice
My Cousin, the soilder
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Themes - Love and Relationships

Love and Relationships

  • Love songs in age
  • Talking in bed  - explores the possibility of human intimacy and explores the problems of human communication by suggesting that even a couple lay physically so close together feel so far apart
  • An Arundel Tomb - how their love for one another could just be a interpretation of the art - as they might of not even loved one another. The idea of 'false' love and hope emerges from this poem.
Abse
Postcard to his wife
A scene from a married life
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Themes - Journeys

  • Here
  • The Whitson Weddings - In the literal sense, the protaganist is on a train and Larkin brings alive the remarkable sights one encouters on a train journey. In more of a spiritual aspect he realises in the poem that it is Whitsun (a traditional occasions for weddings) and leads him into a series of meditations on the different journeys of life.
Abse
Leaving Cardiff
Down the M4
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Themes - Characters

  • Mr Bleaney
  • Wild Oats
  • Sunny Prestatyn
Abse
Cousin Sidney
The death of Aunt Alice
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Themes - Time and its passing

  • Love songs in age
  • Days
  • Nothing to be said
Abse
Progress
A winter visit
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Themes - Society

  • Here
  • Toads Revisited
  • The Whitson Weddings
Abse
A figure of 8
My cousin, the soilder
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Themes - War

  • MCMXIV

 

  • Naturally the foundation will bear your expenses
Abse
My cousin, the soilder
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Themes - Parents/Children

  • Home is so sad
  • Dockery and son
  • Afternoons
Abse
Sons
Imitations
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Themes - Place

  • Here

 

  • The Whitson Weddings

 

  • MCMXIV

Abse

Down the M4

Return to Cardiff

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Themes - Religion

  • Water
  • Faith Healing
Abse
Quests
Red Balloon
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Themes - Seperation

  • Mr Bleaney
  • The importance of elsewhere
  • Dockery and Son
Abse
Down the M4
Red balloon
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Themes - Escaping Reality

  • Toads Revisited
  • Sunny Prestatyn
  • Essential beauty
Abse
A figure of 8
Last visit to 198 Cathedral Road
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Themes - The past

  • Home is so sad
  • Mr Bleaney
  • Dockery and Son
Abse
Two Photographs
Lat visit to 198 Cathedral Road
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Themes - Isolation

  • Mr Bleaney
  • Home is so sad

 

  • Toads Revisited

 

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CRITICS FOR LARKIN

"He (Larkin) is much less interested in nature for its own sake than for the opportunities it offers to moralise about the human condition." Andrew Motion, Philip Larkin and Symbolism

"None of Larkin's poems registers the achievement of complete calm success in love." Andrew Motion, Philip Larkin and Symbolism

"Death, in Larkin's view, is an utterly comfortless blank. The frequency and forcefulness with which he envisages its approach go a long way towards explaining why he is so often regarded as an unreservedly pessimistic poet." Andrew Motion, Philip Larkin and Symbolism

"Larkin's fury against women is not so much a declared stage of siege against them personally as it is an eternal battle raging within himself." Janice Rossen, Difficulties With Girls

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