Snaith//Interpretations of 'AFTERNOONS' - PHILLIP LARKIN


Possible Interpretations of 'Afternoons' by Phillip Larkin

  • "Summer is fading": Autumn is coming for the young mums - it is a metaphor for the stages of life. This means that whilst the mums aren't dead yet, they are dying.
  • The mums live on a council estate
    • "trees bordering the new recreation ground": The trees around the park represent a prison, which means, metaphorically, that the mums are trapped on the council estate.
    • Poverty means that they cannot escape thus poorness. 
  • "hollows of afternoons": The afternoons are hollow because they have no meaning. What more can the mums do?
    • There is no way to stop the progression of life. One day the mums will wake up and be old.
  • "assemble": Like Avengers, they have no choice but to be there. Despite the nothingness of their lives and the lack of substance, without their presence the world around them wouldn't be able to function properly.
    • The mums are almost mechanical.


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