Analysis Of Philip Larkin's 'Whitsun Weddings'

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Larkins poetry shows 'a society pursuing its fantasies and illusory satisfactions in material possessions '
Using ideas from the critical anthology to support your argument, to what extent do you agree?
Larkin’s main theme throughout his collection Whitsun Weddings is post-war Britain, however he also focuses on the ideas of materialism and consumerism. Through the use of advertisements in ‘send no money’ and ‘essential beauty’ and the ideas of buying objects in shops in ‘the large cool store’ and ‘take one home for the kiddies’ Larkin is able to portray a society in which people pursue their fantasies through the commodification of objects. Larkin shows Marx’s idea that ‘It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness’ throughout these poems. Through the use of these poems, Larkin is able to show a clear portrayal of the materialistic society in which we live.
In Essential Beauty, the materialistic society are shown to be pursuing their fantasies by buying into the advertisements and purchasing items that they think will gain them social power , the line 'of how life should be ' shows the reader that advertisement sets standards that everyone should live by. However, these are
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This shows that the society who are buying into the advertisements will never achieve their fantasies as what they are led to believe by the advertisements isn’t the truth. Despite this poem not showing materialism, it does show that in other poems written by Larkin that focus on the advertisement of material goods, that these advertisements aren’t truthful and instead are creating the false consciousness for the market that buying certain objects will gain them
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