Sunny Prestatyn, Essential Beauty, and Love Songs in Age

analytical Essay
1338 words
1338 words

With reference to three poems studied so far discuss how Larkin presents the theme of illusion and reality. The poems Sunny Prestatyn, Essential Beauty and love Songs in Age, are all presented with the theme of illusion and reality. Illusion is a false impression or delusion, so when an illusion is used within a poem there is a deeper meaning or reality behind the words. Because of this reality, the reader can see what Larkin is really trying to convey in the poems is shown and we understand what was meant by the illusion In the poem Sunny Prestatyn, Larkin uses harsh reality to show the depth of the illusion. In the poem we are presented with a sunny, picturesque and idealistic scene on a billboard, with a pretty girl asking you to ‘Come to Sunny Prestatyn’. This idealistic scene gives us the illusion that in Prestatyn the weather will always be sunny, when in fact, as Prestatyn is in Wales it will most likely be raining. The girl shown in the advertisement is shown to be laughing and is also wearing white satin, ‘In taunted white satin’. This gives the idea of the girl being unspoilt, virginal and pure. This deludes the reader of the poster into thinking that this is what Prestatyn is actually like: unspoilt and pure. The poem goes on to describing the palm trees at Prestatyn and the coast. This is described as, ‘…a hunk of coast, a hotel with palms’. This ‘hunk of coast’ suggests manliness and the palm trees also suggest an erotic type of Eden. This gives the reader the illusion that Prestatyn will be the holiday of their dreams. We are then given the image of the girl offering her palms to the reader, ‘…and spread breast-lifting arms’; this line gives the reader delight or excitement at the end of the first stanza, deluding the reader even more. In this first stanza the illusion and image of the perfect place is built up. In the second stanza of the poem Larkin begins to use harsh reality to break down the illusion and destroy the image that was built up. ‘She was slapped up one day in March.’ This harsh sentence shows the reality of the world and that vandalism was expected. ‘A couple of weeks and her face was snaggle-toothed’, this flippant remark also suggests casualness about the violence. The violence of the girl in the picture being disfigured also represents the illusion being destroyed.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how larkin presents the theme of illusion and reality in the poems sunny prestatyn, essential beauty, and love songs in age.
  • Analyzes how larkin uses harsh reality to show the depth of the illusion in the poem sunny prestatyn.
  • Analyzes how the girl in the advertisement is laughing and wearing white satin, which deludes the reader into thinking that prestatyn is unspoilt, virginal and pure.
  • Analyzes how larkin uses harsh reality to break down the illusion and destroy the image that was built up.
  • Analyzes how larkin brings life and more reality to the poem by showing who the vandalism was done by, ‘autographed titch thomas’.
  • Analyzes how the illusion presented by advertising is attacked in the same way that advertising attacks us. the reader is left with the harsh reality of the world.
  • Analyzes how the poem essential beauty uses advertising to cover realism. in the first stanza larkin describes the advertisements that disrupt our realistic life.
  • Analyzes how larkin shows the illusion of advertisement by writing ‘of how life should be’.
  • Analyzes how larkin reinforces the reality that the billboards reflect nothing to do with real life and uses the repetition of ‘pure’ to emphasise he reality in the world and that advertising is dominating us.
  • Analyzes how larkin slows down the theme of illusion in advertising and its allurement compared to the promises of real life.
  • Analyzes how the title essential beauty is used but what we're told in advertisements isn't always essential. the reality is brought out in the second stanza of the poem.
  • Analyzes how larkin presents the poem, love songs in age, in a very reminiscent tone.
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