Philip Larkin’s The Whitsun Weddings Essay

Philip Larkin’s The Whitsun Weddings Essay

Length: 894 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Philip Larkin’s The Whitsun Weddings


    As I was reading Philip Larkin’s "The Whitsun Weddings," I was initially struck by the difference between his use of language and the language used by many of the poets we read earlier in the course. The difference between the language of the two W.B. Yeats poems we wrote about previously and this poem by Larkin was particularly striking. Of course, the use of language changed slowly, with each poet we have read between Yeats and Larkin becoming less like the former and more like the latter. But, I suppose I noticed it more in this poem because I was paying more attention to detail in order to comment on the poem.

    The speaker of this poem is on a train headed south to London for a long weekend, and begins his/her journey on a Saturday afternoon. It is a late spring or even early summer day, as it is seven weeks after Easter (fn. 1061). Initially, the content of the poem is rather simple, but the language and description are quite rich. Larkin appeals to four of the five senses and makes his reader feel as if they are on the train with the speaker. As I read the poem, I felt like I could hear the train pull out of the station and feel the heat of the cushions under my legs. Then I was seeing the "blinding windscreens" and smelling the "fish-dock". As the poem and the rich description continued, I was then looking at "[c]anals with floatings of industrial froth" and...


... middle of paper ...


...es ahead of them. On the other hand, the line "there swelled / A sense of falling" could be describing their lingering doubts that maybe their families were right and they are making a mistake.

    Since the poem ends on that more somber note of "a sense of falling," we leave the poem feeling that the ending will not be happy for these newly married couples. We are full of the beauty of the land as described by the speaker, as well as the dreariness of the future as the people in the poem see it. What started out as a fairly upbeat and happy poem leaves you with a sense of despair and impending doom.
 
Works Cited

Urdang, Laurence, ed.  The American Century Dictionary.  New York: Oxford UP, 1995.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Philip Larkin's Faith Healing Essay

- How typical in terms of subject, theme, structure and versification is Faith Healing by Larkin. Philip Larkin's Faith Healing In 1964, Philip Larkin published his third book of poetry, entitled 'The Whitsun Weddings'. One of the many critically acclaimed poems was 'Faith Healing'. In this essay, I intend to explore how typical this poem is in terms of subject, theme, structure and versification. In Faith Healing, women flock to an American Faith Healer for a blessing. The persona of the poem is written from an outsider's point of view, looking in at this sight....   [tags: Philip Larkin Faith Healing Poetry Poems Essays]

Better Essays
1988 words (5.7 pages)

Essay about Use of Elemental Imagery in Philip Larkin's High Windows

-   "High Windows" is viewed by many as an outcry, a severe description of everyday life that in it's bleakness does not leave space for the finesse or sensuous imagery that is associated with poets such as Wordsworth. However, in his array of supposedly 'harsh' poems one finds many moments of dreamy imagery dealing with an almost religious fascination with the elements, whether in length in "Solar" or as a thought in "Old Fools". What mesmerises him is the continuity of the elements, which constantly outlive the achievements and deeds of man and are in the end all that is left....   [tags: Analysis of Philip Larkin's High Windows]

Better Essays
787 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The Old Fools, by Philip Larkin

- The twentieth century has provided the poetic universe with some of the most influential and prominent poets. The ideas and concepts conveyed by these poets have help to influence the works of other writers. Philip Arthur Larkin has been regarded as one of the greatest English poets of the latter half of the twentieth century. Most of Larkin’s poetry is condensed into four volumes of poetry: The North Ship, The Less Deceived, The Whitsun Weddings, and High Windows. His use of vulgar expressions helps to emphasize the main concept in his work and develops a unique writing style of his own....   [tags: Poetic Analysis, Themes]

Better Essays
789 words (2.3 pages)

Philip Larkin - A Voice of Pain for This Century Essay

- Philip Larkin - A Voice of Pain for This Century On August 9, 1922, the poet Philip Larkin was born in the town of Coventry in England (Thwaite, Letters xvii). After graduating St. John’s College in Oxford in 1943 with a First Class degree, he worked at both the University College of Leicester and Queen’s College at Belfast before finally settling down at the University of Hull as Librarian in 1955 (Thwaite, Letters xviii). That same year, with the publication of his collection The Less Decieved, he "began to be recognized" (Thwaite, "Introduction" xv)....   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Better Essays
1621 words (4.6 pages)

Comparative Analysis of Ariel by Sylvia Plath and The whitsun Weddings by Phillip Larkin

- ... Both The Applicant and The Whitsun Weddings present marriage as a societal norm and a process that is executed in a similar fashion by most individuals without question. A Birthday Present is thought to be referring to an affair that Ted Hughes (Plath’s husband) had. An Arundel Tomb explores the potential misrepresentation of a relationship between an earl and countess in the 1500s; it also explores the damaging effects of time on a relationship. The Applicant portrays marriage as an enrolment process (seemingly a job interview) whereas Larkin uses The Whitsun Weddings as a means of documenting the relationships or rather, the marriages that he witnesses around him....   [tags: Marriage, Society]

Better Essays
598 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Larkin 's ' The Whitsun Weddings '

- Larkin published his collection of poems ‘The Whitsun Weddings’ in 1964. The main focus of this collection is of post war Britain, but materialism and consumerism are also common themes which are evident in some of Larkin’s poetry. In Larkin’s poems ‘essential beauty’, ‘the large cool stores’ and ‘here’ all take reference to the ideology that there is a material world that the proletariat aspire to be a part of. ‘Mr Bleaney’ then shows the life of the working class, and that they don’t have these material possessions, which lead to little recognition of their lives....   [tags: Marxism, Karl Marx, Social class, Proletariat]

Better Essays
1325 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Work of Philip Larkin

- Philip Larkin wrote many different poems in his life time he was described to be “The Poet that created a movement in poetry”(Craik). Poems that are famous by Larkin are “Days”, “High Windows”, “Love Again”, “Toads”, and “Church Going”. Some critics say “ That his poetry was very offensive in the manner he wrote it because it was dark and gloomy and sent a very negative message to the reader.” (Thwaite, 268) The poet Philip Larkin is a gloomy, death-obsessed and darkly humorous observer of human foibles and failings....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Philip Larkin]

Better Essays
1496 words (4.3 pages)

This Be the Verse by Philip Larkin Essay

- This Be the Verse by Philip Larkin They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who half the time were sloppy-stern And half at one another's throats. Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can, And don't have any kids yourself. Lately, I have read a good deal of poems by Philip Larkin, and one unifying factor that I have noticed is that Larkin never seems to use a filler....   [tags: This Be the Verse Philip Larkin Essays]

Better Essays
1277 words (3.6 pages)

Writing in the Style of Philip Larkin Essay

- Lights. Sirens. Action. As quick as a heartbeat, we race to the van, hearts rushing, always not knowing what to expect, never fully prepared for death. Speeding through traffic, seeing familiar streets where we have saved lives before. My heart is pumping hot blood through my veins. I can feel it pulsing in my neck and in my ears. I’m sweating as my mind tries to prepare for the possible death creeping closer and closer by the second. We turn corners at break neck speed our sirens screaming out to the world....   [tags: Phillip Larkin]

Better Essays
1018 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Autobiography at an Air-Station by Philip Larkin

- Autobiography at an Air-Station by Philip Larkin Progress is in the eye of the beholder. Throughout the years society has forced nature out of its life and has instead adopted a new mechanical and industrialized lifestyle. Technology may be deemed as progress by some, where it is thought of as a positive advancement for mankind. Yet technology can also be a hindrance for society, by imposing itself on society and emptying the meaning out of life. In “Autobiography at an Air-Station,” Philip Larkin conveys his distaste of how society has denounced nature....   [tags: Autobiography Air-Station Philip Larkin Essays]

Better Essays
1512 words (4.3 pages)