UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Novels and the poetry of Philip Larkin. Mayne, Joan Sheila 1968

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THE NOVELS AND THE POETRY OF P H I L I P LARKIN by JOAN SHEILA MAYNE B.A.,  A THESIS  University  of H u l l ,  1962  SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M.A. i n the  Department of  English  We a c c e p t t h i s required  t h e s i s as  conforming  to  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA April,  1968  the  In p r e s e n t i n g  this  thesis  in p a r t i a l  advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y  Library  shall  agree that  make i t f r e e l y  permission  p u r p o s e s may  I t i s understood  financial  gain  Department o f  available  that  copying of t h i s  thesis  Columbia  1968  the  I further  for scholarly  D e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s r e p r e s e n -  n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a  I agree that  and s t u d y .  copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n  English  A p r i l 26,  f o r reference  by t h e Head o f my  tatives.  shall  o f B r i t i s h Columbia,  f o r extensive  be g r a n t e d  f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an  of this  thesis for  permission.  ii THESIS ABSTRACT P h i l i p L a r k i n has been c o n s i d e r e d p r i m a r i l y i n o f h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o t h e Movement o f t h e F i f t i e s ; thesis  considers  L a r k i n as an a r t i s t  i n W i n t e r , and h i s  Jill  poetry,  The N o r t h S h i p , h a v e r e c e i v e d v e r y l i t t l e Larkin's last  this  own r i g h t .  novels,  attention.  and A G i r l  in his  terms  first  two v o l u m e s o f p o e t r y ,  His  volume  of  critical The  Less  D e c e i v e d a n d The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s , h a v e b e e n c o n s i d e r e d two v e r y s i m i l a r w o r k s w i t h l i t t l e earlier  work.  This thesis  there is a very clear  i s an attempt  the  themes w h i c h become i m p o r t a n t different  running through  p l a y as  i n technique,  i n embryonic i n the  reading at volume of  the  important a  part  poetry anticipates  and t h e i r analysis  poetic  The l y r i c  the  The n o v e l s a r e  later  the n a r r a t i v e  their  level is  work; i t is  element  c o n s i d e r e d as  closely  patterned  characters.  in  this  in Larkin's  novel-poems  through  important o n l y as  i n t e r n a l a c t i o n of the c e n t r a l  is  immature and  development  q u a l i t y i s demonstrated  which reveals  form t h o s e  p o e t r y w h i c h L a r k i n was  time of w r i t i n g .  technique.  later  l a r g e l y because i t  i n f l u e n c e d v e r y s t r o n g l y by t h e  that  that  poetry. The N o r t h S h i p c o n t a i n s  poetic  his  to demonstrate  l i n e of development  L a r k i n ' s work, i n which the novels as  o r no r e l a t i o n t o  as  close  q u a l i t y and i t mirrors  The n o v e l s  the  develop  iii ideas which are  present  i n The N o r t h S h i p a n d t h e y  a c o n s i d e r a b l e advance i n the w r i t e r ' s c o n f i d e n c e  represent i n handling  h i s m a t e r i a l i n h i s own w a y . The L e s s D e c e i v e d a n d The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s u s e many of the techniques  of the n o v e l s and are v e r y c l o s e l y  w i t h them i n t h e i r b a s i c  themes.  linked  The L e s s D e c e i v e d shows  L a r k i n becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y s e l f - a w a r e and from t h i s ness examining h i s s o c i e t y Weddings h i s s e l f - a w a r e n e s s tolerant to h i s  i n c r e a s e d a n d he i s more  o f h i s own f a i l i n g s .  His tolerance  t o v i e w man a n d s o c i e t y  they a r e .  lyric  is  I n The W h i t s u n  i s extended  s o c i e t y and the volume as a whole r e p r e s e n t s  attempt as  i n a new l i g h t .  elements  B o t h the n o v e l s and the of an unusual n a t u r e .  later  poetry  h i s changing ideas.  the use of material  individualistic  i n c l u d i n g the  them  contain  The d e v e l o p m e n t t h r o u g h technique  He moves f r o m t h e u s e  t o t a l l y c o n v e n t i o n a l forms t o express  also  Larkin's  c l e a r l y and t o a c c e p t  out h i s work i s based on h i s a b i l i t y t o d e v e l o p h i s to express  aware-  of  conventional ideas  to  forms, developed from t r a d i t i o n a l  lyric,  l o o k i n g f o r , but not f i n d i n g ,  to express  h i s sense of a  society  order i n t r a d i t i o n a l values.  iv TABLE OP CONTENTS  Chapter I.  II. III. IV.  V.  VI.  Page  INTRODUCTION  JILL  1  . . .  A GIRL IN WINTER  26 6l  THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TREATMENT OF THE THEME OF LOVE IN LARKIN'S POETRY . . .  103  THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TREATMENT OF A L L OTHER MAJOR THEMES IN LARKIN'S POETRY  I36  CONCLUSION: LARKIN'S DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNIQUE FROM THE NORTH SHIP THROUGH THE NOVELS TO THE LESS DECEIVED AND THE WHITSUN WEDDINGS  BIBLIOGRAPHY  . .  18? 215  V  ACKNOWLEDGMENT I  should l i k e  to thank D r . J .  F.  Hulcoop,  M r . G e o r g e G a r n e t t a n d M r . B r i a n Mayne f o r t h e h e l p w h i c h t h e y h a v e g i v e n me i n w r i t i n g of t h i s  thesis.  the  CHAPTER  I  INTRODUCTION P h i l i p L a r k i n i s b e s t known a s a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t h e Movement p o e t s . a name f o r t h e m s e l v e s w i t h each other  This group consists  of  p o e t s who g a i n e d  i n t h e F i f t i e s a n d who became  l a r g e l y because of the a n t h o l o g i e s  by R o b e r t C o n q u e s t a n d D a v i d E n r i g h t .  of  The f i r s t  associated produced  anthology,  New L i n e s , e d i t e d by R o b e r t C o n q u e s t , a p p e a r e d i n 1956,^ E n r i g h t * s book, English Verse.^  Poets  o f t h e 1 9 5 0 ' s t A n A n t h o l o g y o f New  f i r s t a p p e a r e d i n J a p a n i n 1955 b u t was n o t  published i n England u n t i l  1958.  Nine poets are  C o n q u e s t ' s books E l i z a b e t h J e n n i n g s ,  included i n  John Holloway,  Philip  L a r k i n , Thom G u n n , D o n a l d D a v i e , D a v i d E n r i g h t , K i n g s l e y A m i s , John Wain and R o b e r t C o n q u e s t . I n E n r i g h t ' s volume w i t h the The g r o u p i n g t o g e t h e r together  The same p o e t s a r e i n c l u d e d  e x c e p t i o n o f Thom G u n n . of these poets  i n two a n t h o l o g i e s ,  w i t h t h e s t a t e m e n t s o f common a i m s w h i c h  each volume, caused the c r i t i c s established  school.  prefaced  to respond to the poets as  The s t r e s s o n t h e p o e t s a s a " M o v e m e n t "  c a u s e d them t o be v i e w e d i n a p e r s p e c t i v e w h i c h d i d none them j u s t i c e .  an  of  I n h i s I n t r o d u c t i o n t o New L l n e s - I l 3 C o n q u e s t  •'"Robert C o n q u e s t , e d . , New L i n e s  (London: M a c m i l l a n ,  1956).  D . J . E n r i g h t , P o e t s o f t h e l g ^ O ' s : A n A n t h o l o g y o f New E n g l i s h V e r s e ( T o k y o : K e n k y u s h a L t d . , 1958). 2  ^ R o b e r t C o n q u e s t , e d . , New L l n e s - I I 196.3).  (London: M a c m i l l a n ,  2 attempts to e x p l a i n what had caused him to group the i n the f i r s t  poets  anthology:  i t was based on the r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t a number of poets were a l r e a d y producing work which seemed to have something i n common, although they had s t a r t e d from very d i f f e r e n t s t a n d p o i n t s , and maintained t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l a t t i t u d e s i n many respects. In t h e i r attempts to see s i m i l a r i t i e s between the poets anthology,  the c r i t i w s found themselves  i n the  f o c u s i n g on the  l e a s t important aspects of the poets* work: One c r i t i c of New L i n e s sought to demonstrate a common tone by assembling, from each of the n i n e poets i n i t , one iambic pentameter, i n r e g u l a r syntax and c o n t a i n i n g no s t a r t l i n g image. To produce even t h i s g e n e r a l i s a t i o n , i t was necessary to omit one poet, D . J . E n r i g h t . 5  Undoubtedly the poets do have much i n common, but only i n that they are a l l very much products of t h e i r time as any group of contemporary poets tends to b e .  The poets  themselves  do not appear to have f e l t that they were making a d i s t i n c t break away from t h e i r p r e d e c e s s o r s ,  although they were  of those who formed the f r i n g e s of a group such as dominated by Auden, and of the i m i t a t o r s  critical  that  of Dylan Thomas.  Conquest s t a t e s t h e i r p o s i t i o n : In one sense, indeed the standpoint i s not new, but merely the r e s t o r a t i o n of a sound and f r u i t f u l a t t i t u d e to p o e t r y , •t  5  New L i n e s - I I , ibid.,  p.xxi.  p.  xiii.  o f t h e p r i n c i p l e t h a t p o e t r y i s w r i t t e n by a n d f o r t h e man, i n t e l l e c t , e m o t i o n s , senses and a l l . ° It  h a d become a p p a r e n t  a n d W o r l d War I I  created  that  the  Spanish C i v i l  War  c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h c h a n g e d what  i n d i v i d u a l c o u l d hope t o do w i t h i n s o c i e t y , was a s much a f f e c t e d  whole  by t h i s  and the  change as a n y o n e .  the  artist  None o f  the  p o e t s w i t h i n t h e Movement c o u l d be d e s c r i b e d a s a p o l i t i c a l poet.  Widespread d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w i t h p o l i t i c s and p o l i t i c i a n s  h a d c a u s e d them t o t u r n away f r o m p o l i t i c a l a n d p u b l i c to that of the  which i s  largely introspective.  They s h a r e a  sense  importance of the normal everyday s i t u a t i o n and  in a society  w h i c h has  outlook.  "Too L a t e f o r S a t i r e "  aims and the  event  f e w common - p u b l i c a i m s o r a m b i t i o n s .  Two poems by D o n a l d D a v i e i n d i c a t e t h e s h i f t  poets'  poetry  reason for  i n the  poets'  shows t h e - n a r r o w i n g o f  the  this:  I m i g h t h a v e b e e n a s p i t i l e s s a s Pope B u t t o no p u r p o s e ; i n a t r a g i c age We s h a r e t h e h a t r e d b u t we l a c k t h e h o p e By p i n n i n g f o l l i e s t o r e f o r m t h e a g e . To b l a m e i s l a m e , a n d s a t i r i s t s a r e l a t e . ' In  " R e m e m b e r i n g t h e T h i r t i e s " he g i v e s a n a c c o u n t  events which had e x c i t e d the h i s own p e r s p e c t i v e %ew Lines, p. 7  has xiv.  New L i n e s , p . 69.  of the  large  p o e t s o f t h e t i m e a n d shows how  s h r u n k u n t i l he c a n o n l y c o n s i d e r  what  significance  t h e s e e v e n t s have f o r him as a n  individual:  The A n s c h l u s s , G u e r n i c a — a l l t h e names A t w h i c h t h o s e p o e t s t h r i l l e d , o r were a f r a i d , F o r me mean s c h o o l s a n d s c h o o l m a s t e r s a n d g a m e s .  0  A s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e n a r r o w i n g down o f themes t o t h o s e w h i c h seem i m m e d i a t e l y r e l e v a n t i n g of form and s t y l e himself.  The c r i t i c  of r e g u l a r  iambic  but there  There  pentameters  felt  i s the  he c o u l d  tendency  t o be c o n s e r v a t i v e  None o f t h e Movement  of Auden or E l i o t but t h i s  choice  t o be l i m i t e d r a t h e r  what  to  f a m i l i a r i t y with poetic  ly  educated to  enjoy  and  seems t o be  than from  to  from  inadequacy. audience  t r a d i t i o n s and an a u d i e n c e  degree sufficient-  the a l l u s i v e q u a l i t y of h i s w r i t i n g .  s e n s e o f a t r a d i t i o n w h i c h he c a n s h a r e w i t h  A u d e n c o u l d assume  he c o u l d w r i t e e i t h e r  this  general  interest  group of  his  i n the  similar  current  E v e n i n t h e more p e r s o n a l p o e t r y o f  N e w L i n e s , p . 71.  He  t o a much l e s s e r d e g r e e b u t  for a f a i r l y esoteric  education or appeal to the p o l i t i c a l movements.  poets  writers  E l i o t i n p a r t i c u l a r assumes a  of  8  of  i s no f o r m e x c l u s i v e l y common t o t h e s e  of a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d .  readers.  examples  point  B o t h E l i o t a n d A u d e n c o u l d assume a p o e t r y - r e a d i n g  has a c l e a r  limitexpress  for  showed some a w a r e n e s s  t h o u g h he p u r s u e d t h e  return to t r a d i t i o n a l forms.  a deliberate  poet  who r a n s a c k e d t h e a n t h o l o g y  is a general  shows t h e r a n g e  i n d i v i d u a l poet  i n which the  t h e Movement r e p r e s e n t s , absurdity.  to the  both  5 there  i s a p u b l i c tone s p r i n g i n g from a sense of an audience  who s h a r e  c e r t a i n a s s u m p t i o n s and from a c o n f i d e n c e  and p e r s o n a l v a l u e s .  in  The l a n g u a g e o f b o t h r e f l e c t s  although they are both capable  of w r i t i n g  i n the  this:  conversational  t o n e w h i c h i s most o f t e n u s e d by t h e Movement p o e t s , no means c o n f i n e t h e m s e l v e s language and tone w h i c h i s Auden's use of  t h e y by  to t h i s , but on o c c a s i o n s poetic  and r h e t o r i c a l .  extremely c o l l o q u i a l language  self  use  a  Often  i s an attempt  r e a c h b e y o n d what he n o r m a l l y r e g a r d s a s h i s a u d i e n c e t o  to  one  much w i d e r . From t h i s  i t c a n be s e e n t h a t  Movement p o e t s a s a g r o u p f r o m t h o s e their deliberate In the as  what d i s t i n g u i s h e s who came b e f o r e  the  them  is  l i m i t i n g of b o t h s u b j e c t m a t t e r and f o r m .  i n t r o d u c t i o n t o New L i n e s I I ,  Conquest quotes. L a r k i n  saying,  B u t a t bottom p o e t r y , l i k e a l l a r t , i s i n e x t r i c a b l y bound up w i t h g i v i n g p l e a s u r e , and i f a poet l o s e s h i s p l e a s u r e - s e e k i n g a u d i e n c e he h a s l o s t t h e o n l y a u d i e n c e w o r t h h a v i n g , f o r w h i c h t h e d u t i f u l mob t h a t s i g n s on e v e r y S e p t e m b e r i s no s u b s t i t u t e . . . . I f t h e medium i s i n f a c t t o be r e s c u e d f r o m among o u r d u t i e s and r e s t o r e d to our p l e a s u r e s , I can o n l y t h i n k that a l a r g e s c a l e r e v u l s i o n has got t o set i n a g a i n s t p r e s e n t n o t i o n s . 9 Larkin's the b a s i c  statement  c a n be t a k e n a s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  l i n k s between- t h e Movement p o e t s :  o f one  a desire  the widest p o e t r y - r e a d i n g audience p o s s i b l e , rather see  p o e t r y as  the  p r o p e r t y of academics  ^New L i n e s , p p .  xviii-xix.  to than  of reach to  and t h e U n i v e r s i t i e s ,  6 a p p e a l i n g t o a k i n d of coupled w i t h the the  poets  i n t e l l e c t u a l snobbery.  This  desire  contemporary s i t u a t i o n immediately  forced  within certain limits.  They c a n no l o n g e r  common v a l u e s a n d t r a d i t i o n s , so t h a t to have an immediate i f a result  l o c a l relevance  t h e Movement p o e t s  i n d i v i d u a l experience  the  assume  p o e t r y must  to the r e a d e r .  tend to s t a r t  from the b a s i s  The u n i v e r s a l i t y o f t h e i r  because any man's r e f l e c t i o n s  must s t r i k e a r e s p o n s e  poems  o n h i s own I d e n t i t y a n d  l i m i t a t i o n s and p o t e n t i a l i t i e s  of h i s  i n the r e a d e r ,  this  to appeal to or t o a t t a c k  a large  The l a n g u a g e  p o r t i o n of  of these poets  of w i t t y c o n v e r s a t i o n and i n t h i s r e s p e c t  in his  t o Auden; a debt which L a r k i n  i n t r o d u c t i o n t o The N o r t h  are arises  life  p a r t i c u l a r l y when t h e  i s v e r y s o l i d l y m i d d l e - c l a s s and i s d e l i b e r a t e l y  undoubted debt  of  the  environment and  poet  that  As  w i t h i n p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s which  u s u a l l y very r e g i o n a l .  potential audience.  seem  using  his i s v e r y much  t h e y owe a n acknowledges  Ship.  The f o r m w h i c h i s most common t o t h e Movement p o e t s the dramatic n a r r a t i v e  poem, t h o u g h W a i n , u n d e r t h e  o f E m p s o n , became i n t e r e s t e d form of  the v i l l a n e l l e .  poetry s p r i n g s from the values.  poets'  rigid  q u a l i t y o f much of t h i s  uncertainty  o f any  positive  T h e i r poems o f t e n w o r k t o w a r d s r e s o l v i n g t h e  between an awareness desire  influence  i n t h e more c o m p l e x a n d  The d r a m a t i c  of the meaninglessness  not to accept t h i s but e i t h e r  is  to f i n d  of or  conflict  l i f e and a create  7 something  p o s i t i v e and m e a n i n g f u l .  together with their  use  It  is  ironic  without traditions  t o n e o f much o f t h e i r  New L i n e s , C o n q u e s t p o e t s as  attitude,  of t r a d i t i o n a l u n e x p e r i m e n t a l  f o r m s a n d rhyme s c h e m e s , t o a s s e r t t h e i r been l e f t  this  sense of  which explains poetry.  summarises  the  the  In the  verse  having  generally  introduction  p o s i t i o n of the  to  Movement  follows:  I f one h a d b r i e f l y t o d i s t i n g u i s h t h i s p o e t r y o f t h e f i f t i e s from i t s predecessors, I b e l i e v e t h e most i m p o r t a n t g e n e r a l p o i n t w o u l d be t h a t i t s u b m i t s t o no g r e a t s y s t e m s o f t h e o r e t i c a l constructs nor agglomerations of unconscious commands. I t i s f r e e from b o t h m y s t i c a l and l o g i c a l c o m p u l s i o n s a n d — l i k e modern p h i l o s o p h y — i s e m p i r i c a l i n i t s a t t i t u d e t o a l l t h a t c o m e s . . . . On t h e more t e c h n i c a l s i d e , t h o u g h o f c o u r s e r e l a t e d t o a l l t h i s , we see r e f u s a l t o abandon a r a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e and c o m p r e h e n s i b l e language, e v e n when t h e v e r s e i s most h i g h l y c h a r g e d w i t h s e n s u o u s o r emotional intent.^ W i t h i n the i n common i n t e r m s  g r o u p o f t h e Movement p o e t s L a r k i n has of technique  w i t h Amis and Wain—a  which i s h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g c o n s i d e r i n g t h e i r and t h e i r relative  friendship. seriousness,  However, i n terms  J e n n i n g s a n d Thorn G u n n , b o t h o f whom f o c u s isolation. of  Larkin,  bility  of  clearly  Thorn Gunn a l s o of  the  importance  perfection  in his  indicates  pp. x i v - x v .  to  life.  This  their  Elizabeth  on man's  a sense,  poem "On The M o v e " , w h i c h i s  %ew L i n e s ,  common b a c k g r o u n d  essential  s i m i l a r to  of b e i n g aware of the  w i t h i n man's  fact  o f themes a n d  L a r k i n i s much c l o s e r  most  is  about  that  impossi-  shown most  8  young m o t o r - c y c l i s t s : A m i n u t e h o l d s t h e m , who h a v e come t o g o : The s e l f - d e f i n e d , a s t r i d e t h e c r e a t e d w i l l They b u r s t a w a y ; t h e towns t h e y t r a v e l t h r o u g h A r e home f o r n e i t h e r b i r d n o r h o l i n e s s , F o r b i r d s and s a i n t s complete t h e i r p u r p o s e s . A t w o r s t , one i s i n m o t i o n ; a n d a t b e s t , R e a c h i n g no a b s o l u t e , i n w h i c h t o r e s t , One i s a l w a y s n e a r e r by n o t k e e p i n g s t i l l . H Amis and Wain have t h e plicity  of meaning i n any w o r d , and e x p l o i t t h i s  without allowing They a l s o i n the  it  to destroy the balance  share with L a r k i n the  ironic twists  However, t h e i r way t h e b a s i c  raises this  faced,  issues  c o n c l u d i n g some  between the  and d e l i b e r a t e  insistence  on the  difference  i n seriousness  poems.  the  between  I s s u e s w h i c h any  importance of  -- New L i n e s , p . 3 3 . L  then  of Amis and Wain t h e r e  is  avoidance of f a c i n g the m o r a l  there is  of  their  situation  l i t t l e of L a r k i n ' s  t o t a l awareness.  i n t e n t i o n and s k i l l  constant  Despite in  A m i s ' and W a i n ' s n o v e l s have r e c e i v e d a n a t t e n t i o n  J  results  p o e t r y of Amis and Wain and  i n the d i f f e r e n c e s  I n the novels  which are r a i s e d ;  11  poems.  a n d i f no r e s o l u t i o n seems p o s s i b l e ,  i s made c l e a r .  a consistent  of t h e i r  problems f a c i n g man.  In L a r k i n ' s novels are  wittily  sense of t i m i n g which  effectively  of L a r k i n i s r e f l e c t e d  novels.  multi-  poems do n o t p e n e t r a t e i n a t o t a l l y m e a n i n g f u l  The d i f f e r e n c e that  same d e l i g h t a s L a r k i n i n t h e  the  execution which  9  L a r k i n ' s have n o t . dealt  J i l l  1  with only i n brief  and A G i r l  2  i n W i n t e r ^ have  book r e v i e w s and i n i n c i d e n t a l  comments d e a l i n g p r i n c i p a l l y w i t h L a r k i n ' s p o e t r y . even t h i s  l i m i t e d coverage  conflicting  poetry. Jill,  states,  to the  asserts, are  will  there:  for portents  one h a s  c o n t r o l of emotion and l a n g u a g e ,  and f o r t h e most p a r t c o n t e n t s  of  the  keen  P h i l i p Larkin,  Jill  poetry  observation,  expression of h a l f  success,  W i l l i a m Van O'Connor i n interest  himself with brief  "He seems t o h a v e i n t e n d e d t o show t h a t or can be,  rising  Hugh-Jones  i n the  defeat  by a g l i m m e r o f  novels  plot  He comments o n h i s v i e w o f L a r k i n ' s p u r p o s e  f i n a l l y accompanied,  ed.  later  learned to value i n h i s  The New U n i v e r s i t y W i t s e x p r e s s e s l i t t l e  1 2  novels,  of the  same n o v e l , S t e p h e n  a n t i c i p a t e d f a i l u r e or s a d n e s s . " ^  Jill:  of the  of  f i n d o n l y few and skimpy f i s h  and I n p a r t i c u l a r the v e r y p r e c i s e  summaries.  t o be a r a n g e  significance  in J i l l  Reviewing the  "The q u a l i t i e s  Within  i n "An Oxford G r o u p , " a review of  "Anyone c a s t i n g  poet-to-come fly."  the  appears  own r i g h t , a n d w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t  Edmund C r i s p i n  notable  there  o p i n i o n s about  both i n t h e i r  been  1  joy,  (London: Paber and F a b e r ,  in  is but  1964, 1 s t  1946).  13 P h i l i p L a r k i n , A G i r l F a b e r , 1964, 1 s t e d . 1 9 4 7 ) • i^The Spectator.  April  i n Winter (London: Faber 1 7 t h , 1964, 525.  ^ S t e p h e n Hugh-Jones, "Review of J i l l , " S t a t e s m a n . A p r i l 3 r d , 1964, 533.  The New  he  and  10  d i d n o t manage t o g e t Whilst this  has  this  glimmer i n t o h i s  some r e l e v a n c e  I n W i n t e r — t h o u g h even t h e r e it  n  to the c o n c l u s i o n of A G i r l "joy"  i s a strange  description—  seems i n a p p l i c a b l e t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n o f J i l l ,  assertion  of the  theme o f J i l l ;  "a sense of  found i n f a c i n g one's f r u s t r a t i o n s . " t i o n of the  c o n c l u s i o n of J i l l  nightmarishness  of the  directly contradicts d e s c r i p t i o n of J i l l pessimistic  as  novel. ^  the  In his  to  the  to  Edmund C r i s p i n ' s  be descrip-  the  seems more a c c u r a t e a n d  s t a t e m e n t , as does A l u n I n Winter as  "bleak  and  p o i n t of n i h i l i s m . " - ^  class.  of novels  i n t r o d u c t i o n to  the  choice  d e a l i n g w i t h the  of a w o r k i n g - c l a s s  "My h e r o ' s b a c k g r o u n d ,  story,  working  1964 e d i t i o n o f J i l l .  was n o t what t h e  a more g e n e r a l  comment,  what L a r k i n i s  t r y i n g t o do i n t h e  hero has  though an  story  Larkin been  integral  was a b o u t .  G i n d i n p i n p o i n t s more  accurately  novel:  ^ W i l l i a m V a n O ' C o n n o r , The New U n i v e r s i t y W i t s ( C a r b o n d a l e : I l l i n o i s U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 3 ) , p . 23. The  Spectator, A p r i l  1 7 t h , 1964, 525.  A . R . J o n e s , "The P o e t r y o f P h i l i p L a r k i n : A N o t e on T r a n s a t l a n t i c C u l t u r e , " W e s t e r n H u m a n i t i e s R e v i e w X V I 1 8  (1962),  p.  11.  Jones'  forerunner  of the  1 9  "raw  Jill  misunderstood:  1 7  his  I n P o s t w a r B r i t i s h F i c t i o n , James G i n d i n s e e s  suggests t h a t the  part  and A - G i r l  peace i s  t o w h i c h he r e f e r s a s  climax,"17  O'Connor's  as does  P.  146.  larkin,  Jill  ( L o n d o n : F a b e r and F a b e r ,  1964),  in  11  the problems of the become t h e p r o b l e m s w h o l e s o c i e t y : how midst of chaos and But  it  is  w o r k i n g c l a s s e s h a v e , i n one s e n s e , o f many o f t h e t h o u g h t f u l men i n t h e t o a s s e r t and defend o n e s e l f i n the indiffevence.  Stephen Hugh-Jones  of the n o v e l : was r e a l l y  "Class  Is  looking at  not  who c r y s t a l l i z e s the  was t h e  essence here;  soft  this  aspect  what M r . L a r k i n  s h e l l i n a world f u l l  of  spikes." ^ 2  Despite the  disagreements  o f L a r k i n ' s work as there  is  recur  i n the  to  the  amongst  the major  q u a l i t y of h i s n o v e l s and  f a i r l y g e n e r a l agreement on the m a j o r later  critics  volumes.  poetry,  themes w h i c h  C . B . Cox c o n s i d e r s  that  Larkin op  deals  with  " u n i v e r s a l themes o f t i m e ,  s u f f e r i n g and  a c c e p t i n g u n c e r t a i n t y as a c o n d i t i o n of that  Larkin deals  o r what h a p p e n s inescapable  to  facts  with  "the  poetry  John Wain says  g a p b e t w e e n dream a n d  reality,  i d e a l s when t h e y come down among of  the  ordinary l i v i n g . " 3 2  S i m i l a r l y a number o f Larkin's  life.  death"  s t a t e m e n t s on t h e  indicate a general  critical  structure  of  attitude.  J . G i n d i n , Postwar B r i t i s h F i c t i o n (Cambridge: C a m b r i d g e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 3 ) , p . 105. 2 0  2  l T h e New S t a t e s m a n .  3, 1964, 533.  C . B . C o x , " P h i l i p L a r k i n , " The C r i t i c a l 1 ( S p r i n g 1 9 5 9 ) , 16. 2 2  I,  April  Quarterly,  3 j o h n W a i n , "Engagement o r W i t h d r a w a l ? Some n o t e s o n t h e Work o f P h i l i p L a r k i n , " The C r i t i c a l Q u a r t e r l y . V I , 2 (Summer 1 9 6 4 ) , 172. 2  12  Anthony Thwaite d e s c r i b e s ability  to  L a r k i n the  poet  as h a v i n g  f e e l h i s way i n t o c o m p l e x e m o t i o n s  or  resolution  by b e g i n n i n g w i t h a c o n c r e t e s i t u a t i o n as a s o r t implicit  in his resolution." ^  Larkin's  "novelist's  and John  Press  fuse  states that  perfectly  with their  Despite associating  the  it  "the  v i s u a l aspects  e m o t i o n a l and I n t e l l e c t u a l  of novels  w i t h the  poems,  rather  t h a n as n o v e l i s t and t h e n poet and t o  novels  i n the  of  their  gives a hint that advantage,  since  he e x p l a i n s ,  this  structures.  i s a l i n e that  i n t h e comment  "As, despite  unambitious short leaving  their  story,  its  has  the  only i n  terms  himself  c o u l d be f o l l o w e d w i t h  it  re-issue  remains  of  Jill  i n essence an  c h a p t e r - d i v i s i o n s have been d r o p p e d ,  i t m e r e l y as a n a r r a t i v e  s u c h comment  resonance."  poet-novelist  Larkin  prefaces A G i r l  with breathing-spaces. ^ u  i n Winter but  it  too  lacks  ^Anthony Thwaite, Contemporary E n g l i s h P o e t r y ; An I n t r o d u c t i o n ( L o n d o n : H e i n e m a r m , 1959), p . 87.  p.  26john P r e s s ,  R u l e and Energy  101. 2  7  J i l l ,  p.  20.  No  real  2  ^ F r e d e r i c k Grubb, A V i s i o n of R e a l i t y & W i n d u s , 1 9 6 5 ) , p . 226.  J  images  no c r i t i c  look at  p r e f a c i n g the  length,  effect,"  towards  of h i s work as a w h o l e , not  themes b u t a l s o  of  of h i s  w o r t h w h i l e t o t h i n k o f L a r k i n as a  context  parable  f o r v a r i e t y of n a r r a t i v e  obvious t r e n d of these remarks  qualities  considered  of  F r e d e r i c k Grubb t a l k s  2  feeling  "the  (London: Chatto  ( L o n d o n : O x f o r d , 1963)*  chapter  divisions.  The n o v e l s ,  be b e s t c o n s i d e r e d a s prose  it  long short  seems t o me, c a n i n  stories  one.  i d e a of  In several  the n o v e l as  poem i s  the  and prose  i n t h e modern n o v e l ,  increasing  . ,  rather  the Brontes  in particular  a p p r o a c h poems when t h e of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s such as  she  emphasis  feels shifts  Poem"  2 0  express  of novels which they  the  is  subject matter  work o f writers  that  their  from the  on t h e  see  of  novels importance relationships  P . R. L e a v i s and entitled  similar views,  "Moral fable"  i n h i s comments  poetry  texture  s e r i e s of S c r u t i n y essays  i n t h e i r analyses  states  poetic  l o v e , d e a t h and n a t u r e .  "The N o v e l a s D r a m a t i c  Kllngopulis  i n the  between c h a r a c t e r s t o t h e i r  G ; D . K l l n g o p u l i s i n the  concentration  poetry  the works of  A p a r t from the g e n e r a l  In these n o v e l i s t s ,  with forces  Woolf  and Hardy i n terms a p p l i c a b l e t o  than prose.  language  f r o m b e i n g a new  i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between  J o y c e a n d L a w r e n c e , a n d she d i s c u s s e s such as  far  of her c r i t i c a l essays V i r g i n i a  discusses  the  or as n a r r a t i v e  poems. The  "the  fact  as dramatic aspect,  or,  in  that  poems as  on W u t h e r i n g H e i g h t s ,  i s a way o f f e e l i n g a b o u t m a n ' s  place  in  universe." 9 2  F . R . L e a v i s a n d G . D . K l l n g o p u l i s , "The N o v e l a s D r a m a t i c P o e m , " S c r u t i n y . X I V , 3 & 4, 1 9 4 7 : X V , 3, 1948; X V I I , 1 & 3, 1950; X V I I , 4, 1951; X V I I I , 1, 1951. 2 w  G . D . K l l n g o p u l i s , "The N o v e l a s D r a m a t i c Poem ( I I ) : W u t h e r i n g H e i g h t s , " S c r u t i n y , X I V , 4, S e p t e m b e r 194?, 205. 2 9  14 In Archetypal Patterns b o t h p o e t r y and the n o v e l ,  I n P o e t r y . Maud B o d k i n  discusses  since  At the present t i m e , the n o v e l , r a t h e r than v e r s e , appears t h e i n s t r u m e n t o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n w h i c h even t h e poet must u s e , i f he w o u l d r e a c h a n y b u t a v e r y r e s t r i c t e d a u d i e n c e . 3 0 I n t h e n o v e l s of L a w r e n c e , W o o l f and E m i l y B r o n t e she the workings out of a r c h e t y p a l p a t t e r n s D a v i d Lodge i n Language o f F i c t i o n , language i s a continuum r a t h e r r e f e r e n t i a l and p o e t i c ,  i n poetic  terms.  having established  t h a n made o f two  goes o n t o s t a t e  traces  that  parts,  that  i f we a r e t o r e g a r d t h e a r t o f p o e t r y a s e s s e n t i a l l y a n a r t o f l a n g u a g e , t h e n so i s t h e a r t o f t h e n o v e l ; a n d [ t h a t ) t h e c r i t i c o f t h e n o v e l h a s no s p e c i a l d i s p e n s a t i o n f r o m t h a t c l o s e a n d s e n s i t i v e engagement w i t h l a n g u a g e w h i c h we n a t u r a l l y expect from the c r i t i c of poetry."31 It  is  perhaps s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t  examine i n c l o s e  among t h e n o v e l s he c h o o s e s  d e t a i l are H a r d y ' s Tess of the  Charlotte Bronte's  to  D'Urbervilles,  Jane E y r e , and D i c k e n s ' Hard Times, a l l  of  which n o v e l s or n o v e l i s t s have a l s o been the focus of  Virginia  Woolf and the S c r u t i n e e r s .  some  common e l e m e n t s  exist  It  would seem,  then, that  b e t w e e n t h e s e n o v e l s w h i c h make them  obvious examples of the n o v e l - p o e m .  It  is  i n the t r a d i t i o n  3°Maud B o d k i n , A r c h e t y p a l P a t t e r n s i n P o e t r y ( L o n d o n : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1934), p . 289. 3lDavid L o d g e , L a n g u a g e o f F i c t i o n ( L o n d o n : R o u t l e d g e a n d K e g a n P a u l , 1966), p . 47.  15  established place.  by t h e s e w r i t e r s t h a t  L a r k i n seems t o h a v e a  Commenting on E m i l y and C h a r l o t t e B r o n t e ,  Woolf'  Virginia  says s  T h e y s e i z e d t h o s e a s p e c t s o f t h e e a r t h w h i c h were m o s t a k i n t o what t h e y t h e m s e l v e s f e l t o r i m p u t e d t o t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s , a n d so t h e i r s t o r m s , t h e i r m o o r s , t h e i r l o v e l y s p a c e s o f summer w e a t h e r a r e n o t o r n a m e n t s a p p l i e d t o d e c o r a t e a d u l l page o r d i s p l a y t h e w r i t e r s ' p o w e r s o f o b s e r v a t i o n — t h e y c a r r y on t h e e m o t i o n a n d l i g h t u p t h e m e a n i n g o f t h e b o o k . 3  2  T h i s comment c o u l d be a p p l i e d w i t h e q u a l , v a l u e t o t h e w o r k o f H a r d y , D i c k e n s i n H a r d T i m e s , L a w r e n c e a n d t o some V i r g i n i a Woolf  extent  herself.  S i m i l a r l y a comment o n t h e n o v e l s o f M e r e d i t h a n d H a r d y c o u l d be a p p l i e d s u c c e s s f u l l y t o a n y o f t h e  above  novelists: P o e t r y , i t would seem, r e q u i r e s a d i f f e r e n t s c e n e ; human b e i n g s a r e n e e d e d , b u t n e e d e d to l o v e , or d e a t h , or nature r a t h e r than to t h i s reason t h e i r psychology i s s i m p l i f i e d , M e r e d i t h and H a r d y , and i n s t e a d of f e e l i n g l i f e , we f e e l i t s p a s s i o n , i t s t r a g e d y . 3 3  o r d e r i n g of the in their relation each o t h e r . For as i t i s both i n the i n t r i c a c y of  I propose to take  from V i r g i n i a Woolf  as  the b a s i s  t h e a b o v e two q u o t a t i o n s  f o r a d i s c u s s i o n of L a r k i n ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p to  t r a d i t i o n of novel-poem. 3 V i r g i n i a W o o l f , "Jane Eyre and Wutherlng H e i g h t s , " The Common R e a d e r I (New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t B r a c e a n d W o r l d , 2  1925), p .  163.  33virginia W o o l f , "Phases of F i c t i o n , " G r a n i t e and R a i n b o w ( L o n d o n : H o g a r t h P r e s s , i 9 6 0 ) , p p . 140-141.  the  16  V i r g i n i a W o o l f ' s comment o n E m i l y a n d C h a r l o t t e Bronte  points  n o v e l as  t o one o f t h e  poem, s i n c e  i m p o r t a n t common a s p e c t s o f  i n a l l o f t h o s e n o v e l s w h i c h seem  q u a l i f y most c l e a r l y f o r  this  plays an Important  not o n l y as a background but  as a p e r v a s i v e position,  influence  and as a p a r t  Larkin himself  his affinities  physical  Since  w i t h Hardy the  poet-novelist  poet  in his  i t w o u l d p e r h a p s be r e l e v a n t  w i t h Hardy the n o v e l i s t ,  of  man's  h i s f a m i l i a r i t y with Hardy's novels  p l a c i n g him i n the t r a d i t i o n of the  r e l a t i v e use  of  also  o f b o t h theme a n d s t r u c t u r e .  t o The N o r t h S h i p ,  his affinities  to  d e f i n i t i o n the N a t u r a l world  on a n d a r e f l e c t i o n  establishes  a n d makes c l e a r preface  part,  the  to  in  consider  particularly in  their  environment.  The c l e a r e s t c o m p a r i s o n c a n be made b e t w e e n The R e t u r n of the N a t i v e and A G i r l the n o v e l s  illustrate  use of the  d e s c r i p t i o n of  realistic  manner,  of the basic  the  i n Winter.  The o p e n i n g c h a p t e r s  s i m i l a r i t i e s between the p h y s i c a l environment  which, i n retrospect  issues  of the n o v e l .  expands  writers'  in a  totally  i n t o a symbol  The d e s c r i p t i o n o f E g d o n  H e a t h becomes more t h a n a s i m p l e l o c a t i n g o f t h e a c t i o n the n o v e l , f o r , novel is  t h r o u g h t h e d e s c r i p t i o n , t h e mood o f  established  and the h e a t h t a k e s on t h e  of an a r c h e t y p a l mental landscape. indicates  the  context  Its  of  the  significance  q u a l i t y of  w i t h i n w h i c h Hardy sees man.  d e s c r i p t i o n of the w i n t e r landscape  of  timelessness Larkin's  s i m i l a r l y transcends  the  17  s i m p l e f u n c t i o n o f b a c k g r o u n d a n d becomes a p r o j e c t i o n o f mood a n d t h e  theme o f A G i r l  In Winter.  indicated  i n the a n a l y s i s  of the  chapter.  B o t h here and i n J i l l  p r e d o m i n a t i n g image s e r v e s Larkin's  vision.  Much o f t h i s  opening s e c t i o n  i n my t h i r d  to  i n d i c a t e the  scale  Whereas H a r d y c h o o s e s a n image o f  and u n i v e r s a l i t y , L a r k i n chooses p a r t  of the  o f t h e y e a r a n d u s e s t h i s more a s  p r o j e c t i o n of  individual's as  consciousness  does H a r d y .  where i n t h e  poems,  towards death; the  in history.  symbol i s  t h a n s e e i n g him as In Larkin,  as  this  of  permanence movement an  consciousness  established here,  i n d i v i d u a l and h i s  a  as  else-  progression i s the  end  i n Hardy,the opening  to the n o v e l a rhythm w i t h i n the  same way a s  the context n o v e l s comes  large  i n d i v i d u a l words and phrases  o f a poem.  As a r e s u l t  t o be l e s s d e p e n d e n t  of p l o t and n a r r a t i v e and more, as  pattern  work w i t h i n  the development of  on the  simple  i n poetry,  so  the  progression  on the  p a t t e r n i n g and w o r k i n g out of the  In fact  t h e m e a n i n g o f L a r k i n ' s n o v e l s ^ i s n o t c a r r i e d by  o r theme a l o n e b u t a l s o  The u s e o f  images r a t h e r  Important  satis-  factory  plot  for  p a r t of a c y c l i c  t a k e n up and r e i n f o r c e d throughout the n o v e l ,  i t gives  i n the  is  he e x p r e s s e s c o n c e r n t h a t  individual rather  movement  that  on t h e  the  cyclic  than of a c o l l e c t i v e  L a r k i n ' s focus  is  the use of the season as  also  the  images.  by t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e  the  images.  than statements or d e s c r i p t i o n of  a c t i o n t o r e s o l v e b o t h n o v e l s shows t h i s c l e a r l y a n d p u t s  18  Larkin  i n the c l a s s  inseparable  of those  from h i s  w r i t e r s whose " m e a n i n g  language,  a particular observation."  and i t s e l f  r a t h e r a mood t h a n  J  I n h e r comment on H a r d y a n d M e r e d i t h , indicates  that  different  f r o m t h e u s u a l engagement  individuals.  the choice of focus  She s u g g e s t s  is  that  V i r g i n i a Woolf  i n a poetic w i t h the  novel  Interaction  i n the attempt  concepts  the n o v e l i s t s i m p l i f i e s the  psychology of h i s c h a r a c t e r s ,  l o v e , d e a t h and n a t u r e ,  i n depth those a s p e c t s of  simplification is  central character.  effected  In L a r k i n ' s novels  by t h e v e r y c l o s e  We do become  characters  is  it  is only  i n o p e r a t i o n and our v i s i o n of the l a r g e l y c o n d i t i o n e d by t h e  central character.  f o c u s on t h e  f u l l y acquainted with  psychology of b o t h John and K a t h e r i n e , but m i n d s we s e e  o n l y one m i n d  e x p l o r e d i n any d e p t h , the  emphasis does  fall  nature.  In A G i r l  i n Winter t h i s  of  on t h a t  as  i s most c l e a r l y  i n w h i c h human r e l a t i o n s h i p s become  they serve  mind about  to  individ-  apparent, thought onlf  i n Katherine's  l i f e a n d t h e ways i n w h i c h i t c a n be  3 4 h e C ommon R e a d e r I , T  is  important  i l l u m i n a t e the c e n t r a l questions  the nature of  the  l o v e and d e a t h and  s i n c e much o f t h e n o v e l i s d e v o t e d t o K a t h e r i n e ' s processes,  their  perspective of  i n each c a s e ,  r e l a t i o n s h i p to the a b s t r a c t i o n s  the  other  Since,  ual's  not  p e r s o n a l i t y most  clearly revealed i n social intercourse. the  of  t o p r e s e n t man  i n r e l a t i o n to the abstract  investigating  of  is  p . 163.  19  made m e a n i n g f u l .  John i s  l e s s mature and r e f l e c t i v e  K a t h e r l n e h u t , b y i m p l i c a t i o n , he c o n s i d e r s i n the  l a c k of any k i n d of  focus  i s e m p h a s i s e d by  s u b s i d i a r y p l o t or theme,  sense of a c t i o n and d e t a i l s i m p l i f i e d to the nothing extraneous reason.  to the c e n t r a l  issues  is  and a  point  novel.  This  is  theme r a t h e r  of  poems, s i n c e  The economy i s  t h e themes a r e  place  present  the creator thought  so t h a t  of the r e a d e r ' s  fact, the  i s no a u t h o r i a l  outside the the w r i t e r i s  omniscience  of  possible only his  processes. poetry  depth and a l l u s i v e q u a l i t y a s s o c i a t e d season  into an established  central  A l l philosophizing, reflection  The n o v e l s f u r t h e r r e s e m b l e  make u s e o f t h e  the  assisted  pursued purely i n  Nothing intrudes which i s  of these c h a r a c t e r s ,  characters'  in  i n t h e i r minds; there  cognizance as  further  The n o v e l s a r e ,  of the c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r s .  and r e s o l u t i o n take  that  is  i n t e r w o v e n images r e v e a l i n g t h e  t h a n by a c t i o n .  intervention.  sense  t o the c l o s e l y d e f i n e d p a t t e r n of  by t h e absence o f t h e a u t h o r . dramatic  where  shown i n t h e way i n w h i c h t h e n o v e l  d o m i n a t e d by s t r a n d s  clear  I n c l u d e d f o r any  The n o v e l s c a n be r e a d l i k e poems i n t h e  e v e r y word c o n t r i b u t e s  terms  relationships  same w a y . In both novels the very close  the  all  than  Imagery  i n that  with i t .  t h e y have  the  Both novels  i n a way w h i c h p u t s them c l e a r l y  l i t e r a r y and even p s y c h o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n .  I n h i s e s s a y "The A r c h e t y p e s o f L i t e r a t u r e " N o r t h r o p P r y e  20  discusses  the use  of the  seasons and t h e i r  accumulated a s s o c i a t i o n s .  He d e s c r i b e s  the  phases:  third  of  the  seasonal  particular  t h e autumn myth as  The s u n s e t , a u t u m n a n d d e a t h p h a s e . Myths of f a l l , and of the d y i n g g o d , of v i o l e n t d e a t h and s a c r i f i c e and of the i s o l a t i o n of the h e r o . Subordinate c h a r a c t e r s : the t r a i t o r and the s i r e n . The a r c h e t y p e o f t r a g e d y a n d e l e g y . 3 5 Clearly iations,  Larkin  but as  environment  we a l r e a d y n o t i c e d  to that  reduced s c a l e , i n a somewhat  Ironic  this  manner:  significant  he  is  sacrificed  friends.  He d o e s  c l e a r l y reached a n d he h a s  to  type of  traitor  He i s  creative  death of a k i n d  not,  ends b u t  i n that  end o f a p a r t i c u l a r s t a g e o f  l e a r n a new v i s i o n o f  chosen.  beyond  simply  i d e n t i t y f o r C h r i s t o p h e r Warner and h i s  experience  the  w o r l d a s much  i l l i s v i o l e n t and i n  towards any c l e a r  His isolation is  than c l e a r l y  i l l but not  becoming  associations  predecessors.  something of a s a c r i f i c e .  to r e c r e a t e a sense of  again.  he s e e s man a n d h i s than d i d h i s  of  e v e r y t h i n g on a  i s u s i n g the a r c h e t y p a l  t h e manner o f h i s  process  however,  he  assoc-  i n comparing h i s use  o f a d y i n g g o d we h a v e ' J o h n ,  recovery;  of a l l these  o f H a r d y ' s , he p r e s e n t s  so t h a t  s m a l l e r and l e s s Instead  i s making f u l l use  complete  he  development  l i f e b e f o r e he c a n  but  it  is accidental  C h r i s t o p h e r W a r n e r c a n be s e e n a s  on a s m a l l s c a l e ,  j u s t as J i l l  or  has  begin rather a  even  35Northrop F r y e , F a b l e s of I d e n t i t y . Studies i n Poetic M y t h o l o g y (New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t B r a c e a n d W o r l d , I 9 6 3 ) , p . 16.  21 Elizabeth are world.  sirens  reduced to the s c a l e of the Oxford  The n o v e l i s n o t ,  however, t r a g i c .  s c a l e of a l l v a l u e s and c h a r a c t e r s L a r k i n d o e s n o t s e e man a s and  consequently A Girl  attributes  his  his  makes t h i s  impossible.  s u f f i c i e n t l y heroic  he t e n d s t o w a r d s i r o n y r a t h e r  In Winter f i t s  t o be  tragic  than  tragedy.  l e s s c l o s e l y w i t h the  archetypal  t h a t F r y e sees i n the w i n t e r m y t h o l o g y , but L a r k i n ' s  use of the w i n t e r myth i s that  The r e d u c t i o n I n  so c l e a r l y r e l a t e d t o a t r a d i t i o n  f i n a l d e v i a t i o n i s an a s s e r t i o n  v i s i o n of man.  of the d i f f e r e n c e  The E n g l i s h l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n o f  w i n t e r m y t h , i n w h i c h l a r k i n seems t o h a v e a p l a c e , t o s u c h A n g l o - S a x o n poems a s poet, the  "Seafarer",  the  goes  i n which  journey  image.  In this  of the w i n t e r journey  be a c h i e v e d ; a n d t h e r e lovelessness. present  was p a r t  poem t h e r e  is also  The p o e t  w i t h the  if  is  the c l e a r  his  sense  of to  i s o l a t i o n and  p o i n t by  contrasting  summer h a p p i n e s s he e x p e r i e n c e d when he  of a c l e a r l y d e f i n e d s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e .  a strong Impression that  after  the  experience  journey such d e l i g h t i n simple pleasures completely possible.  with  self-knowledge is  the sense of  emphasises  back  the  l i k e L a r k i n , uses the w i n t e r myth i n c o n j u n c t i o n  the n e c e s s i t y  the  the  in  There  He c r e a t e s  of the  winter  w i l l no l o n g e r  be  i s a pagan l a c k o f o p t i m i s m i n  t h e poem w h i c h L a r k i n ' s own w o r k a p p r o a c h e s . A l t h o u g h the w i n t e r inage r e c u r r s Lawrence's  frequently  in  w o r k , A a r o n ' s R o d seems t o a f f o r d t h e m o s t  fruitful  22 comparison with A G i r l  i n Winter, since  i n both novels  w r i t e r s are a l s o concerned w i t h the problem of the of  i n d i v i d u a l i t y w i t h i n t h e most  There  is a difference  of any o t h e r to assert  i n that  intimate  relationships.  L a r k i n sees the i m p o s s i b i l i t y  this  is  striving  s o m e t h i n g t h a t must be s o u g h t a s  most d e s i r a b l e k i n d of r e l a t i o n s h i p . journey  retention  s i t u a t i o n e x i s t i n g , w h i l s t Lawrence i s  that  the  In both novels  image i s c e n t r a l a s t h e c h a r a c t e r s  m a t u r i t y , and i n b o t h i t  the  the  move t o w a r d s  i s the w i n t e r which symbolises  the  end o f a way o f l i f e b a s e d on t h e t r a d i t i o n a l , u n w o r k a b l e I d e a s o f human r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  Lawrence, however,  close  o f man t o b e g i n h i s n o v e l a t  to the C h r i s t i a n concept  C h r i s t m a s a n d t o make u s e o f t h e a s s o c i a t i o n s He makes u s e he p r e s e n t s  of the w i n t e r as  hopeful l i f e .  In L a r k i n ' s n o v e l the  sufficiently  the season  part of the c y c l i c  Aaron undergoing a r e b i r t h process  is  p a t t e r n and  i n t o a more  sense of the  beginning  o f a new way o f l i f e d o e s n o t c a r r y w i t h i t a n y i d e a o f Katherine's  extended awareness  only reveals  to her the  l i m i t a t i o n s w i t h i n w h i c h man must work a n d t h e life onei  a h e a d o f h e r w i t h h e r new a w a r e n e s s In this  respect  Larkin is closer  t r a d i t i o n t h a n t o t h e more c o n t e m p o r a r y Eliot's affinities  poem " J o u r n e y  has.  prospect  i s not an  hope. severe of  inviting  to the Anglo-Saxon one.  of the M a g i " has  even  closer  w i t h L a r k i n ' s n o v e l t h a n does L a w r e n c e ' s w o r k .  The poem t o o u s e s t h e  journey  image i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h  the  the  23  winter  image, and i t  too s t r e s s e s t h a t ,  t e r r a c e s , / A n d the  "The summer  on s l o p e s ,  the  sherbet'*36  c a n n e v e r a g a i n be e n j o y e d a f t e r  of the w i n t e r journey and i t s ation,  the  10?).  experience  "And the n i g h t f i r e s  l a c k of s h e l t e r s , / A n d the c i t i e s  towns u n f r i e n d l y " ( p . the  silken girls bringing  r e v e l a t i o n of a sense of  i s o l a t i o n and d i s c o m f o r t ;  o u t , and the  palaces  aliengoing  h o s t i l e and  The end o f E l i o t ' s poem,  like  end o f L a r k i n ' s n o v e l , seems t o q u e s t i o n t h e n a t u r e  the death and b i r t h which the  e x p e r i e n c e has c a u s e d .  K a t h e r l n e a s h a v i n g moved i n t o a new p h a s e o f  but that  phase  awareness  and acceptance are  deadening of those hope.  Eliot,  basis,  also  awareness  purchased at  since  the  life,  her  expense  senses which are a s s o c i a t e d  of  Larkin  presents  i s a k i n d of death w i t h i n l i f e  the  of  a  w i t h l i f e and  though u s i n g the C h r i s t i a n mythology as  his  sees the w i n t e r b i r t h as b r i n g i n g the Magi t o  w h i c h makes them a l i e n t o t h e  have t o c o n t i n u e l i v i n g , of death w i t h i n  so t h a t  life  i n which  they too experience  an  they a  kind  life:  w e r e we l e d a l l t h a t way f o r B i r t h or Death? T h e r e was a B i r t h , c e r t a i n l y , We h a d e v i d e n c e a n d no d o u b t . I had seen b i r t h and d e a t h , B u t h a d t h o u g h t t h e y w e r e d i f f e r e n t ; t h i s B i r t h was . H a r d and b i t t e r agony f o r u s , l i k e D e a t h , our d e a t h . We r e t u r n e d t o o u r p l a c e s , t h e s e k i n g d o m s , B u t no l o n g e r a t e a s e h e r e , i n t h e o l d d i s p e n s a t i o n , With an a l i e n people c l u t c h i n g t h e i r gods. I s h o u l d be g l a d o f a n o t h e r d e a t h . ( p . 108) T . S . E l i o t , C o l l e c t e d Poems 1 9 0 9 - 1 9 3 5 ( L o n d o n : F a b e r , 3-936), p . 1 0 7 . A l l o t h e r r e f e r e n c e s t o t h i s poem w i t h i n t h i s c h a p t e r a r e f r o m t h e same s o u r c e .  24 The b a s i c is  difference  between  the v i s i o n s  of the  two  t h a t E l i o t by u s i n g s u c h a C h r i s t i a n c o n t e x t  that,  writers  Implies  t h o u g h t h e S p r i n g a n d r e b i r t h may be h a r d , t h e y  will  exist.  L a r k i n h o l d s o u t no hope o f a n y t h i n g t o a l l e v i a t e  pain of  life  beyond a s t a t e of awareness i n w h i c h d i s i l l u s i o n -  ment c a n b r i n g no f u r t h e r his  choice  images comment at  of a focus  of the on t h e  pain.  He e m p h a s i s e s  on y o u n g p e o p l e  end o f t h e q u a l i t y of  such an e a r l y  cycle. life  It  the  i n conjunction  i s a more  w i t h the  two l a t e r  The N o r t h S h i p (1945) a r e (1946) a n d a r e  eliminated  in A Girl  (1964) a r e  The v i s i o n o f man a s volume of p o e t r y ,  objectivity  narrative;  present  In Winter  V e r y few of the the novels  (1947)  Deceived  gradually  tragic,  poems  in  course  established  which tends  i n the  later  to  work.  and an u n t h i n k i n g involvement  The N o r t h S h i p , w h i c h i n t h e n o v e l s ironic.  of  c h a n g e s t o a v i s i o n o f man  a s b e i n g t o o d i m i n i s h e d t o be t r a g i c i s a l a c k of  novels  The r o m a n t i c i s m a n d m e l o d r a m a ,  d i s a p p e a r i n g r a p i d l y i n the  (1955) a n d The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s  ing  two  t o n e a n d i d e o l o g y w h i c h i n f o r m The L e s s  first  the  death  volumes  t o g e t h e r w i t h borrowed forms and p o s e s , w h i c h a r e  Inform the  with  when i t becomes a l i v i n g  p o e t r y t h a n w i t h The N o r t h S h i p .  i n the n o v e l s .  by  significant  c o n t e x t o f L a r k i n * s own w o r k t h e  a r e more o b v i o u s l y c o n n e c t e d  so t h a t t h e  point  point.  W i t h i n the  of J i l l  the  disappears, i n the  the  in  tone  e a r l y volume  obviously provide Larkin with  There  the  becom-  are  narrative  experience  volumes of p o e t r y . as a s e r i e s  sense of  The l a t e r  poetry,  full  in fact,  the techniques  are  economy d e v e l o p e d t o  i s the  process  r e a c h some r e s o l u t i o n . tendency  f o r the  c o u l d be  its  extreme.  i n that  I n The N o r t h S h i p t h e r e  poems t o p r e s e n t  a s i t u a t i o n about which  f o r t h e most  element  As the d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s  i n them t h a t  the  is  to  i s a marked  t e n s i o n and of the dramatic  is  poems  by w h i c h t h e w r i t e r i s a t t e m p t i n g  so t h a t  it  regarded  and A G i r l  These  poet has a l r e a d y drawn h i s c o n c l u s i o n s  absent.  later  s i m i l a r but sharpened and  l i k e t h e n o v e l s c a n be d e s c r i b e d a s d r a m a t i c narrative  i n the  of condensed n o v e l s of the type of J i l l  in Winter, since the  w h i c h he u s e s t o t h e  the  sense  the of  part  of the n o v e l s w i l l . r e v e a l ?  Larkin establishes  r e c r e a t e most c l o s e l y h i s v i s i o n o f  those life.  symbols  which  CHAPTER  II  JILL In i t s efforts  simplest  terms,  Jill  i s an account  o f a w o r k i n g - c l a s s boy t o g a i n a p l a c e  a c a d e m i c a l l y and s o c i a l l y a t he f i n d s h i m s e l f i n c l i n a t i o n to ability  I n an e f f o r t  C h r i s t o p h e r and t o  p o s i t i o n , h a v i n g no  fellow scholars  increase  h i s own e v a l u a t i o n o f  sister,  Jill.  the  creation  of a l i f e and w o r l d f o r J i l l .  t o make t h e r e a l g i r l  respects. and the  H i s attempts  By c h a n c e he m e e t s  to e s t a b l i s h  fail,  f a i l u r e breaks  has  formed w i t h h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s . part  is  down t h e  a n d he  an i n t i m a c y tenuous  i n an Oxford c o l l e g e ,  l i n k s he  Most of the a c t i o n  on J o h n ,  there is  his  the r e a l  takes  contemporaries  the constant  o f t h e war a n d a s e n s e o f a l a r g e r w o r l d a n d l a r g e r taking place  with  i n H u d d l e s f o r d , J o h n ' s home t o w n .  Although the n o v e l focuses c l o s e l y and l i f e  the  conform to h i s v i s i o n i n  her  i n Oxford but  himself,  involved i n  who p h y s i c a l l y m a t c h e s h i s v i s i o n o f J i l l  attempts  to  H i s o r i g i n a l purpose  becomes o b s c u r e d a n d he f i n d s h i m s e l f  place  and l a c k i n g  t o make h i m s e l f more i n t e r e s t i n g  he c r e a t e s a f i c t i t i o u s  other  On a r r i v a l  t o m i x w i t h h i s room-mate C h r i s t o p h e r and h i s  friends.  a girl  the  both  Oxford i n wartime.  i n an i s o l a t e d  join his  of  s i m u l t a n e o u s l y w i t h the  I n t e r e s t of the n o v e l l i e s  background action  events of the n o v e l . less  i n what h a p p e n s  But to  27  John i n terms  of  p h y s i c a l a c t i o n t h a n i n what he becomes  t h r o u g h a growing awareness  and a l o s s  a c t i o n and s e t t i n g  objective  logical  serve as  of  innocence:  correlatives  for  psycho-  action. L a r k i n uses the  s i g n i f y i n g the journeys  poetic  technique  of e x p l o r i n g and  p s y c h o l o g i c a l journey through the  which take  place  i n the n o v e l .  sequence of J i l l journey  takes place  real  The r a i l w a y  in particular is given a metaphorical value.  he I s  external  The o p e n i n g  i n a railway carriage  from H u d d l e s f o r d to O x f o r d .  life  Into another  on J o h n ' s  A sense i s c r e a t e d  n o t s i m p l y m o v i n g f r o m one p l a c e t o a n o t h e r  one s t a g e o f h i s  journey  one.  but  The k i n d o f  that  from pro-  t e c t i o n o f f e r e d by h i s home a n d h i s way o f l i f e t h e r e  is  r e m o v e d e n t i r e l y a n d he h a s t o c o p e w i t h new s i t u a t i o n s new w a y .  The r a i l w a y c o m p a r t m e n t  full  o f p e o p l e seems  represent  f o r L a r k i n here and e l s e w h e r e ,  for  example  "The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s " , a m i c r o c o s m o f l i f e .  Within  microcosm John f a i l s  completely.  p a c k e d u p b y h i s m o t h e r , b u t he i s e a t i n g them t h a t means o f  this  The r e s t  social  unconcernedly.  observed  himself without  i n Oxford.  h i s t r a v e l l i n g companions a r e w i t h o u t the  food,  in  so ashamed o f b e i n g  u n t i l he a r r i v e s  which a f f e c t s him and they eat  to  He h a s w i t h h i m s a n d w i c h e s  he t h r o w s them away a n d l e a v e s  sustenance  in a  embarrassment  They o f f e r h i m  w h i c h he e v e n t u a l l y t a k e s t h r o u g h a d e s i r e t o become  obscure as  p o s s i b l e as  of  s o o n a s he c a n do s o , b u t t h e i r  as  kindness  28  does not d i m i n i s h h i s u n e a s i n e s s : The w o r k i n g o u t o f  this  i n t h e n o v e l what i s  it  further  small incident  away f r o m i t , nothing.  but  He i s  in discarding its  too  what c o n t a c t s a r e  is  the  Christopher  of  values  offered  to him.  he i s  He w a n t s  s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and apparent  left  with  as  to  find  "Oxford  from  himself values",  i n v u l n e r a b i l i t y of  Warner.  the  the  r a i l w a y and the  novel indicate potential  m o v i n g away f r o m H u d d l e s f o r d a n d h i s  excitement  than the  When he m e e t s W h i t b r e a d who i s a s c h o l a r  c l a s s background l i k e h i m s e l f , s c h o o l and of  the  he  John's  childhood to a  w o r l d w h e r e he c a n become someone o t h e r Kemp.  use  immature and v u l n e r a b l e t o b e n e f i t  References throughout equating  John cannot  early  s o o n a s he h a s moved  p o s s e s s e d i m m e d i a t e l y o f what he r e g a r d s that  it.  establishes very  t o happen t h r o u g h o u t :  a n y t h i n g from h i s H u d d l e s f o r d l i f e as  increases  of different  son of M r . from a w o r k i n g -  i s r e m i n d e d o f h i s home a n d  railway constantly  m a k i n g him aware  of  a  world outside Huddlesford: F o r t h e f i r s t t i m e s i n c e a r r i v i n g a t t h e C o l l e g e h i s home l i f e a n d b o y h o o d seemed v i v i d t o h i m : he c o u l d a l m o s t h e a r t h e c l i n k i n g o f r a i l w a y wagons f r o m t h e s i d i n g b e l o w t h e b a c k garden and the sound of e l e c t r i c b e l l s r i n g i n g s i m u l t a n e o u s l y i n a l l t h e c l a s s r o o m s o f h i s grammar s c h o o l . 1  J i l l , p. Unless r e f e r e n c e s w i t h i n the t e x t Jill. 1  o t h e r w i s e i n d i c a t e d a l l page i n t h i s chapter w i l l r e f e r to  29  At a later  p o i n t i n t h e n o v e l , when he f e e l s t h a t  h a s made some c o n t a c t w i t h J i l l , w i t h the  present  he m e a s u r e s  by h i s r e a c t i o n t o a p a s s i n g  his  at  last  he  satisfaction  train:  A n d a s he w a t c h e d , a n e x p r e s s t r a i n h u r t l e d p a s t t w e n t y y a r d s o f f on the s h i n i n g r a i l s , and t h e l o n g s t r e t c h of coaches r a c i n g away a w a k e n e d n o t h i n g l i k e r e g r e t i n h i m , a s t h e y o n c e would. He was g l a d t o see them g o ; g l a d , s i m p l y , t o be where he w a s , a n d t o see them g o . ( p . 194) Crouch,  John's E n g l i s h master,  excitement  shares w i t h him the  a n d p o t e n t i a l d i s c o v e r y a r o u s e d by t h e  r a i l w a y l i n k i n g up otherwise unconnected  places.  shown most c l e a r l y when he v i s i t s J o h n ' s f a t h e r that  John should stay at  scholarship which w i l l  sense idea of This  to  tries  this  the  is  suggest  s c h o o l and e v e n t u a l l y t r y f o r  a  t a k e h i m away f r o m home t o O x f o r d :  He f e l t l i k e a d i p l o m a t on a v i s i t t o some b a r b a r o u s w i t h the job of persuading him t o a l l o w a r a i l w a y to t h r o u g h h i s t e r r i t o r y , ( p . 73) He d e v e l o p s  of  idea later  ruler, run  when he v i s i t s J o h n i n O x f o r d a n d  t o g i v e him a sense of the v a l u e of h i s  life  there:  You can l o o k a t t h i s p l a c e as a b i g r a i l w a y t e r m i n u s . Thousands o f p e o p l e . T r a i n s s t a r t i n g i n every d i r e c t i o n . What y o u ' v e g o t t o d e c i d e i s , where a r e y o u g o i n g ? A n d h a v i n g d e c i d e d , g e t i n w i t h y o u r f e l l o w p a s s e n g e r s , ( p . 228) Most of the associated  important t r a n s i t i o n s  with railway journeys.  to Oxford, there i s his  i n the n o v e l  A f t e r John's f i r s t  journey back t o H u d d l e s f o r d .  are journey At  this  30  p o i n t he f e e l s of experience  very c l e a r l y that to another.  he i s m o v i n g f r o m one  Going back to H u d d l e s f o r d i s  r e - e x a m i n a t i o n o f h i s past and an attempt terms of the he f e e l s place,  present  that  world  and O x f o r d .  to assess  it  a in  I n O x f o r d he i s u n h a p p y b u t  i n H u d d l e s f o r d where t h e bombing has  taken  where p e o p l e h a v e s u f f e r e d a k i n d o f d e s t r u c t i o n i n  t h e i r l i v e s which represents  something of a p a r a l l e l to  the  d e s t r u c t i o n John f e e l s  t h a t he h a s b e e n u n d e r g o i n g , he  contact  p a i n more r e a l t h a n a n y t h i n g i n O x f o r d :  and e x p e r i e n c e  will  A s t h e t r a i n l e f t O x f o r d J o h n h a d a pang o f r e g r e t a n d a l s o o f f e a r , b e c a u s e he seemed t o be l e a v i n g a r e g i o n o f u n r e a l i t y a n d i n s u b s t a n t i a l p a i n f o r t h e r e a l w o r l d w h e r e he c o u l d r e a l l y be h u r t , ( p i 211) But i n f a c t  he d o e s n o t e n c o u n t e r  since h i s parents are with people.  the  p a i n he  anticipates,  q u i t e s a f e a n d he makes no r e a l  contact  F a r f r o m s e e i n g a more r e a l w o r l d he h a s a  sense  o f e v e r y t h i n g b e i n g s h r u n k e n , p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s home; I t was s t r a n g e , l i k e l o o k i n g i n t o a d o l l ' s h o u s e , a n d p u t t i n g h i s h a n d s a g a i n s t t h e window f r a m e s he f e l t a s p r o t e c t i v e as a c h i l d does f e e l towards a d o l l ' s house and i t s t i n y r o o m s , ( p . 215) His  s e c o n d j o u r n e y away f r o m H u d d l e s f o r d i s t h e n a more  a n d i r r e v o c a b l e b r e a k w i t h h i s c h i l d h o o d a n d what i t whilst  i n H u d d l e s f o r d he g a i n s  something of t h i s  complete  stands  for.  impression:  The t o w n h a d b e e n s o f a m i l i a r a n d so i n t i m a t e l y wound i n t o h i s b o y h o o d t h a t i t s d e s t r u c t i o n became f a s c l n a t i n g ; . . . T h e w r e c k a g e l o o k e d l i k e r u i n s o f a n a g e o v e r a n d done w i t h . ( p .  215)  31  But i t  is  o n t h e t r a i n t h a t he r e a l i s e s  ness of h i s removal from t h a t m i n d t h e d e s t r u c t i o n he h a s  world.  f u l l y the  complete  He g o e s o v e r i n h i s  observed:  I t no l o n g e r seemed m e a n i n g l e s s : s t r u g g l i n g ai-jake a g a i n , r u b b i n g h i s e y e s w i t h c h i l l e d h a n d s , he t h o u g h t i t r e p r e s e n t e d t h e end o f h i s u s e f o r t h e p l a c e . I t meant no more t o h i m n o w , a n d so i t was d e s t r o y e d : i t seemed s y m b o l i c , a k i n d o f a n n u l l i n g of h i s c h i l d h o o d . The t h o u g h t e x c i t e d h i m . I t was a s i f he h a d b e e n t o l d : a l l t h e p a s t i s c a n c e l l e d : a l l t h e s u f f e r i n g connected with that town, a l l your c h i l d h o o d , i s wiped o u t . Now t h e r e i s a f r e s h s t a r t f o r y o u : y o u a r e no l o n g e r g o v e r n e d by what h a s gone b e f o r e , ( p . 219) A l t h o u g h the v a l u e s of the  past have been n e g a t e d ,  the  kind  o f l a n d s c a p e t h r o u g h w h i c h the . t r a i n i s m o v i n g s u g g e s t s negative  s t a t e of mind:  "The t r a i n r a n o n , t h r o u g h f i e l d s  l y i n g under the f r o s t and d a r k n e s s " thoughts  echo  John's  ( p . 219).  John's  own  this:  A l l t h a t anyone has i s t h e l i f e t h a t keeps him g o i n g , and s e e how e a s i l y t h a t c a n be p a t t e d o u t . See how a p p a l l i n g l y l i t t l e l i f e i s . ( p . 219) One o f t h e p e o p l e I n t h e n o v e l who makes t h e m o s t p o w e r ful is  i m p r e s s i o n on J o h n i s M r s . W a r n e r . otherwise occupied John i s  Oxford,  so t h a t  sent  Because C h r i s t o p h e r  t o meet h e r when she  o n c e a g a i n he f i n d s h i m s e l f  s t a t i o n w a i t i n g f e a r f u l l y f o r a new e l e m e n t  visits  i n the r a i l w a y to enter h i s  life:  W i t h a s u d d e n i n c r e a s e i n a p p r e h e n s i o n he saw t h e e n g i n e come h i s s i n g u p t h e p l a t f o r m , a n d a s a f e w p e o p l e who h a d c o l l e c t e d t o meet t h e t r a i n moved f o r w a r d he b a c k e d b e h i n d a n empty c h o c o l a t e m a c h i n e , ( p p . 88-89)  32  Towards the  end o f t h e  n o v e l , when J o h n see  is  i l l in hospital,  his  p a r e n t s come u p t o O x f o r d t o  him.  L i k e John they  the  t r a i n from H u d d l e s f o r d and l i k e him they  i n a new a n d a l i e n w o r l d when t h e y a r r i v e . o f how f a r  J o h n has  grown from h i s  least a superficial control parents are  lost,  in his  f i n d themselves It  parents  take  i s a measure  i n t h a t he h a s  O x f o r d w o r l d whereas  b e w i l d e r e d and o b v i o u s l y out of  at  his  their  element. One o f  the  final  ironies  of C h r i s t o p h e r and E l i z a b e t h . John has been d e s p e r a t e l y himself  is already  It  the  book i s  t r y i n g to  enter but  o b v i o u s l y expect to  departure world that  Christopher  t o London w i t h e n t e r a new s t a t e  and the r a i l w a y c a r r i a g e as a metaphor certain  group of  obvious  people  connotations.  the for  There i s  a l l t r a v e l l i n g to  the  railway life the  journey  carries sense of  same d e s t i n a t i o n ,  f i n e d w i t h i n e a c h o t h e r ' s company b u t m a k i n g c o n t a c t rarely  and f o r  t h e most p a r t  around themselves. is  explored  i n some d e p t h  theme i n t h e  pages i n t h e  retaining  The s e n s e o f  w i t h more f u l l y i n A G i r l This  of  lives. F o r an E n g l i s h w r i t e r the use of  it  the  is Christopher's  l e a v i n g and j o u r n e y i n g  E l i z a b e t h where t h e y their  of  in this  novel,  though i t  a con-  only  barriers  i s o l a t i o n w i t h i n the is  group dealt  I n W i n t e r a n d i n some o f t h e poems.  novel is clearly  description  impassable  with  of the  established  i n the  r a i l w a y compartment  opening  and  its  33 occupants;  it  h i s room a t  i s d e v e l o p e d more f u l l y when J o h n f i r s t  O x f o r d and f i n d s i t  full  sense of companionship from t h e i r increased  sense of h i s  o f p e o p l e "but g a i n s  presence but r a t h e r  loneliness:  having heard before t h i s  "John stared at  private  s e l f - p a r o d y i n g southern coo,  occupants  of the  and them.  h i m i s b e i n g s h a r e d by a l l t h e  room, i n c r e a s e s the d i s t a n c e  i s o l a t i o n i s always increased Whenever C h r i s t o p h e r a n d h i s  unable to  After a brief  place  i n which John i s  J o h n i s made a w a r e o f  Elizabeth's  The  that  its  himself  his people. they  obviously  f e e l i n g of contact f r a g i l i t y by  with  observing  r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h C h r i s t o p h e r and r e a l i s i n g  i n that  a  other  f r i e n d s assemble to d r i n k  topics  Elizabeth,  of  when he i s w i t h o t h e r  t a l k of school or other participate.  and a  between  Throughout the n o v e l J o h n ' s awareness  never  28);  c h i n a , when he s u d d e n l y d i s c o v e r s  joke a g a i n s t  no  an  her,  s e n s e o f h i s a l i e n s u r r o u n d i n g s came o v e r h i m " ( p . incident with his  enters  his  context:  When he l o o k e d a t them b o t h , he f e l t l i k e a w a i t e r i n a n expensive r e s t a u r a n t . T h e i r f r i e n d l i n e s s t o h i m was l i k e t h e t i p s they would g i v e a w a i t e r , ( p . 110) J o h n makes  several attempts  to break  out of  i s o l a t i o n but the nature  of the attempts  evitable.  f r i e n d s h i p i s o b v i o u s l y one way o f  He f e e l s t h a t  b u i l d i n g a defence against w i t h someone  who a p p e a r s  loneliness  makes  his  failure  a n d he s e e k s  in-  friendship  not to understand l o n e l i n e s s ,  that  34 is Christopher. file,  he r u s h e s  this approval.  When C h r i s t o p h e r r e m a r k s  c a s u a l l y on J o h n ' s  o u t t o buy one f o r C h r i s t o p h e r t o Christopher's  consolidate  e n s u i n g comments a n d  c r e a t e f o r John a g r e a t e r sense of l o n e l i n e s s  coldness  than  ever:  J o h n f e l t a s u d d e n c h i l l , a s i f a d o o r h a d swung o p e n a n d r e v e a l e d h i s l o n e l i n e s s s t i l l a w a i t i n g h i m : f o r one moment he f e l t t h e w a s t e d e s e r t t h a t w o u l d r e c e i v e h i m i f C h r i s t o p h e r were n o t t h e r e a s a f r i e n d , ( p . 49) The i r o n y a t "desert"  this  point i s the r e a d e r ' s  is already receiving John,  awareness  since  that  there can  be a n y r e a l  p o s s i b i l i t y of C h r i s t o p h e r responding to  g e s t u r e s of  friendship.  J o h n makes a s e c o n d topher's  s i m i l a r attempt  never John's  to secure  Chris-  f r i e n d s h i p b y l e n d i n g h i m money when C h r i s t o p h e r ' s  chosen companions r e f u s e regard the  l o a n as  t o do s o .  significant  i n t o an awareness  of the  Christopher f a l l s  and i n f a c t  t h e money f o r a l o n g p e r i o d o f t i m e . forced  the  fails  to  return  Once a g a i n J o h n  f a i l u r e of h i s  to  is  attempt:  The s t r e e t s were b u s y a s he w a l k e d b a c k t o w a r d s t h e C o l l e g e f o r l u n c h , b u t t h e y a r o u s e d no c o r r e s p o n d i n g e x c i t e m e n t i n h i m , f o r a n u n c o n q u e r a b l e s e n s e o f i s o l a t i o n was s t a r t i n g t o p o s s e s s h i m a s he g r e w a w a r e t h a t p e o p l e who h a d come i n t o r e s i d e n c e when he d i d h a d now made t h e i r own ways a n d h a d f a l l e n i n t o d e f i n i t e ways o f l i f e . They h a d r u n u p t h e f r a m e w o r k o n w h i c h t h e i r u n i v e r s i t y c a r e e r s w o u l d be w o v e n . J o h n h a d n o t done s o . C h r i s t o p h e r was h i s c l o s e s t f r i e n d . A n d t h i s money b u s i n e s s was c r e a t i n g a g a p i n g h o l e o f u n c e r t a i n t y i n h i s m i n d , so t h a t t h e r e was n o t h i n g t o b u i l d on t h e r e , ( p . 86)  35 In his dealings time a measure sense of  w i t h M r s . Warner, John f e e l s of success,  f o r he f e e l s  that  f o r the she  first  lessens  i s o l a t i o n by c o m m u n i c a t i n g w i t h h i m i n s p i t e  his  of  his  inadequac i e s : She was one o f t h o s e r a r e p e o p l e who c o u l d c o n s t r u c t h i s meaning from the few t r u n c a t e d phrases and g e s t u r e s h i s nervousness permitted him to u t t e r . ( p . 90) When he o v e r h e a r s Mrs.  Christopher's  Warner's account  t o E l i z a b e t h on  of h e r m e e t i n g w i t h h i m , once a g a i n  s e n s e o f h a v i n g made c o n t a c t that his  comments  is destroyed,  a n d he  f r i e n d s h i p w i t h C h r i s t o p h e r does n o t  his  realises  exist  except  i n h i s own m i n d : A f t e r a l l , t h e n , he was o n h i s o w n ; he h a d f a i l e d , u t t e r l y a n d i g n o m i n i o u s l y f a i l e d t o weave h i m s e l f i n t o t h e l i v e s o f these people. A s he h a d f e a r e d , t h e d o o r h a d swung open a g a i n a n d he was a l o n e a g a i n , d o u b l y a l o n e . The d a y s w o u l d be s c r a p p y , b i t s a n d p i e c e s o f a c t i o n . No o b j e c t s , no continuity, ( p . 114) Since  he f a i l s  so c o m p l e t e l y w i t h r e a l p e o p l e ,  creates for himself a close sister, of h i s  Jill.  r e l a t i o n s h i p with an  T h i s enables him to d i m i n i s h the  i s o l a t i o n i n two w a y s .  First,  he c a n r e c a s t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s so t h a t is  his  own p o s i t i o n a p p e a r s  in reality.  in his  with the  Imaginary importance  l e t t e r s to  for J i l l  her  people around him  very d i f f e r e n t  f r o m what  When he c e a s e s t o w r i t e l e t t e r s a n d  t h e d i a r y he c r e a t e s  John  an i s o l a t i o n which  begins  parallels  it  36  h i s own. is  But her  isolation reflects  f a v o u r a b l y on h e r :  she  i s o l a t e d b e c a u s e she i s more s e n s i t i v e a n d a w a r e t h a n  companions.  Within this  s i t u a t i o n John explores  i s o l a t i o n as  something d e s i r a b l e and a d m i r a b l e t h r o u g h  character  of M i n e r v a , an o l d e r g i r l  describes  i n the  following terms:  at  Jill's  the  idea  school:  " f o r a l l her  her of  the he  loneliness;  she s i m p l y went h e r own w a y , q u i e t l y a n d p l e a s a n t l y , m a k i n g no demands on a n y o n e " is  from c h o i c e  is  (p.  141).  The f a c t  i n d i c a t e d when J i l l  that  attempts  her  isolation  to break  through  it: She saw t h a t M i n e r v a h a d i n d i c a t e d t h a t h e r d e t a c h m e n t , e v e n t h o u g h i t was a d m i r e d , m u s t s t i l l be r e s p e c t e d ; t h a t l o n e l i n e s s was n o t t o be a b a n d o n e d a t t h e f i r s t c h a n c e o f f r i e n d s h i p , b u t was a t h i n g t o be c h e r i s h e d i n i t s e l f , ( p . 148) This  idea c a r r i e s  over from J o h n ' s  imagination into his  when he m e e t s G i l l i a n a n d d e t e r m i n e s that,  "In this  quest  his  loneliness  t o p u r s u e h e r he  not have the fact  of h i s d e s i r e  In f a c t , his  q u a l i t i e s he a t t r i b u t e s to establish  159).  contact  with G i l l i a n  arranged:  it does  the  very  indicates.  with G i l l i a n ,  and  t h i s makes h i m p a r t i c u l a r l y v u l n e r a b l e  when E l i z a b e t h i n t e r v e n e s meet h i m a s  But John  to M i n e r v a , as  he d o e s n o t make a n y r e a l c o n t a c t  f a i l u r e to r e a l i s e  feels  w o u l d be a n a s s e t :  w o u l d be m o b i l i t y a n d e v e n c h a r m " ( p .  life:  and e x p l a i n s t h a t  Gillian  cannot  37 A l l h i s l i f e he h a d I m a g i n e d p e o p l e were h o s t i l e t o h i m a n d w a n t e d t o h u r t h i m ; now he knew he h a d b e e n r i g h t a n d a l l t h e w o r s t f e a r s o f c h i l d h o o d were r e a l i z e d . ( p . 203) The t o t a l i t y o f J o h n ' s f a i l u r e a n d t h e c o m p l e t e n e s s isolation attempts  is at  indicated at  the  his  end o f t h e n o v e l , w h e n , a l l h i s  friendship having f a i l e d ,  Oxford i n the h o s p i t a l , a f t e r  of  he i s l e f t  alone  at  a l l h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s have  gone  down. J o h n g i v e s no a p p e a r a n c e i s not u n i q u e and t h a t or i g n o r i n g i t . the  essential  assist  crowd of  s i m p l y an extreme  f r i e n d s push t h e i r awareness  of t h e i r consciousnesses  process  by r a r e l y b e i n g a l o n e ,  people around them.  t h a n be a l o n e .  the  process  everyone.  a s d e e p down  possible.  They  p r e f e r l n g always a  even d r i n k w i t h  back t o t h i s  i n order  sense of b e i n g p a r t of something o r d e r e d . i n v o l v e s an awareness  they have l e f t  of  John  M o s t o f t h i s g r o u p h a v e a common s c h o o l  background and they t e n d t o r e f e r r e c r e a t e the  example  When C h r i s t o p h e r ' s u s u a l d r i n k -  i n g c o m p a n i o n s a r e n o t a v a i l a b l e he w i l l rather  as  loneliness  combating  l o n e l i n e s s and i s o l a t i o n e x p e r i e n c e d by  surface  this  h a v e d e v i s e d ways o f  His position is  C h r i s t o p h e r and h i s under the  others  of r e a l i s i n g t h a t h i s  that  this  is  something  to But that  behind them:  I n the i n t e r v a l s of comparing n o t e s and c u s t o m s , they would s i g h a n d g a z e s a d l y a t t h e f i r e , a s i f t h e y were e x i l e s g a t h e r e d t o g e t h e r f a r from t h e i r homes, ( p . 57)  38 Inevitably conversations times others because the awareness  who a r e  o f t h i s k i n d e x c l u d e J o h n a n d some-  present.  This is  f e e l i n g of being a group i s  of  someone  important to the group i n c r e a s e d by  outside.  A t t i m e s , h o w e v e r , when t h e r e  i s a break  i n the  and r o w d i n e s s , C h r i s t o p h e r i s aware m o m e n t a r i l y of a a k i n to J o h n ' s . his  sister  Jill  Ironically it that  the  loneliness  is John's fabrications  cause C h r i s t o p h e r to r e f l e c t  drinking  about  o n h i s own  position: " B u t y o u do l o s e t o u c h w i t h y o u r home i f y o u go t o s c h o o l y o u n g , " he s a i d . " I t ' s a good t h i n g . I t teaches independence, t e a c h e s y o u t o s t a n d u p f o r y o u r s e l f , t e a c h e s y o u how t o h a n d l e p e o p l e . " . . . " B u t I r e g r e t i t sometimes, you k n o w . . . . O n e s o r t o f l o s e s t o u c h . A n d one d o e s n ' t g e t a s e c o n d c h a n c e , e v e r . And w e ' r e a p r e t t y r a c k e t y f a m i l y . . . . " ( p . 118) Whitbread and the o t h e r  s c h o l a r s a r e c l e a r l y aware  l o n e l i n e s s as W h i t b r e a d ' s f i r s t c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h  of  John  indicates: "Not v e r y matey, the o t h e r s t u d e n t s , are t h e y ? " s a i d W h i t b r e a d , h i s knees a p a r t . " T a k e some g e t t i n g t o k n o w . Of c o u r s e , y o u h a v e t o c h o o s e y o u r f r i e n d s c a r e f u l l y . No g o o d g o i n g a b o u t w i t h m i l l i o n a i r e s . " ( p . 52) One o f W h i t b r e a d ' s d e f e n c e s a g a i n s t  h i s awareness  of h i s  alien-  a t i o n i n a p l a c e l i k e Oxford i s t o a c q u i r e a d e t a i l e d knowledge of the  facts  of h i s  environment.  J o h n i s r e p e l l e d by t h i s ,  p e r h a p s b e c a u s e he s e n s e s t h e v u l n e r a b i l i t y t h u s e x p o s e d .  He  e x p r e s s e s h i s r e v u l s i o n by t h i n k i n g o f W h i t b r e a d ' s a c t i v i t y i n  39 physical terms:  " W h i t b r e a d ' s e a g e r n e s s was e m b a r r a s s i n g :  was l i k e w a t c h i n g a man s c o u r i n g h i s bread"  (p.  scholars  and i n s t e a d of f i g h t i n g a g a i n s t  it  t o u t i l i s e i t , and i n t h i s  l i m i t e d contact the  plate with a piece  of  53).  F o r t h e most p a r t t h e  attempt  it  loneliness  or h i d i n g from i t  they  s i t u a t i o n manage t o  with like-minded people.  s o c i a l context  their total  accept t h e i r  achieve  Their behaviour  o f c o f f e e i n W h i t b r e a d ' s room  in  indicates  attitude:  None o f them w o u l d e v e r t a k e t h e b e s t a r m c h a i r i n t h e room o r h e l p h i m s e l f t o any f o o d s t u f f s w i t h o u t a s k i n g o r a c c e p t a n i n v i t a t i o n he d i d n o t i n t e n d t o r e t u r n . A l l t h e i r a c t i o n s were c h a r a c t e r i z e d by t h i s s c r u p u l o u s c o n v e n t i o n , a n d t h e r e , u p i n t h e l i t t l e d i n g y room where W h i t b r e a d was a s s e m b l i n g c u p s a n d s a u c e r s a n d m i l k , t h e y c o l l e c t e d l i k e members o f some p e r s e c u t e d s e c t , a s i f a l i e n t o t h e l i f e a r o u n d t h e m . T h e r e was no l u x u r y o r w a s t e i n t h e i r c o m p a n y , a n d y e t J o h n was p r o b a b l y more a t home w i t h them t h a n w i t h a n y o n e e l s e , t h o u g h he d i d n o t v a l u e t h e i r f r i e n d s h i p . He was c a r e f u l n o t t o show t h i s , h o w e v e r , a s t h e one t h i n g t h e y a l l h e a r t i l y d e t e s t e d was a n y o n e " o f t h e i r own c l a s s " " t r y i n g t o g e t a b o v e h i m s e l f " , ( p . 124) It  i s as  though t h e y a r e aware o f the  in a situation like John's, the d e l i b e r a t e which o f f e r s experiences.  it  is  necessary  and they attempt  c r e a t i o n of a d i f f e r e n t  The a t t i t u d e  essential evil.  of the  k i n d of  later  scholars  Once t h i s  i s accepted  being  seems t h e he  John one  is  closest  feels  l o n e l i n e s s as  then i t  by  isolation,  p o e t r y he shows t h a t  t o be a w a r e o f m a n ' s  of  to avoid this  some i m m u n i t y f r o m t h e t y p e o f d i s t r e s s  t o L a r k i n ' s own: i n the that  potential threat  a  possible  to  40  b u i l d up l i m i t e d but v a l u a b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p s i l l u s i o n s are  i n w h i c h few  cherished.  Closely associated  w i t h t h e theme o f  loneliness  c o n t r i b u t i n g to the  o v e r a l l p a t t e r n i n g of  series  i m a g i n g the gap between v i s i o n and  of  incidents  reality.  This discrepancy usually results  ness to recognise loneliness from h i s awareness first  Images a r e  and  the harshness  is a part.  loneliness  of man's  J u s t as John  is  so t o o he i s most  a  from an u n w i l l i n g -  e x i s t e n c e of which  the  principal  often  sufferer  forced to  an  o f a r e a l i t y u n l i k e what he h a d a n t i c i p a t e d .  disillusionment is his r e a l i s a t i o n that  t o s h a r e a room w i t h s o m e o n e ,  since,  he i s  "He h a d t h o u g h t  His  expected that  o n c e he h a d f o u n d h i s r o o m , he w o u l d a l w a y s h a v e a r e f u g e , place (p.  t o r e t r e a t t o a n d hide i n .  26).  realises the  T h i s was a p p a r e n t l y n o t  S h o r t l y a f t e r John a r r i v e s that  purchase  so"  i n h i s c r o w d e d room he  the c h i n a being used i s h i s of the  a  own.  He  remembers  china:  T h r e e weeks ago h i s m o t h e r h a d i n s i s t e d t h a t t h e y s p e n t a n a f t e r n o o n among t h e s h o p s b u y i n g t h e s e t h i n g s : i t h a d b e e n a t o u c h i n g l i t t l e e x p e d i t i o n , m e a n i n g he r e a l i z e d , f a r more to her than to him. ( p . 32) He c o n t r a s t s with the  the  present  expectations  b u i l t around the  expedition  reality:  Most of t h e t h i n g s t h e y had bought l a y d i r t y and s c a t t e r e d a r o u n d the room; i n f a c t , J o h n wondered t h e y had l a i n u n r e c o g n i s e d f o r so l o n g . The c r a t e (he saw i t now) was b e h i n d C h r i s t o p h e r ' s t r u n k , b r o k e n open c a r e l e s s l y , so t h a t  41 I t w o u l d "be I m p o s s i b l e t o u s e i t a g a i n , a s he h a d i n t e n d e d t o doi T h e s e , t h e n , were h i s c u p s a n d p l a t e s : h i s c o f f e e s t r a i n e r (choked w i t h t e a l e a v e s ) ; h i s s h i n i n g k e t t l e b l a c k e n e d by the fire. H i s b r e a d - k n i f e , h i s sugar b a s i n . ( p . J2) On o c c a s i o n s t h e reality  of the  John f o r a d r i n k the accept  b u i l d i n g from the long l a s t i n g  is reversed  and i t  is  present w h i c h , f o r v a r i o u s reasons, John  t o r t s by means o f h i s  John cannot  situation  imagination. situation  i t he has  When C h r i s t o p h e r  i s an uneasy  to project  it  one,  the dis-  takes  and because  i n t o the  future,  present r e l a t i o n s h i p with Christopher  a  friendship:  He i m a g i n e d h i m s e l f s a y i n g i n t h e f u t u r e : " D ' y o u remember t h a t t i m e we went t o t h e B u l l , o l d b o y . I n our f i r s t term? D ' y o u k n o w , t h a t was r e a l l y a n d t r u l y t h e f i r s t t i m e I ' d ever seen the i n s i d e of a b a r . . . . " ( " O h , come o f f i t , o l d boy!") "S'fact! My d e a r f e l l o w , i t ' s a b s o l u t e l y b l o o d y gospel! H e r e , a f t e r you w i t h the-whoopsl D o n ' t drown i t . . . . " H i s v o i c e w o u l d be r i c h a n d h u s k e d w i t h t o b a c c o . A l o u d he s a i d : "Thank y o u . " ( p p . 61-62) But h i s  expectations of  he o v e r h e a r s  such a f r i e n d s h i p are  C h r i s t o p h e r and E l i z a b e t h d i s c u s s i n g h i m .  feelings  of h u m i l i a t i o n are  warrants  because of h i s  justifies  the v i o l e n c e  mind the  conversation  conversation  shattered  i s as  greater than the  earlier  Consequently  he  of h i s r e a c t i o n  by d i s t o r t i n g  In  him.  The  original  follows:  "You've t r a i n e d him w e l l . " C h r i s t o p h e r laughed and s a i d " Y e s . " "Quite a l i t t l e gent. And i s t h i s s t i l l You a r e a h o r r o r . "  His  situation  hopes.  w h i c h had u p s e t  when  his  china?  his  "That's his butter." He h e a r d E l i z a b e t h e x p l o d e w i t h l a u g h t e r . " W e l l , of a l l t h e - l I t ' s too bad. He m u s t be f e e b l e s o r t of worm." " M o t h e r s a i d he l o o k e d s t u f f e d . " "Stuffed! T h a t ' s .just t h e w o r d ! " (p. i l l ) This conversation  a  becomes:  Oh, y e s , of course I use h i s c r o c k s . He d a r e n ' t s t o p me. C h r i s , you a r e a w f u l ! That's his butter your*re eating. Spread i t on t h i c k . Oh, C h r i s ! M o t h e r t h o u g h t he was a s c a r e d s t u f f e d l i t t l e r a b b i t . He m u s t be a p r e t t y m i s e r a b l e s p e c i m e n . ( p . 112) Related to these Incidents events  in his  position  letters  to J i l l .  is John's recasting  He w i s h e s t o  ignore h i s  i n r e l a t i o n t o C h r i s t o p h e r a n d s o he  conversations as f a r as  possible.  A good example of t h i s  Christopher  i s menacing and John i s  the  The f o l l o w i n g  roles  i s h i s account  John has not  w r i t t e n a n e s s a y w h i c h he c a n p l a g i a r i z e .  real  distorts  w h i c h h a v e t a k e n p l a c e by r e v e r s i n g t h e i r  C h r i s t o p h e r ' s r e a c t i o n on l e a r n i n g t h a t  essay.  of  In  of  yet  fact,  intimidated into producing  i s h i s account  of the  incident:  A s a s c h o l a r , one h a s a c e r t a i n s t a n d i n g a n d c e r t a i n p r i v i l e g e s , but a l s o c e r t a i n o b l i g a t i o n s towards the l e s s g i f t e d members o f t h e c o m m u n i t y . . P o o r C h r i s t o p h e r , f o r i n s t a n c e , w i t h whom I s h a r e t h e s e r o o m s . I s p a t h e t i c a l l y d e p e n d e n t . o n me f o r h i s w e e k l y e s s a y . I d o n ' t know how y o u w r i t e e s s a y s , , b u t I f i n d I t e n d t o p l a n them o u t i n my h e a d b e f o r e h a n d a l m o s t word f o r w o r d . Y e s t e r d a y i t was a f t e r t e a a n d I s t i l l h a d n ' t made t h e l e a s t s i g n o f p u t t i n g p e n t o p a p e r , so he b e g a n t o g e t r e s t l e s s . " L o o k h e r e , what a b o u t that essay?" "Yes, y e s , i n an hour or so, I haven't thought  43  out t h e ending y e t . " "Come o f f I t , damn t h e e n d i n g , I want some s o l i d dope " "My d e a r C h r i s t o p h e r , you s h a l l have i t " " "by t e n o ' c l o c k . " "Ten! But I s h a l l be drunk by thent " I p o i n t e d out t h a t t h a t was h i s a f f a i r and n o t mine. To c u t a l o n g s t o r y a t r i f l e s h o r t e r , I drew a l i n e under t h e l a s t paragraph .lust as t e n was booming out from Tom Tower, and s h o r t l y a f t e r w a r d s i n stumbled C h r i s t o p h e r , f u d d l e d as u s u a l , h i c c o u g h i n g "Where's 'at e s s a y ? " I pushed i t a c r o s s t o him, and w h i l e p r e t e n d i n g t o c o n t i n u e r e a d i n g my essays o f M o n t a i g n e , watched him c o v e r t l y as he s p e l t I t out l i n e by l i n e . When he had f i n i s h e d t h e f i r s t page, he p u l l e d out h i s f o u n t a i n pen and t h e n f e l l a s l e e p . (pp. I3O-I31) Not o n l y does John g i v e t o C h r i s t o p h e r t h e p o s i t i o n o f t h e one i n t i m i d a t e d , he a l s o r e v e r s e s h i s own a t t i t u d e t o t h i n g s i n C h r i s t o p h e r which have aroused h i s a d m i r a t i o n p r e v i o u s l y .  In  r e a l i t y he does n o t f i n d C h r i s t o p h e r ' s d r i n k i n g c h i l d i s h l y amusing b u t s o p h i s t i c a t e d and a d u l t and he t r i e s t o emulate him as t h e q u o t a t i o n from page f o r t y - f o u r i n d i c a t e s . normal method o f s p e a k i n g letter. by  John's  i s t o t a l l y u n l i k e t h a t used i n t h e  The tone o f t h e l e t t e r i s f a c t c l o s e r t o t h a t used  Christopher. A p a r t o f John's innocence which i s d e s t r o y e d by  experience  w i t h r e a l i t y I s h i s romantic  view of l o v e . H i s  f i r s t shock comes when he d i s c o v e r s c o n t r a c e p t i v e s i n C h r i s t o p h e r ' s drawer; t h i s i s q u i c k l y f o l l o w e d by h i s r e a c t i o n to  t h e easy s e x u a l t a l k o f C h r i s t o p h e r and h i s f r i e n d s :  T h e i r s t o r i e s were l u s t f u l and p l a y f u l l y savage, and John found they had extreme p h y s i c a l e f f e c t on h i m . He s a t crouched on a h a r d c h a i r , h i s f i s t s c l e n c h e d on h i s knees, g r i p p e d by a n u n r e a s o n i n g t e r r o r t h a t s e i z e d him whenever he h e a r d o f e x p e r i e n c e s t h a t would have l e f t him dumb. ( p . 57)  44  More immediate r e a l i s a t i o n comes when he f i n d s h i m s e l f i n p h y s i c a l contact with E l i z a b e t h . tie  W h i l e she i s t y i n g h i s bow  f o r him on t h e second o c c a s i o n , f e e l i n g s a r e a r o u s e d i n  him which he t h i n k s a r e r a r e and p r e c i o u s .  He g r a d u a l l y  becomes aware t h a t E l i z a b e t h i s so accustomed t o h i s r e s p o n s e t h a t she i s a n t i c i p a t i n g h i s subsequent a c t i o n s ; as a r e s u l t A h o r r i b l e embarrassment t i n g l e d and shuddered I n s i d e him, t h a t what he had imagined t o be h i s most s e c r e t f e e l i n g was a l m o s t c y n i c a l l y common. I t shocked him d e e p l y . He i n s t i n c t i v e l y moved h i s head u n c o m f o r t a b l y , l i k e an a n i m a l a t bay. (p. 109) Despite  t h i s l i m i t e d awareness, he f a i l s t o r e c o g n i s e t h e  r e l a t i o n s h i p between E l i z a b e t h and C h r i s t o p h e r is.  f o r what i t  As a r e s u l t h i s shock i s so much g r e a t e r when C h r i s t o p h e r  c a s u a l l y r e v e a l s h i s i n t e n t i o n s of e n t i c i n g E l i z a b e t h i n t o bed w i t h h i m : What shocked him ( f o r he f e l t shocked) was t h e enormous d i s p a r i t y he had stumbled upon between h i s i m a g i n a t i o n and what a c t u a l l y happened. When he thought o f C h r i s t o p h e r i n his d r e s s i n g - g o w n , l e g s s t r a d d l i n g , h i s hand s t e a d i l y w o r k i n g t h e r a z o r and t a l k i n g r e f l e c t i v e l y about what was g o i n g t o happen, he knew w i t h a s i c k e n i n g c e r t a i n t y t h a t he c o u l d never s u s t a i n t h a t p o s i t i o n ; t h a t he would, i n f a c t , t u r n and r u n l o n g b e f o r e i t came. Even now he had t u r n e d and r u n , r u n away from t h a t room, a l t h o u g h he knew t h a t he would t h i n k o f n o t h i n g e l s e a l l d a y , and i n a l l c o n s c i e n c e i t had l i t t l e enough t o do w i t h h i m . I f t h i s was what h i s quest f o r J i l l was l e a d i n g t o , he would g i v e i t up w i t h o u t a second t h o u g h t . ( p . 170) It his  i s f o r t h i s r e a s o n t h a t when he f i r s t c r e a t e s J i l l he puts l o v e f o r h e r on a n o n - s e x u a l b a s i s by making h e r h i s s i s t e r .  45 G r a d u a l l y he f o r g e t s i d e n t i t y apart G i l l i a n he  i s ready to attempt  John i s alone  its  when he  encounters  to create a "love  origins  i n h i s romantic  Eddy and P a t r i c k l e t  relationship";  i n f a i r y - t a l e romance.  view of  love, his  s i t u a t i o n something very d i f f e r e n t  When J o h n i s g i v e n t h e  events w i l l  r e l a t i o n s h i p a n d she a s s u m e s a n  f r o m h i s own so t h a t  t h o u g h one w h i c h h a s  make o f t h e  this  contemporaries f r o m what  o p p o r t u n i t y t o meet G i l l i a n  their  imaginations  Since  exists.  alone,  w o r k on t h e  course  take:  John c a u t i o u s l y responded to the rhythm of t h e i r l a u g h t e r , f o r h i s t r u e f e e l i n g s h a d s h r u n k away a n d he h a d s e e n them safely locked up. "Whose room c a n I h a v e , " he l a u g h e d . "You can have m i n e , " s a i d E d d y . "With pleasure, o l d man, and h e r e , l i s t e n , h e r e ' s a n i n s i d e t i p — l e t h e r get i n f i r s t , t h e r e ' s a s o d o f a bump n e a r t h e w a l l . " "Now l e t ' s g e t i t a l l s t r a i g h t , " s a i d P a t r i c k , w a g g i n g h i s r i g h t f o r f i n g e r i n the a i r b e f o r e them. "What y o u do i s c a l l for her " " N o , damn i t , P a t , t h a t ' s no g o o d ; s u r e l y he p i c k s h e r u p a t t h e G r e e n L e a f where s h e c a n ' t g e t a w a y . What he d o e s i s come a l o n g a n d s a y : ' S o r r y , E l i z a b e t h u n a v o i d a b l y d e t a i n e d but h e r e ' s unworthy s e l f i n her p l a c e — ' " " A l l right, then. Then a t t e a you put i n the g r o u n d work i T h e n a f t e r t h a t s u g g e s t w a l k i n g r o u n d t o see E d d y — - " " S a y y o u ' v e l e f t y o u r c i g a r - p i e r c e r on my g r a n d p i a n o , " cackled Eddy,.scratching himself. "And t h e n you can get to w o r k — s p o r t the o a k — p u t the b l a c k - o u t up ." ( p . 187) The r e a l i t y Gillian  o f t h e m e e t i n g c o u l d n o t d i f f e r more f r o m t h i s .  i s much more s e n s i t i v e  to the  less romantic  o f a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a man a n d i s v e r y u n e a s y company m a k i n g h e r  escape as  q u i c k l y as  h e r way by p r o m i s i n g t o h a v e t e a  i n John's  p o s s i b l e and  with John;  aspects  easing  She does n o t  keep  46 her  p r o m i s e on w h i c h J o h n had b u i l t g r e a t  the  quiet,  innocent  teaparty  hopes.  Instead  f o r two f o r w h i c h he h a d made  c a r e f u l and d a i n t y p r e p a r a t i o n s  he f i r s t m e e t s a s t e r n  f r o m E l i z a b e t h a n d t h e n s e e s t h e room t a k e n o v e r by  s i t u a t i o n a n d consume g r e e d i l y t h e  prepared f o r  assess-  food John  last  G i l l i a n takes  attempt  place at  the  to b u i l d a r e l a t i o n s h i p party.  with  He c a n o n l y f i n d  the  t o do what he w i s h e s when he h a s b l u r r e d t h e edge  r e a l i t y by b e c o m i n g d r u n k . and s t e p s over the ship i n his  In this  s t a t e he k i s s e s  l i m i t s he h i m s e l f has  imagination.  Christopher's  set  to the  A n e q u a l l y drunken crew  friends are u n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y  relation-  of  o f f e n d e d by  extent that  find himself  p o i n t , w h i l e John i s  in hospital.  At this  dream a n d r e a l i t y become  s h i p t o each other John t r a n s f e r s dream o f t h e  he wakes  confused and s h i f t  in a different  h i s r e a l awareness  of  Gillian  J o h n ' s a c t i o n and b u l l y him t o the  fever,  has  Gillian.  John's  courage  rebuke  Patrick  a n d Eddy a n d t h e i r f r i e n d s who p r o c e e d t o g i v e t h e i r ment o f t h e  of  way f r o m e a r l i e r  to in a  in relationi n the n o v e l .  of h i s b r u i s e d l i p s  into a  kiss:  The k i s s , t o o , grew r e a l l e r e v e r y h o u r . He c o u l d f e e l the q u i e t p r e s s u r e of h e r l i p s p e r p e t u a l l y , and i n r e s p o n s e she w o u l d f i l l h i s arms a g a i n . The memory was k e e n . At i n t e r v a l s he w o u l d become a w a r e t h a t i t was h i s b r u i s e d l i p s and j a r r e d t e e t h t h a t remained w i t h h i m , and a n o t h e r s t r u g g l e w o u l d e n s u e , f i l l i n g h i m somehow w i t h n a u s e a . The s e n s a t i o n s t u g g e d t h i s way a n d t h a t . ( p . 240)  47 Somehow, t h r o u g h h i s c o n f u s i o n , J o h n i s for  i n f a c t the  l i p s and h i s  is actually responsible  for his  truth;  bruised  nausea.  In h i s vision  kiss  experiencing a  love for J i l l  into seeing  l o v e as  J o h n h a s b e e n d e c e i v e d by t o t a l l y romantic  the k i n d of r e l a t i o n s h i p which e x i s t s and E l i z a b e t h .  his  and removed f r o m  between  Christopher  B u t t h e c o m p e l l i n g power o f h i s v i s i o n h a s  forced him i n t o a p o s i t i o n w i t h regard to G i l l i a n which causes him t o respond i n s t i n c t i v e l y t o her to k i s s h e r . has  Thus h i s v i s i o n ,  enabled him to p e r c e i v e  ness of  i n a p h y s i c a l manner a n d  though removed f r o m r e a l i t y ,  a reality.  . The s u p p r e s s e d  p h y s i c a l d e s i r e has been b r o u g h t  his recollections and a c c u r a c y  of the  by h i s  fever  to the  surface,  e v e n i n g w h i c h a r e removed from c a r r y him f u r t h e r  into an  and w o r k i n g out of h i s n a t u r a l p h y s i c a l d e s i r e s .  out  i n the  the r e a l i t y  of t h e i r  and reality  examination  In a  o f n o r m a l i t y he c o u l d n o t a d m i t t o h i m s e l f a n y f e e l i n g s p h y s i c a l d e s i r e but  aware-  existence is  state of brought  dreams:  As h i s temperature r o s e , u n t r u t h s took t h e i r p l a c e q u i t e n a t u r a l l y among t h e s e r e c o l l e c t i o n s . One o f t h e e a r l i e s t was t h a t t h e y were l y i n g t o g e t h e r on t h e f l o o r o f some room i n each o t h e r ' s arms. He c o u l d f e e l h e r l i p s p r e s s e d a g a i n s t h i s , b u t he c o u l d n o t f e e l t h e r e s t o f h e r . He c o u l d n o t f e e l h e r w i t h h i s b o d y a t a l l . He h u g g e d h e r h a r d e r , r o l l i n g d e s p e r a t e l y a g a i n s t h e r , b u t i t was a l l n o t h i n g , he c o u l d n o t f e e l h e r a t a l l . E v e r y t h i n g was c o n f i n e d t o t h e m o u t h a n d he w o u l d wake u p w i t h b u r n i n g l i p s . ( p . 241)  48 I n t h e dream w h i c h i n v o l v e s C h r i s t o p h e r , relationship with G i l l i a n the  is  Christopher's  f a r removed from t h e  facts  of  s i t u a t i o n "but t h e dream d o e s r e v e a l what J o h n h a d n o t  known; t h a t  h i s d e s i r e t o keep C h r i s t o p h e r and G i l l i a n  was one b a s e d  on a f e a r t h a t  Christopher could sustain  p h y s i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p and t h a t i n t o one t h u s  apart a  p e r h a p s G i l l i a n c o u l d be d r a w n  p r o v i n g h i s v i s i o n of her and t h e i r  love to  be  false. Through J o h n ' s attempt o f h i s dream a n d r e a l i t y ,  to ascertain  the r e l a t i v e  L a r k i n seems t o be w o r k i n g o u t  t h i n g f o r h i m s e l f w h i c h has a w i d e r s i g n i f i c a n c e , questions  the r e l a t i v e  opposed t o f a c t s .  since  John f e e l s  that  the  f a c t s of h i s  and I t s  o f what h a s h a p p e n e d t o h i m . w o r k i n g out  in his  d e s i r e and then r e j e c t i o n as h i s a c t u a l meetings  has been as  with G i l l i a n .  about h i m s e l f and the n a t u r e imaginative experience  as  of  the  p o i n t of  effective He h a s  an  learnt  l o v e a s much t h r o u g h  through h i s a c t u a l  as  relation-  The l o v e he h a s  own m i n d u p t o t h e  someit  t r u t h of any i m a g i n a t i v e c r e a t i o n  s h i p w i t h G i l l i a n do n o t g i v e a n a c c u r a t e p i c t u r e o f totality  truth  created physical  experience something his  experience:  he f e l l t o p o n d e r i n g w i t h i n t h e f r a m e w o r k o f t h e dream how t h e l o v e t h e y h a d s h a r e d was d e a d . F o r the f a c t that i n l i f e he h a d b e e n c h e a t e d o f h e r was n o t t h e w h o l e t r u t h . Somewhere, i n d r e a m s , p e r h a p s , on some o t h e r l e v e l , t h e y h a d i n t e r l o c k e d a n d he h a d h a d h i s own way a s c o m p l e t e l y a s i n l i f e he h a d b e e n denied i t . A n d t h i s dream showed t h a t l o v e d i e d , w h e t h e r f u l f i l l e d or u n f u l f i l l e d , ( p . 242)  49 The f e e l i n g t h a t a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of matter  l i f e as a whole and the  what t h e n a t u r e  and d e c i s i o n s  love inevitably dies  of the  fact  that,  l i f e a n d no m a t t e r  a r e made, a n u n c h a n g e a b l e  b i r t h t o d e a t h c r e a t e s a framework of w h i c h man i s  leads John no  what  progression  to  choices  from  inevitability within  powerless:  T h e n i f t h e r e was no d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n l o v e f u l f i l l e d a n d l o v e u n f u l f i l l e d , how c o u l d t h e r e be a n y d i f f e r e n c e between any o t h e r p a i r of o p p o s i t e s ? Was he n o t f r e e d , f o r the r e s t of h i s l i f e , from c h o i c e ? F o r what c o u l d i t m a t t e r ? Let him take t h i s c o u r s e , or t h i s c o u r s e , b u t s t i l l b e h i n d t h e m i n d , o n some o t h e r l e v e l , t h e way he h a d r e j e c t e d was b e i n g s i m u l t a n e o u s l y w o r k e d o u t a n d t h e same c o n c l u s i o n was b e i n g r e a c h e d . What d i d i t m a t t e r w h i c h r o a d he t o o k i f t h e y b o t h l e d t o t h e same place? ( p . 243) There  is  in this  statement a perceptive  acceptance of the c o n d i t i o n s the  of  c o n c l u d i n g statement of t h i s  s u r r e n d e r and sense of  life.  and almost Yet at  the  courageous same t i m e  paragraph represents  a  hopelessness:  He l o o k e d a t t h e t r e e - t o p s i n t h e w i n d . What c o n t r o l c o u l d he h o p e t o h a v e o v e r t h e maddened s u r f a c e o f t h i n g s ? ( p . 243) In a closely  preceding paragraph there i s a d e s c r i p t i o n  of t h e t r e e s J o h n i s w a t c h i n g w h i l s t t h e above i n his mind.  It  seems t h a t  Larkin's real  p o s i t i o n i s made t h r o u g h t h i s through John's  conclusions.  image r a t h e r  thoughts  statement of than  are his  directly  50  He was w a t c h i n g t h e t r e e s , t h e t o p s o f w h i c h he c o u l d j u s t see t h r o u g h t h e w i n d o w . They t o s s e d a n d t o s s e d , recklessly. He saw them f l i n g ["thi-sU way a n d t h a t , t h r o w i n g up t h e i r heads l i k e i m p a t i e n t h o r s e s , l i k e sea waves, bending and r e c o v e r i n g i n the w i n d . They h a d no l e a v e s . E n d l e s s l y , t h i s way a n d t h a t , t h e y w e r e b u f f e t e d a n d s t i l l bore up a g a i n to t h e i r f u l l h e i g h t . They seemed t i r e l e s s . S o m e t i m e s t h e y w e r e b e n t so l o w t h a t t h e y p a s s e d o u t o f s i g h t , l e a v i n g the square of w h i t e sky f r e e f o r a s e c o n d , b u t t h e n t h e y w o u l d be b a c k a g a i n , c l a s h i n g t h e i r p r o u d branches together l i k e the a n t l e r s of f u r i o u s s t a g s . ( p . 242) The i n f l u e n c e o f H a r d y i s q u i t e c l e a r h e r e a n d t h e p o s i t i o n the appears  passage  suggests  is s i m i l a r to Hardy's.  t o be a c k n o w l e d g i n g o u r p o w e r l e s s n e s s  a b a s i c a l l y predetermined p a t t e r n of l i f e , that  just  to the wind c r e a t e something m a g n i f i c e n t  response suggest  to the  operates  b u t he a l s o  of  implies  resistance  in their fight,  so  but can c r e a t e something through h i s  pattern.  The f a c t  t h i s t h r o u g h a n image i s  is a foretaste  Larkin  i n the face  a s t h e t r e e s w h i c h c a n o f f e r no a c t u a l  t o o man c a n n o t r e s i s t  overall  that  L a r k i n chooses  to  i n t e r e s t i n g i n two w a y s :  it  o f t h e p o e t r y s i n c e o f t e n t h e w h o l e poem  i n a s i m i l a r manner, s t a t i n g n o t h i n g but  creating  a sense of p o s i t i v e v a l u e s t h r o u g h the r e l a t i o n s h i p between form and c o n t e n t ;  through i t s very existence  t h i s passage  an a s s e r t i o n about c r e a t i v i t y , s i n c e from something b l e a k and hopeless  L a r k i n has c r e a t e d  is  essentially  something p o s i t i v e and  beautiful. Dream, c r e a t i v i t y and v i s i o n a r e d e a l t w i t h as i d e n t i c a l concepts.  John's  c r e a t i o n of the J i l l  world  almost begins  51  as a n escape from a r e a l but d e s t r u c t i v e this  and the  Impressive  f a c t t h a t what he c r e a t e s  i t has v e r y p o s i t i v e  of c r e a t i v i t y w o r l d he i s his  John  is  situation;  is  values.  immature and not Through the  i n some r e s p e c t s b r o u g h t  t r y i n g to  escape: h i s  sensitivity  places,  w r i t i n g the  first  as  for  letter  example,  from  on t h e  to  to people in  occasion  very  process  closer  s u r r o u n d i n g i s d e v e l o p e d a n d he f i n d s b e a u t y  unsuspected  despite  the and  hitherto after  Jill:  O u t s i d e i n t h e F e l l o w s ' G a r d e n , the t r e e s were h e a v i n g i n the w i n d , almost bare of t h e i r l e a v e s . Another undergraduate k n e e l e d i n t h e window s e a t t o l o o k o u t ; he h a d a v e r y f i n e l y made h e a d a n d b l a c k h a i r . A s he s t a r e d f r o m t h e t a l l windows he s l i p p e d a r i n g o f f one f i n g e r a n d p u t i t o n a n o t h e r . John w o n d e r e d v a g u e l y who he w a s : h i s f a c e was a g r e e a b l e t o l o o k at: ( p . 123) A similar heightening of J i l l  to  occurs  immediately a f t e r John's  account  Christopher:  F r o m n e x t d o o r came t h e s o u n d o f a p i a n o ; t h e r e was a r i c h y o u n g man t h e r e who p l a y e d a t a l l h o u r s . John l i s t e n e d . He f e l t h i m s e l f spun out v e r y f i n e a l o n g the s l e n d e r l i n e of notes. The m u s i c was s l o w , w i t h a l o g i c a l s a d n e s s . ( p . 120) For a short of the  time at  l e a s t he c a n g a i n a b e t t e r  w o r l d he l i v e s  in.  His previous  pre-occupation  t h e a r t i f i c i a l d a y c r e a t e d by a r i g i d t i m e t a b l e he no l o n g e r n e e d s t h e k i n d o f c o n f i d e n c e to the  same p a t t e r n a s  worry about  becoming  everyone  like  else.  Christopher:  perspective with  disappears;  g a i n e d by  conforming  S i m i l a r l y he c e a s e s  to  52  He was h a r d l y c o n s c i o u s o f t h e c o n t e n t m e n t he f e l t . A l l of a s u d d e n t h e r e seemed n o t h i n g t o d o , n o t h i n g b u t t h e c e r t a i n f a c t t h a t t h i s d a y w o u l d o p e n i n t o a n o t h e r e q u a l l y empty d a y , o n l y t h e s o f t p a t t e r i n g o f t h e r a i n on a n c i e n t s t o n e s . The f i r e l i g h t s h o n e o n t h e b r a s s a s h t r a y s a n d on c e r t a i n d a r k panels. He f e l t he h a d b e e n v e r y f o o l i s h t o t r o u b l e o v e r much a b o u t C h r i s t o p h e r W a r n e r ; he c e a s e d t o l o n g t h a t he h i m s e l f c o u l d o r d e r s e r v a n t s a b o u t c o n f i d e n t l y , t h a t he was r i c h , t h a t he h a d a b l u e c h i n , t h a t he s a n g d i r t y s o n g s i n his bathi T h e s e were v e r y f i n e t h i n g s , b u t t h e y were l o s i n g t h e i r l u s t r e as i d e a l s . He y a w n e d , ( p . 123) Although this than that  i s a l e s s v i v i d l y r e a l i z e d i m p r e s s i o n of  he h a s  later  in hospital,  it  tends  i n the  values  same  direction. I n t h e h o s p i t a l s e q u e n c e J o h n l e a r n s more a b o u t h i s own nature:  this  k n o w l e d g e h a s b e e n made a v a i l a b l e  the  l e a r n i n g process  his  e v e r y d a y r o u t i n e he a c k n o w l e d g e s h i s  as  defect  in his  i n v o l v e d i n h i s c r e a t i o n of J i l l .  personality.  He t r i e s  b i n d i n g p e o p l e t o h i m i n some w a y . seems c l o s e r of  life  also  to understanding that  s i n c e he d o e s n o t  of a d e f e c t  i n her  seems t o  not recognised  see  see  personality  l i v e s of  loneliness, t o overcome  I n the J i l l loneliness  Jill's  details  and  it  by  is a condition  loneliness  people such as  only  the  result He  w h i c h he  i n his  letters  of J o h n ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of C h r i s t o p h e r a r e not  large  defects;  has  Whitbread.  i n h i s a c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h i m , and though  he i s r e c o g n i s i n g extra  but  s e q u e n c e he  i s o l a t i o n as  H i s e v a l u a t i o n of C h r i s t o p h e r i s d i f f e r e n t from t h a t  In  or of u n a t t r a c t i v e n e s s .  a p o s i t i v e side to  i n the  t o him through  that C h r i s t o p h e r i s not a h e r o i c  d i m e n s i o n s b u t a y o u n g man w i t h o b v i o u s  the  accurate  figure  of  weaknesses  53  Strong contrast  between John and C h r i s t o p h e r  made t h r o u g h o u t t h e n o v e l ; discussion this  contrast  i n the  exists  a s t r o n g g r a s p on t h e w o r l d of of the  present.  A t the  t o v i e w C h r i s t o p h e r as  i n other  a s he l e a v e s came u p . his  terms  Oxford,  He h a s  environment;  l i f e has g r e a t l y It n o v e l as  the  f a c t s a n d on t h e  experience  increased  whereas  i n awareness  J o h n ' s awareness  since  for  not.  Christopher,  f r o m when he  of h i m s e l f or  of h i m s e l f and  of of  increased. the  total  statement of  dream, v i s i o n and c r e a t i v i t y a r e terms  that  the  concerned  Wallace Stevens  uses: we make  reality."  The e x p l o r a t i o n o f a n i d e a o r t h e s t a t e o f m i n d by means than through a c t i o n , earlier,  possible  ends a n d J o h n c l e a r l y h a s  i s by b r e a k i n g away f r o m t h e w o r l d o f f a c t s t h a t  contact with  has  c o u l d be  position is reversed,  c o u l d be s u m m a r i s e d i n t h e "it  for Christopher  is very l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t  not  preceding  t r i u m p h a n t and John as d e f e a t e d ,  w o u l d seem t h e n t h a t f a r as  also,  of the  end o f t h e n o v e l i t  C h r i s t o p h e r has a c h i e v e d h i s But  terms  is  as  of an o b j e c t i v e  the use  environment to r e f l e c t p h y s i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n of ^Wallace Stevens, F a b e r , 1957), p . 236.  correlative,  i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of the  i s a device used e x t e n s i v e l y  two m a i n f o r m s :  r e v e l a t i o n of  a mental landscape; people to  It  landscape and the use  image t h e i r  Opus Posthumous  rather  trees  i n the n o v e l .  of a d e s c r i p t i o n of  a  quoted takes  and of  personalities.  (London: Faber  and  54 The n o v e l o p e n s w i t h a d e s c r i p t i o n o f what J o h n s e e s f r o m the t r a i n window: I t was n e a r l y f o u r o ' c l o c k o n a T h u r s d a y i n t h e m i d d l e o f O c t o b e r , and the a i r had begun t o t h i c k e n as i t a l w a y s does b e f o r e a dusk i n Autumn. The s k y h a d become s t i f f w i t h opaque c l o u d s . When t h e y w e r e c l e a r 6? t h e g a s o m e t e r s , t h e wagons a n d b l a c k e n e d b r i d g e s o f B a n b u r y , he l o o k e d o u t o v e r t h e f i e l d s , n o t i c i n g t h e c l u m p s o f t r e e s t h a t s p e d b y , whose d y i n g l e a v e s each had a n i n d i v i d u a l c o l o u r , from p a l e s t ochre t o n e a r l y p u r p l e , so t h a t e a c h t r e e s t o o d o u t d i s t i n c t l y a s in spring. The h e d g e s were s t i l l g r e e n , b u t t h e l e a v e s o f t h e c o n v u l v u l i t h r e a d e d t h r o u g h them h a d t u r n e d s i c k l y y e l l o w , and from a d i s t a n c e l o o k e d l i k e l a t e f l o w e r s . L i t t l e arms o f r i v e r s t w i s t e d t h r o u g h t h e meadows, l i n e d w i t h w i l l o w s that l i t t e r e d the surface w i t h l e a v e s . The w a t e r s w e r e s p a n n e d by empty f o o t b r i d g e s , ( p . 21) Immediately, a c e r t a i n tone  i s e s t a b l i s h e d which  pervades  the n o v e l ; the sense of the dying year w i t h a l l i t s accompaniments r e l i e v e d o n l y by f l a s h e s the season  is also responsible;  and bleakness is  to a l l appearances  becomes the  w i t h the onset  apparent that  ending of the  at  the  of beauty f o r  sense of  of w i n t e r .  which  increasing cold  A n d , although John  t h e b e g i n n i n g o f a new l i f e ,  it  t h e n o v e l i s much more c o n c e r n e d  o l d way o f l i f e a n d t h e  loss  J u s t as the dying leaves  i n the very process  beauty,  i n c r e a s i n g awareness  so t o o  sombre  i n John's  of  innocence.  of dying is a  with  acquire  certain  beauty.  The image i s w o r k e d o u t so t h a t a t  the  novel i t  i s w i n t e r a n d by t h i s  old l i f e is  d e s t r o y e d and t h e r e season  reflects.  point John's  i s a bleakness  end o f  i n h i s awareness  the totally  which  the  55 Because J o h n ' s e m o t i o n a l development the n o v e l , i t terms of h i s  of h i s  is  surroundings.  A p a r t from adding to our  t h i s method a l s o  the v i c t i m of a h o s t i l e in his relationships  world;  extends  he m e a s u r e s attitude  encounter  the  feelings  itself  On h i s  into seeing  his his  f i r s t morning i n he  when he w a l k s t h r o u g h  of a l i e n a t i o n are m o d i f i e d , as  his acceptibility  as  kindness  positive unfriendliness  from C h r i s t o p h e r and s o ,  town, h i s  sense  sees h i m s e l f  b u t when he m e e t s w i t h  e n v i r o n m e n t a s no l o n g e r h o s t i l e . O x f o r d he d o e s n o t  in  w i t h people l i k e C h r i s t o p h e r , then  s e n s e of warmth and s e c u r i t y  of  awareness  i n c r e a s e s our  o f J o h n ' s v u l n e r a b i l i t y , f o r o f t e n he c l e a r l y  the  focus  i s h i s mood w h i c h i s most o f t e n d e s c r i b e d  emotional state,  anticipates  the  though  i n O x f o r d by C h r i s t o p h e r ' s  t o w a r d s hims  he l o o k e d c u r i o u s l y a r o u n d h i m a t t h e s h o p s , t h e b r o a d w h i t e pavements and t h e b r i g h t l y - p o l i s h e d k n o c k e r s on p r i v a t e d o o r s . E v e n t h e new r e d b r i c k a i r - r a i d s h e l t e r s l o o k e d a t t r a c t i v e i n t h e s u n , a n d he f o u n d them a s p l e a s a n t a s t h e o l d b u i l d i n g s w i t h t h e i r t a l l windows a n d t u r r e t s . S u d d e n l y he f e l t t h a t he was g o i n g t o e n j o y O x f o r d s h i s e a r l y d e p r e s s i o n l i f t e d c l e a n a w a y , a n d he t h r e a d e d h i s way t h r o u g h t h e t o w n w h i s t l i n g a few n o t e s t o h i m s e l f , ( p p . 44-45) John's response interesting,  to the a i r - r a i d s h e l t e r s  since  only the  them.  i n h i s new e n v i r o n m e n t a n d h i s In the  m e e t i n g w i t h M r s ; W a r n e r , who " a f f e c t e d ating climate"  particularly  p r e v i o u s n i g h t he h a d b e e n w o r r i e d  by a s e n s e o f t h e d i s c r e p a n c i e s own i n a b i l i t y t o r e c o n c i l e  is  same w a y , a f t e r  his  him l i k e an i n v i g o r -  ( p i 9 6 ) , he f e e l s a s y m p a t h y b e t w e e n  himself  56  a n d what I s  g o i n g on a r o u n d h i m :  The w i n d b l e w a n d a w h o l e w a l l o f i v y d a n c e d i n t h e s u n , t h e l e a v e s b l o w i n g b a c k t o show t h e i r w h i t e u n d e r s i d e s . So i n him a thousand r e s t l e s s n e s s e s yearned and shook. A t the s i g h t of the b l u e - a n d - w h i t e s k y , the f l a s h i n g windscreens of c a r s , t h e s q u a r e new r e d b r i c k a i r - r a i d s h e l t e r s d a u b e d w i t h w h i t e p a i n t , a v i g o u r f i l l e d him almost e q u a l t o h i s d e s i r e . ( p . 97) When he f e e l s t h a t C h r i s t o p h e r h a s r e j e c t e d h i m , a s f o r when he o v e r h e a r s latent  example  h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h E l i z a b e t h , he f e e l s  h o s t i l i t y towards him i n e v e r y t h i n g around h i m .  walks through the  He  s t r e e t s of O x f o r d f e e l i n g i s o l a t e d and  ignored: The t r a f f i c a n d p e o p l e i n t h e s t r e e t s r e c e d e d a s he w a l k e d ; a column o f s o l d i e r s w h i s t l i n g a m u s i c - h a l l song marched by on t h e o t h e r s i d e of t h e r o a d w i t h o u t p a y i n g any a t t e n t i o n t o h i m ; a v a n was u n l o a d i n g b a c o n i n t o a g r o c e r ' s a n d he h a d t o w a i t w h i l e a huge h a l f - s p l i t p i g w r a p p e d i n s a c k i n g was carried i n . ( p . 112) In contrast,  his  with G i l l i a n  projects  one a b o v e h i s  sense of purpose a f t e r  his f i r s t  meeting  i n t o a s i t u a t i o n very s i m i l a r to  the  own v i t a l i t y a n d e n e r g y a n d makes h i m p a r t  of  the whole scene: There had been a s h a r p f r o s t the n i g h t b e f o r e and l o r r i e s t h a t had been out a l l n i g h t had w h i t e r o o f s t h a t s p a r k l e d i n the sun; The s k y was r e m o t e a n d b l u e : e v e r y w h e r e a n atmosphere of b r i s k n e s s p r e v a i l e d . John watched l a r g e t r a y s of l o a v e s and buns b e i n g c a r r i e d i n t o a c o n f e c t i o n e r ' s shop from a v a n ; a l r e a d y shoppers were out and s t u d e n t s c y c l e d past w i t h books tumbled c a r e l e s s l y i n the basket a t t h e i r handlebars, ( p . 160)  a  57 An even c l e a r e r relief his  that  example  Gillian  friends.  of t h i s  i s not  occurs  of  his  i n v o l v e d w i t h C h r i s t o p h e r and  The d a y i t s e l f  is  one w h i c h i n a n o t h e r  w o u l d seem d e p r e s s i n g h u t he endows i t of  as a r e s u l t  with his  mood  own f e e l i n g  excitement:  I t was o n l y h a l f l i g h t when he t o o k h i s t o w e l a n d went f o r a b a t h , a n d a f e w s t a r s w e r e s t i l l s h i n i n g among t h e t o w e r s . Smoke f r o m n e w l y - l i t f i r e s p o u r e d f r o m c h i m n e y s a n d was whipped away. W i n d , warm a n d b l u s t e r i n g , t o r e a l o n g u n d e r t h e o v e r c a s t s k y : i n h a l f a n h o u r i t w o u l d be a n o r d i n a r y d u l l m o r n i n g . B u t J o h n d i d n o t see i t l i k e t h a t ; t h i s h a l f l i g h t , t h i s s t a n d i n g a s i t were on a prow c o m i n g o v e r t h e edge o f a new d a y , a l l seemed t o r e p r e s e n t t h e Imminence o f s o m e t h i n g n e w . A n d what c o u l d t h a t be b u t J i l l ? The wet green grass i n the quadrangle, the brooding of the c l o i s t e r s , t h e t r e e s w i t h t h e i r d r i p p i n g t w i g s , a n d , above a l l , t h e w i n d — t h e s e f e l t l i k e t h e a g e n t s o f some g r e a t f o r c e t h a t was o n h i s s i d e . (pp. 182-3) H i s d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t about G i l l i a n t h e news o f  is  f o l l o w e d i m m e d i a t e l y by  t h e b o m b i n g o f H u d d l e s f o r d , so t h a t  f e e l i n g of b e i n g e m o t i o n a l l y destroyed  is  John's  echoed  in  the  p h y s i c a l d e s t r u c t i o n a l l around h i m . F o r the most skilful the  and t h e r e  v i s u a l aspects  part L a r k i n ' s h a n d l i n g of c o r r e l a t i v e s i s a sense of  what J o h n  of the  fusing perfectly  images  e m o t i o n a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l . when s u c h i m a g e s its  fail  own s a k e s o t h a t  rather and i t s  since the  There a r e , the  however,  reader's  The u s e  of  describes with  attention  the  dog a t  f o c u s e s on w i t h the the  the  occasions  image seems t o be t h e r e  than being simultaneously concerned correlative.  Press  for it  emotion  end o f  the  is as  58 novel f a i l s reveals  i n t h i s way; i t  about  the c o n c l u d i n g s i t u a t i o n of the n o v e l  a l r e a d y b e e n made c l e a r  i n series,  Two e x a m p l e s descriptions  will  very frequently, to appearance  i n the novel i s  they u s u a l l y occur  suffice  so t h a t  the a c t i o n i s  since,  though i t  t h e method u s e d and t h e the  the f i r s t  ways;  same.  The most  one o f  Johns  distract  not slowed down.  of the use to which L a r k i n puts  remains  has  s i m i l e s used which tend to  than i l l u m i n a t e since  i n d i v i d u a l l y but  it  i n more s u b t l e a n d s u c c e s s f u l  T h e r e a r e a l s o a number o f rather  i s t o o c o n t r i v e d a n d what  physical  is a device  significance important  used attached  description  He was a n u n d e r s i z e d b o y , e i g h t e e n y e a r s o l d , w i t h a p a l e f a c e and s o f t p a l e h a i r brushed c h i l d i s h l y from l e f t t o righti L y i n g b a c k a g a i n s t t h e s e a t , he s t r e t c h e d h i s l e g s out and pushed h i s hands t o the bottom of t h e pockets of h i s cheap b l u e o v e r c o a t . The l a p e l s o f i t c u r l e d outx^ards and c r e a s e s dragged from the b u t t o n s . H i s f a c e was t h i n , a n d p e r h a p s s t r a i n e d ; t h e e x p r e s s i o n r o u n d t h e m o u t h was r e a d y t o become t a u t , a n d a s m a l l f r o w n l i n g e r e d o n h i s forehead. H i s whole appearance l a c k e d l u x u r i a n c e . Only h i s s i l k y h a i r , as s o f t as s e e d i n g t h i s t l e , gave h i m a n a i r o f beauty; ( p : 21) J o h n ' s appearance is  illustrates  i n h i s a.ppearance and a l s o  aaad d e p r i v e d q u a l i t y .  clearly his in his  H i s appearance  personality,  as the  poverty of h i s  of h i s  imagination.  of  the u n l i k e l y beauty  personality  it.  There  a meagreness  and b e h a v i o u r  i n d i c a t e h i s background and h i s awareness has a redeeming f e a t u r e ,  personality.  both  H o w e v e r , he  of h i s h a i r ,  i s r e l i e v e d by t h e  just  quality  59 C h r i s t o p h e r ' s appearance of John i n the  same way t h a t  contrasts  strongly with  their personalities  that  differ:  The y o u n g man was t a l l e r a n d s t r o n g e r t h a n J o h n , w i t h d a r k d r y h a i r brushed back from h i s f o r e h e a d , and a s q u a r e , stubbly jaw. H i s n o s e was t h i c k a n d h i s s h o u l d e r s b r o a d ; John f e l t a twinge of d i s t r u s t . He wore a d a r k g r e y l o u n g e s u i t a n d d a r k b l u e s h i r t a n d on h i s r i g h t h a n d was a s q u a r e faced gold r i n g . T h e r e was a s w a g g e r i n h i s b e a r i n g , he held himself well upright. (p. 27) C h r i s t o p h e r i s as boyi  o b v i o u s l y a y o u n g man a s J o h n i s s t i l l  His aggressive  nature  is  expressed  i n h i s b u i l d and  i n a c e r t a i n coarseness i n h i s appearance; confidence  shows i n h i s b e a r i n g a n d h i s  in his clothes  and the  t o t a l i t y of h i s  The n a t u r e a n d e f f e c t in Larkin's poetry; than a part  i n the  of the basic  his  general  sense of w e l l - b e i n g appearance.  o f t i m e i s a theme o f  two n o v e l s t i m e i s  structure.  It  importance  less a  theme  i s as though i n  l a r g e r medium L a r k i n i s w o r k i n g o u t h i s t h e o r y o f t i m e than assuming i t  or presenting  it  the c e n t r a l  past  character  s e c t i o n , so t h a t background!  of the a c t i o n i n the  present.  of M r . Crouch i n the  we h a v e a f a i r l y o b j e c t i v e  In A G i r l  is a  view of  In  K a t h e r i n e but a younger and v e r y d i f f e r e n t  from Jill  John's  K a t h e r i n e so  viewpoint is created.  Both  retrospective  i n W i n t e r t h e v i e w p o i n t i s that  the sense of a d i f f e r e n t  rather  section  through a viewpoint d i f f e r e n t  the viewpoint i s mostly that  the  i n c r y s t a l l i z e d form.  n o v e l s b e g i n i n medlas res and i n b o t h t h e r e which recreates the  a  of that  A f t e r a view  6o of the past the reader i s r e t u r n e d t o the present and assesses it  r a t h e r d i f f e r e n t l y so t h a t  on t h e p r e s e n t :  the past  There a r e then glimpses of the past through  t h e eyes o f the c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r s . past  i s d e f i n i t e l y impinging  Since t h e i r view of  i s t i n g e d b y t h e p r e s e n t we s e e how t h e n a t u r e o f  present and i t s a f f e c t  on t h e c h a r a c t e r  is recreating  the the  past.  The s i t u a t i o n becomes f u r t h e r c o m p l i c a t e d i n J i l l  John's  r e f u s a l to accept  past which a f f e c t s future.  the  by  t h e p a s t a n d h i s c r e a t i o n o f a new  t h e p r e s e n t a n d w h i c h he p r o j e c t s  into  the  A t t h e p o i n t a t w h i c h J o h n i s most i n v o l v e d i n h i s  c r e a t i o n of J i l l ,  he l i v e s i n two p r e s e n t s ,  t h e one i n h i s  m i n d a n d t h e p h y s i c a l one t o which he g i v e s s c a n t Yet another assessment  of the past  attention.  i s made when J o h n r e t u r n s  t o H u d d l e s f o r d t a k i n g w i t h him a n awareness of t h e changes  he  has undergone: The s t r u c t u r e o f t h e n o v e l becomes  i n i t s e l f a n image  t h r o u g h w h i c h L a r k i n seems t o b e e x p l o r i n g t h e past  idea that  i s never something which i s o v e r , f i n i s h e d and  the  static  but something which i s a l w a y s b e i n g r e c r e a t e d and which a l w a y s adheres to the present  so t h a t t h e y a r e m u t u a l l y i n t e r a c t i n g .  CHAPTER  III  A G I R L I N WINTER A Girl from J i l l  i n Winter^ represents  in its  structure,  a s The W h l t s u n W e d d i n g s  2  does  both cases the  later  achievement  the w r i t e r ' s  of  a greater capacity of the  society  theme,  f r o m The L e s s D e c e i v e d . 3  w o r k i s more m a t u r e a n d a more purpose.  I n b o t h he  portrayed i n the  In fact,  between  i n Winter i s  closer  is,  since  is  the  time s t r u c t u r e  °f  Jill*  it  the  as  two v o l u m e s o f  e v e n more c l e a r l y a p r o s e  the a c t i o n  of t h i s  awareness  reflected  poetry.  poetry than poem.  i s more c l e a r l y  the  A Girl Jill  Although  n o v e l i s more c o m p l e x t h a n  that  s i m p l i f i e d and d i r e c t e d  towards  imaging the growth of K a t h e r i n e ' s  details  of  the  complete  indicated i n  volumes of  n  development  novel is clearly  two l a t e r  to the  the  j_  demonstrates  f o r a b r o a d sympathy f o r and an  i n t h e g r o w t h o f L a r k i n ' s own a w a r e n e s s differences  advancement  and i n f o r m i n g p h i l o s o p h y  i n w h i c h he l i v e s .  of K a t h e r i n e as  a similar  environmental s e t t i n g  awareness,  and a l l  c o n t r i b u t e more o b v i o u s l y  * P . L a r k i n , A G i r l i n Winter (London: Faber and F a b e r , 1964). U n l e s s o t h e r w i s e i n d i c a t e d a l l page r e f e r e n c e w i t h i n the t e x t i n t h i s chapter w i l l r e f e r to t h i s n o v e l . 2  Faber,  P.  Larkin, 1964).  3p. L a r k i n , 1962).  The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s ( L o n d o n : F a b e r The L e s s D e c e i v e d  (Hessle:  and  The M a r v e l l  Press,  62  and c l o s e l y  to t h i s  same e n d .  of c o n t r o l over a l l the everything unites t h a t makes  this  to  past as  of John  form the  i n the  to  it  girl  previous chapter,  of t i m e .  i n winter  both J i l l through  In J i l l  is  B e c a u s e we see  their  he r e l i e s  changed John's  i n the  past  I have a l r e a d y interaction  a t i o n of b o t h .  of  said,  eyes.  In J i l l  that Larkin is  But,  i n d i v i d u a l consciousness  a f f e c t e d by p a s t a n d p r e s e n t ,  affecting  interaction  he d o e s a t t e m p t  of  fully  this  past and p r e s e n t .  to d e a l w i t h the  K a t h e r i n e as a c o n s t a n t p o i n t of  apparent,  idea  of  recre-  filtering  process  and i n t u r n b e i n g  through such i n c i d e n t s  integrate  present  continual  o v e r h e a r i n g C h r i s t o p h e r a n d E l i z a b e t h a n d what he he d o e s n o t  mind  he  i t becomes  a l t h o u g h he s u g g e s t s t h e  of  This  both  e x p l o r i n g the  past and p r e s e n t and the  to  through  objectivity.  i n W i n t e r , where we s e e  and past t h r o u g h K a t h e r i n e ' s  of the  and  i n some r e s p e c t s L a r k i n e v a d e s i s s u e s w h i c h  does d e a l w i t h i n A G i r l  of t h i s ,  Jill.  v i e w p o i n t s to g i v e a sense  r e a l l y w a s , a n d how i t present.  tightness  poetry than i s  e y e s , we g a i n a n i m p r e s s i o n o f  means t h a t  of the  image o f t h e  of L a r k i n ' s theory  i n the  Crouch's  the  increased  elements to c r e a t e a n o v e l i n which  some e x t e n t o n two d i f f e r e n t  as  the  i n Winter r e p r e s e n t an i n v e s t i g a t i o n  structures  the  is  n o v e l even c l o s e r  As i n d i c a t e d A Girl  It  as  recollects  problem w i t h In A G i r l  that  i n Winter  w h o l e p r o b l e m by u s i n g reference.  John's  63  The K a t h e r i n e we meet  i n the f i r s t  s e c t i o n of the  book  is a g i r l  i n w i n t e r b o t h p h y s i c a l l y a n d p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y ; she  i s almost  t o t a l l y detached from h e r s u r r o u n d i n g s and the  w i t h whom she comes response  into daily contact.  she makes i s  throughout the  first  section are references In retrospect  w h i c h had a l s o been spent  p a r t of h e r past  letter contact  this  p a r t of  rather  present  than pleased,  lacks.  It  w i t h the Fennels life,  come t o mean i n t h i s  that  is and  she a l l o w s  t o be r e i n t r o d u c e d i n t o h e r l i f e .  to Jane which i s her f i r s t attempt  a b o u t h e r way o f  summer  Katherine's  she h a s become t o t a l l y a w a r e o f h e r d e t a c h m e n t  b e e n f r i g h t e n e d by i t , this  back to the  Yet  i n E n g l a n d , has t a k e n on a l l  t h e warmth and i n v o l v e m e n t w h i c h t h e because  emotional  i n her h a t r e d towards M r . A n s t e y .  spent w i t h the F e n n e l s . life,  The s t r o n g e s t  people  to  Her  re-establish  i s a n acknowledgement to  herself  a n d what t h e memory o f t h e F e n n e l s  has  context:  So where d i d t h e F e n n e l s come i n a l l t h i s ? Simply, that she was l o n e l y ; more c o m p l e x l y , t h a t t h e y s u p p o r t e d h e r f a l l i n g hope t h a t s h e was w r o n g t o t h i n k t h a t h e r l i f e h a d w o r s e n e d so i r r e v o c a b l y . S i n c e w r i t i n g t o J a n e , t h o s e t h r e e n e a r l y f o r g o t t e n weeks h a d t a k e n o n a new c h a r a c t e r i n h e r m e m o r y . I t was t h e o n l y p e r i o d o f h e r l i f e t h a t h a d n o t b e e n s p o i l e d by l a t e r e v e n t s , a n d she f o u n d t h a t she c o u l d d r a w u p o n i t h e a r t e n i n g l y , r e m e m b e r i n g when she h a d b e e n h a p p y , a n d r e a d y t o g i v e and t a k e , I n s t e a d of u n w i l l i n g t o g i v e , and f i n d i n g nothing worth t a k i n g . I t was a s i f she h o p e d t h e y w o u l d warm b a c k t o l i f e a p a r t o f h e r t h a t h a d b e e n f r o z e n , w i t h t h e same s o l i c i t u d e she h a d t r i e d t o g i v e M i s s G r e e n t h a t m o r n i n g — t h o u g h she f e a r e d i n r e t r o s p e c t t h a t she h a d done no more t h a n i f she h a d h a n d e d h e r a n e l a b o r a t e b a s k e t o f f r u i t l e f t f o r weeks i n a r e f r i g e r a t o r , a l l f r o s t e d o v e r a n d t a s t e l e s s .  64 I t was e x t r a v a g a n t , e v e n m e l o d r a m a t i c . B u t she c o u l d h a r d l y h a v e c a r e d more i f h e r l i f e h a d d e p e n d e d o n t h e m . ( p p . 185-6)  years,  Despite the  fact  that  she h a s b e e n i n E n g l a n d f o r  s h e has n o t  previously contacted  i n s t e a d r e f u s e d to admit that reality; f o r the  to  l i n k the  future  s u b s t a n c e she  present  w i t h the  is unwilling  h e r by e x t e r n a l  to a l l o w .  p a s t a n d t h u s some hope  Instead,  present  a  she h a d  attempted  c o n t r o l over a s i t u a t i o n f o r c e d upon  circumstance  and a t t e m p t i n g to  She h a d  i n E n g l a n d had any  i n E n g l a n d w o u l d be t o g i v e t h e  t o g o v e r n time and a s s e r t  present  her l i f e  the F e n n e l s .  two  by a d m i t t i n g o n l y t h e  exclude the  past and the  immediate future:  And so s h e h a d s e t h e r s e l f t o c l i m b o u t o f t h e s l i t h e r i n g p i t i n t o w h i c h she had f a l l e n , w i t h o u t s u c c e s s a t f i r s t , b u t a s t i m e went o n m a n a g i n g t o r e - e s t a b l i s h h e r s e l f g r a d u a l l y , t o r e g a i n h e r w i l l p o w e r , t o a v o i d t h e t e r r i b l e moments t h a t l e f t her sickened. She d i d t h i s b y s u p p r e s s i n g a s f a r a s she c o u l d e v e r y r e f e r e n c e t o h e r former l i f e , and t r e a t i n g e v e r y day as c o m p l e t e i n i t s e l f . She a t e , s l e p t a n d w o r k e d , a n d r e f u s e d t o compare what she d i d o r a t e , o r w h e r e she s l e p t , w i t h a n y w o r k o r f o o d o r h o u s e h o l d she h a d known i n t h e p a s t ; E v e r y t h i n g h a d t o be r e d u c e d t o i t s s i m p l e s t t e r m s . ( p . 181) Yet even the r i g i d i t y succeeded  of the  i n making time stand s t i l l .  over t i m e does not r e a l l y e x i s t , she h a s  imposed p a t t e r n had not  f o r without her  i n f a c t b e e n m o u l d e d by t h e  was s h a p i n g ; s h e r e c o g n i s e s attempting:  the  Katherine's  control awareness  p a t t e r n she h a d f e l t  futility  o f what she h a s  she been  65 The t r u t h was, she had n o t b e e n f a c i n g t h e f a c t s . To l i v e f r o m day t o d a y , as she had b e e n d o i n g , s h u t o u t t h e p a s t , b u t i t s h u t out t h e f u t u r e t o o , and made t h e p r e s e n t one l o n g temporary hand-to-mouth e x i s t e n c e . ( p ; 182)  W i t h t h i s a w a r e n e s s comes a l s o t h e r e a l i z a t i o n w h i c h she up  the  has  u n d e r g o n e w h i c h now  p a s t where she  had  left  make h e r  of the  vision  o f f completely  changes  of t a k i n g  impossiblef  A l l t h e t i m e she had b e e n b e h a v i n g a s i f e v e r y t h i n g would s u d d e n l y s n a p b a c k t o n o r m a l , i f she c o u l d o n l y hang on a l i t t l e longer. W i t h o u t a d m i t t i n g i t t o h e r s e l f , she had b e e n b e l i e v i n g t h a t i n a l i t t l e w h i l e the w a l l s would f l y back, a n d a t a t o u c h she w o u l d f i n d h e r s e l f b a c k a t home, o r s t u d y i n g i n the u n i v e r s i t y , w i t h her o l d l i f e about her. I t s h o c k e d h e r t o r e a l i z e she had b e e n b e l i e v i n g a n y t h i n g so a b s u r d , and i t s h o c k e d h e r t o r e a l i z e t h a t i t was absurd. B u t a t h i r d f a c t s h o c k e d h e r most o f a l l : t h a t e v e n i f h e r o l d l i f e had b e e n w a i t i n g f o r h e r , she no l o n g e r wanted t o r e t u r n t o i t . ( p . 182)  Her  p e r s p e c t i v e on  continuity  exists  elements b r e a k i n g a  stage  life  c h a n g e s , and  i n her i n on  life  i t ; Whereas J o h n i n J i l l  become someone d i f f e r e n t ,  too r e a l i z e s  broken with awareness  was  can  see a c o n t i n u i t y and  the break with her  i n c r e a t i n g what she  the  that a disruptive  simply  the  past  reaches and  i s maturer  in  have t r e a t e d h e r more h a r s h l y .  cannot r e t u r n to the  she  part  before  has  Katherine's  circumstances t h a t she  realizes  d e s p i t e the a p p a r e n t l y  o f r e c o g n i s i n g t h a t he  p r o p o r t i o n as  she  fact  past  or the  old l i f e  was  t h a t the  p a s t has  i s i n the  She  person  made, b u t  she  played  a  present:  F o r she knew, now, t h a t i n most l i v e s t h e r e had t o come a b r e a k , when t h e p a s t d r o p p e d away and t h e m a t u r i t y i t had  66 e n c l o s e d f o r so l o n g s t o o d p a i n f u l l y u p r i g h t . . . . l i f e c e a s e d t o be a c o n f u s e d s t u m b l i n g f r o m one i l l u m i n a t i o n t o a n o t h e r , a s e r i e s of unconnected c l e a r i n g s i n a t r o p i c a l f o r e s t , and became a f l a t l a n d s c a p e , w r y a n d r a t h e r s m a l l , w i t h a f e w u n f o r g e t t a b l e l a n d m a r k s somewhat r e s e m b l i n g a s t r e t c h o f f e n l a n d , w h e r e a n o c c a s i o n a l d y k e o r b r o k e n f e n c e shoxis u p f o r m i l e s , a n d t h e s a i l s o f a m i l l t u r n a l l day l o n g i n t h e steady wind. (p. I83) When K a t h e r i n e has r e a c h e d t h i s  stage of awareness,  she  makes a v o l u n t a r y r e t u r n t o h e r p a s t . J o h n i s f o r c e d t o do so by e x t e r n a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s . his  John i s aware of  l i t t l e more t h a n  complete break from the past w h i l s t K a t h e r i n e b e g i n s  both assess the e v a l u a t i n g the  past and t o use present.  its  She b e g i n s  q u a l i t i e s a s a means  of  to look at  her  events of  e v e r y d a y r o u t i n e , h e r e n v i r o n m e n t and h e r work a t i n s t e a d o f s i m p l y a c c e p t i n g them p a s s i v e l y . measure  t h i n g s as  them a s  p e o p l e who u n l i k e h e r s e l f ,  people.  The f i r s t  the  of t h i s  are  library  She a t t e m p t s  they would appear to the F e n n e l s ,  instance  to  to  seeing  i n v o l v e d w i t h l i f e and  o c c u r s as  she w a i t s  to  t a k e M i s s G r e e n home: What w o u l d t h e F e n n e l s t h i n k o f t h i s , K a t h e r i n e w o n d e r e d . She s t o o d w a i t i n g i n t h e e n t r a n c e - h a l l o f t h e l i b r a r y , t h r e e m i n u t e s l a t e r , a s she h a d b e e n b i d d e n . T h i s was a d i m , unheated p l a c e , w i t h double swing-doors l e a d i n g out i n t o the s t r e e t : two s e t s o f g l a s s d o o r s l a y on e i t h e r s i d e , t o t h e L e n d i n g L i b r a r y a n d t o t h e R e a d i n g r o o m . The o n l y p i e c e o f f u r n i t u r e was a l a r g e d o u b l e - s i d e d s t a n d , p a i n t e d d u c k - e g g g r e e n , f o r O f f i c i a l War P h o t o g r a p h s . T h i s was now c o v e r e d w i t h p i c t u r e s o f d e s t r o y e r s , a e r o p l a n e s , and t a n k s i n t h e d e s e r t : sometimes u r c h i n s c r e p t i n and s t a r e d a t them, or p r i s e d out the d r a w i n g - p i n s to s t e a l . High up on the w a l l s , i n t h e shadow f r o m t h e b l a c k e d - o v e r w i n d o w s , h u n g w o r t h l e s s p a i n t i n g s by l o c a l a r t i s t s .  67 What w o u l d t h e y i m a g i n e f r o m h e r l e t t e r ? To them t h e phrase ' w o r k i n g i n a l i b r a r y * would c a l l up a p i c t u r e of c a l f - b o u n d a i s l e s , w i t h her h o l d i n g hushed c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h p r o f e s s o r s , o r d r o w s i n g a t a mahogany d e s k : t h e y w o u l d be u n d e r t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t t h e w o r k i n v o l v e d some f o r m o f s t u d y i n g , u n a w a r e t h a t l i b r a r y a s s i s t a n t s a r e f o r c e d t o do e v e r y t h i n g w i t h books e x c e p t r e a d them. They c e r t a i n l y w o u l d n o t v i s u a l i z e t h e d a i l y r o u n d o f s t r i n g b a g s , t r e m b l i n g o l d men, tramps r e a d i n g newspapers through m a g n i f y i n g g l a s s e s , s o l d i e r s a s k i n g to consult a medical d i c t i o n a r y . (pp. 21-22) In her attempt to reconsider  to apply t h e i r exactly  w h a t she knows o f  b u i l d u p a m e n t a l image o f but her  increased  standards  them.  to her  recall  t h a n she h a s  felt  aware o f t h i s  as  crowds  streets:  i n the  she  since  begins to  details  surroundings created  h e r new c o n t a c t w i t h them g i v e s h e r a s e n s e o f alive  she  them a n d a t t e m p t s  She c a n n o t  s e n s i t i v i t y to her  life  people  more  she came t o E n g l a n d : she  l o o k s out from t h e bus a t  the  by  becomes  Saturday  T h i s k i n d o f s c e n e — t h o u g h i t r e m i n d e d h e r o f t h e m — w o u l d mean n o t h i n g to the Fennels at a l l . They o n l y n o t i c e d t h i n g s t h a t a r t i s t s had been b r i n g i n g under t h e i r noses f o r c e n t u r i e s , such as s u n s e t s and l a n d s c a p e s . O r was t h a t u n j u s t ? I t was a l l very w e l l s a y i n g the Fennels would n o t i c e t h i s or t h a t , b u t h e r m e m o r i e s o f them were n o t a t a l l c l e a r . . . . She l o o k e d f r o m t h e u n e v e n l y - t r a v e l l i n g b u s , a n d saw a c h e a p d r e s s s h o p , where a b a r e - a n k l e d g i r l was a r r a n g i n g a c o p y o f a s t y l i s h model; then a l i n e n - d r a p e r ' s , w i t h an o l d ceremonial f r o n t a g e ; a m i l k - b a r , permanently b l a c k e d - o u t , w i t h the door a j a r and n o - o n e o n t h e t a l l s t o o l s ; a p a w n - s h o p window c r o w d e d w i t h o l d c o i n s , s h i r t s , a t h e o d o l i t e , bed-pans and a h a r p ; a p u b l i c house door w i t h a b r i g h t b r a s s r a i l , j u s t o p e n i n g ; a sudden gap of h i g h , papered w a l l s and a heap of b r i c k s , f u r r e d w i t h f r o s t , where a h o u s e h a d b e e n d e s t r o y e d . T h e r e was n o t h i n g i n a l l t h i s t o r e m i n d h e r of them, y e t i t d i d . ( p p . 29-30) The v e r y d i s c r e p a n c y b e t w e e n what K a t h e r i n e i n such d e t a i l and the  kind of  environment  i s now n o t i c i n g i n which the  Fennels  68 live  indicates  that  the  i n f l u e n c e t h e y h a v e on h e r  simply to remind her of t h e i r a capacity  w i t h them.  i n her s u r r o u n d -  she h a d b e e n d u r i n g t h e  summer  The warmth w i t h w h i c h s h e a s s o c i a t e s t h e  becomes p a r t  of the  Is  present  so t h a t  not  but to r e c r e a t e i n her  f o r b e i n g aware of and i n t e r e s t e d  i n g s however a l i e n , as  detachment  presence  is  spent past  the c o l d q u a l i t y of  changed and a f f e c t s h e r a t t i t u d e  her  towards Miss  Green: K a t h e r i n e , who e v e r s i n c e she h a d g o t u p t h a t m o r n i n g h a d been t h i n k i n g of the Fennels and h e r s e l f w i t h i n c r e a s i n g e x c i t e m e n t , was s u d d e n l y s t a r t l e d t o s y m p a t h y f o r h e r . . i ; I t was s o u n u s u a l t h a t she knew i t t o be l i n k e d w i t h t h e t h a n k f u l n e s s she h a d b e e n f e e l i n g f o r t h e l a s t f e w d a y s . ( P P . 3^-35) She b e g i n s eager to  to attempt  succeed  t o communicate and once s t a r t e d  t h a t her c o n f l i c t w i t h the d e n t i s t  a significant trial—"she make some c o n t a c t . " ally  of the  wanted d e s p e r a t e l y  ( p . 46)  In the  p e r s o n she h a s become  finds herself  same w a y ,  is  becomes  t o move h i m ,  she  involved with Veronica Parbury's troubles  time In her acquaintance  to  uncharacteristic-  i n her detachment,  v i e w i n g M r . A n s t e y as a p e r s o n not a monster  so  f o r the  and  first  with him:  F o r h e r c o n c e p t i o n o f h i m as a h o s t i l e c a r t o o n she h a d t o s u b s t i t u t e a p e r s o n who h a d a n d c o u l d e v o k e f e e l i n g s , who w o u l d u n d e r t a k e t h e s u p p o r t o f a n o l d woman, a n d o n whose a c c o u n t she h a d s e e n a n o t h e r c r y i n g . . . . w h e n she n e x t saw h i s mean f a c e l o o k i n g u p a t h e r , she w o u l d — i f she were honest—be f o r c e d to j u g g l e w i t h r i g h t s and wrongs, i n s t e a d o f p l a i n l y w i s h i n g h i m d e a d . ( p p . 204-5)  69  Despite the  fact  what g o v e r n s t h e c h a n g e everything around her, that  is  ed a t  effective  this  of the past  i n Katherine's attitude it  is  than that  that  during the  i n a c c u r a t e and i s  less  is  towards  h e r p r e c i s e memory o f  events  a p a r t of her which had been d e v e l o p -  i t h a d once e x i s t e d .  s o t o some e x t e n t i n her.  b e i n g t y p i c a l l y E n g l i s h as the  What s h e  summer s p e n t w i t h t h e F e n n e l s  w h i c h have t a k e n p l a c e  herself  the awareness  p a r t i c u l a r s t a g e o f h e r l i f e comes a l i v e a g a i n  she r e c o g n i s e s of events  that  she  because  of the  once  recollects is  in  fact  changes  She remembers t h e F e n n e l s i n d i c a t e s when d e b a t i n g  wisdom o f h a v i n g w r i t t e n t o  as  with  thems  A n d i t m i g h t e v e n be t h a t t h e y w o u l d d i s l i k e d e a l i n g w i t h h e r b e c a u s e o f h e r n a t i o n a l i t y , f o r t h e E n g l i s h , she f o u n d — a n d t h e F e n n e l s were n o t h i n g i f n o t E n g l i s h — w e r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t i m e o f war by a n t a g o n i s m t o e v e r y f o r e i g n c o u n t r y , f r i e n d l y o r u n f r i e n d l y , as a s i m p l e m a t t e r o f i n s t i n c t . ( p . 22) A n d y e t we l e a r n i n B o o k Two t h a t  this  Is not at a l l the  K a t h e r i n e had had of the F e n n e l s ,  since  she had  sense  become  d i s t i n c t l y a w a r e w h i l e s t a y i n g w i t h them o f how much t h e y h a d ceased  t o make h e r f e e l a f o r e i g n e r .  into contact  with other E n g l i s h  F o r w h e n e v e r s h e h a d come  people d u r i n g her v i s i t  h a d made h e r v e r y much a w a r e o f t h e f a c t English.  The woman i n t h e  that  she was n o t  P o s t O f f i c e makes h e r f e e l  "some r a r e a n i m a l i n c a p t i v i t y " ( p .  they  like  133)» a n d J a c k S t o r m a l o n g  c r e a t e s a w k w a r d moments b y f a l l i n g t o make h e r u n d e r s t a n d h i m a n d by t r e a t i n g h e r a s a d i s t i n c t  outsider:  70  he n e v e r s a i d a n y t h i n g t o K a t h e r i n e . When t h e y b r o u g h t h e r i n t o t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n he f o r c e d h i m s e l f t o t a k e n o t i c e o f h e r , b l i n k i n g h i s c o l d b l u e eyes once o r t w i c e . I t was n o t q u i t e as i f t h e y had i n t r o d u c e d t h e m a i d i n t o t h e d i s c u s s i o n , b u t a l l t h e same he seemed d i s c o n c e r t e d . ( p . 160) At the  g y m k h a n a , where t h e  possible, Katherine  crox«xd i s a s  J a n e i s a s much a n o b s e r v e r  t y p i c a l l y E n g l i s h as and as d e t a c h e d  herself.  What c a u s e s K a t h e r i n e t o t h i n k o f t h e F e n n e l s way i s h e r h i g h l y d e v e l o p e d s e n s i t i v i t y t o h e r created  by t h e . s i t u a t i o n w h i c h e x i s t s  because of her g e n e r a l detachment people,  as  when she r e c o l l e c t s  any c o n v i c t i o n h e r b r i e f nor h i s attempt  to k i s s  i n the  in  this  foreignness  present.  Similarly,  and l a c k of c o n t a c t  with  R o b i n she does n o t remember  but powerful f e e l i n g s  of  with  love f o r him  her:  T h e r e h a d b e e n R o b i n , o f c o u r s e ; he h a d p u z z l e d h e r a t f i r s t , b e c a u s e he was so v e r y E n g l i s h — h o w E n g l i s h she n e v e r r e a l i z e d t i l l she met more E n g l i s h p e o p l e — b u t o n c e she h a d g o t u s e d t o h i m he h a d b e e n r a t h e r d u l l . She d i d n o t remember e v e r h a v i n g b e e n a t t r a c t e d by h i m . . . . T h e n a f t e r w a r d s she h a d t o l d h e r f r i e n d s t h a t R o b i n was p a s s i o n a t e l y , s i m p l y m a d l y a n d passionately, i n love with her. One had h a d t o s a y s o m e t h i n g . H a d n ' t he k i s s e d h e r o n c e ? Of h a d she made t h a t u p afterwards? ( p . 180) It  is  significant  that  it  contact w i t h the Fennels  that  she b e g i n s  of a c o n t i n u i t y i n l i f e ,  f o r her  t r a s t s with her the  ideas  summer i n t e r l u d e .  novel the  stress  is  i s when K a t h e r i n e h a s  made  t o have a g a i n a  sense of d i s r u p t e d time  sense con-  of time and t h o s e i m p l i e d of R o b i n i n Throughout the middle s e c t i o n  on t h e  of  the  sense of h i s t o r y and'.a m e a n i n g f u l  71  time continuum.  Katherine is constantly present  reminded of the  and i t s  r e l a t i o n s h i p to the  a place  o f o b v i o u s a n t i q u i t y where p e o p l e a n d t h i n g s  changed o n l y g r a d u a l l y or not a t gymkhana a n d t h e  t i o n of the  all.  p a s s i n g of  is  that  every year and a t  in  have  this  the  event  the  how l i t t l e t h i n g s h a v e c h a n g e d .  children crystallizes this  living  The d e s c r i p t i o n o f  people a t t e n d i n g suggests  one w h i c h m a r k s t h e time establishes  b e c a u s e she  past  is  same  The  descrip-  impression:  F i n a l l y , t h e r e were t h e v i l l a g e c h i l d r e n , t h e e l d e r ones m i n d i n g t h e y o u n g e r , b u s y w i t h a n y t h i n g b u t what was g o i n g on i n the r o p e d - o f f a r e n a . L i t t l e ones s t r a y e d a b o u t a l m o s t under the f e e t of the h o r s e s . S m a l l groups of b u l l e t - h e a d e d b o y s , who a h u n d r e d y e a r s ago w o u l d h a v e b e e n s c a r i n g c r o w s f o r a few pence a week, l i f t e d t h e i r b o t t l e s t o t h e sun t o s e e who c o u l d d r i n k t h e m o s t w i t h o u t s t o p p i n g : ( p . 112) The v i s i t t o O x f o r d i s made on R o b i n ' s clear  that  he enjoys  f e e l i n g of contact  the  s u g g e s t i o n and i t  becomes  s e n s e o f v i s i b l e h i s t o r y where a  w i t h the  c o n t i n u i t y which impresses  past  is  easy to a c h i e v e .  him, whilst Katherine is  It  is  the  more  i m p r e s s e d by t h e d i s p a r i t i e s c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n t h e c o n t i n u u m : B u t , a s he c o n t i n u e d t o r e c i t e t h e l i t a n y o f m o n a s t e r i e s , k i n g s , noblemen and p r e l a t e s , she r e a l i z e d t h a t e v e r y c e n t u r y h a d l e f t a c c r e t i o n s , a n d t h o u g h she d i d n o t t r o u b l e t o f o l l o w h i s d e t a i l s , she was i m p r e s s e d by t h e u n i q u e n e s s o f t h e p l a c e , where s u c h v a r i e t y was c o n t r o l l e d w i t h i n a s i n g l e a t m o s p h e r e . ( p . 139) R o b i n seems t o e n j o y of r e s i s t a n c e buildings;  the  fact that  man h a s a s s e r t e d  some  t o h i s m o r t a l i t y by p e r p e t u a t i n g h i m s e l f  w h i l e K a t h e r i n e sees even O x f o r d i n such a  kind  in his large  72  perspective that man  only i n  it  t o o seems t e m p o r a l , b e i n g d i f f e r e n t f r o m  degree:  s h e l e a n e d b a c k a n d t h o u g h t t h a t a s f a r a s age was c o n c e r n e d , s h e e r age t h a t was a l m o s t t i m e l e s s n e s s , t h e s o u n d o f t h e t r e e s was more i m p r e s s i v e . The s u r r o u n d i n g t r e e - t o p s s e t t l i n g a n d u n s e t t l i n g w i t h a n e n d l e s s s i f t i n g of l e a v e s reminded h e r as she l a y w i t h c l o s e d e y e s o f t h e u n c e a s i n g wash o f waves r o u n d the s h i n g l e of an i s l a n d . They f i l l e d t h e a i r w i t h w h i s p e r i n g o f e t e r n i t y , o f a s n e a r e t e r n i t y a s made no m a t t e r , m a k i n g t h i s p l a c e , famous a s i t w a s , l i k e a l l o t h e r p l a c e s . Like a l l o t h e r p l a c e s , i t was b o t h t e m p o r a l a n d e t e r n a l , a n d she f o u n d t h a t degrees of t e m p o r a l i t y d i d not i n t e r e s t h e r — w h i l e i n e t e r n i t y , o f c o u r s e , t h e r e were no s u c h m e a s u r e m e n t s . ( p . 140) The d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e a t t i t u d e s shown a g a i n t h r o u g h K a t h e r i n e ' s memorial. fact  that  Part of the i t has  become a s s o c i a t e d  interest  w i t h the timelessness  the  She  she r e c o g n i s e s  and attempt  to  that  control  grave.  i s not o n l y a sense of the past w h i c h c r e a t e s  an  o f the time continuum i n the m i d d l e s e c t i o n of  book, but a l s o K a t h e r i n e ' s awareness  of the f u t u r e .  p a r t o f t h e b o o k she s e v e r a l t i m e s d e t a c h e s present  is  of the elements.  since  the timelessness  by n a m i n g t h e o c c u p a n t o f t h e  awareness  Jacobean  i n some way gone b e y o n d t i m e a n d man a n d  he w o u l d be u n e a s y a t  It  i n the  f a s c i n a t i o n i t holds f o r her  does not t e l l R o b i n of h e r f e e l i n g s  it  of K a t h e r i n e and Robin i s  and attempts  r e a l l y become d i s t a n t  t o s e e how i t w i l l from i t .  d i s p a r i t y b e t w e e n what w i l l  herself  In  this  from the  l o o k when s h e  has  She seems f a s c i n a t e d by  seem t o h a v e e x i s t e d a n d h e r  o f s o m e t h i n g m a k i n g a n i m p r e s s i o n on h e r b e y o n d t h e  the  the sense  actual  sequence of events which w i l l own  activities  between R o b i n ,  i n this Jane  be  direction  and  w i t h them.  her  She  feels  i s b e i n g shaped,  immediate ence and that  future  the present  are unrelated: something  and  though  is rapidly T h i s sense  talks  t o K a t h e r i n e about  sense  of h i s t o r y  when K a t h e r i n e w i l l no  s i n c e t h e y have no  the sense  of the future  the l e n g t h of Jacks s t a y , longer  t h a t a f u t u r e w h i c h does n o t c o n t a i n  i t i s as  disturbing  Despite her  she r e s e n t s t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n  Jack about  s i n c e they a r e d i s c u s s i n g a time be  recollected.  awareness of her  they are denying  of c o n t i n u i t y  splitting  by  i t s exist-  indicating  i n t o two  futures  which  o f s e p a r a t i o n i s a d d e d t o , and  gap b e t w e e n them s u g g e s t e d , t h e Thames.  In t h i s  suggests d i f f u s i o n rather  case  than  when R o b i n Robin's  continuity:  " I f we'd l i v e d i n p r e h i s t o r i c t i m e s , b e f o r e E n g l a n d was a n i s l a n d , I c o u l d n e a r l y h a v e t a k e n y o u home. The Thames u s e d to f l o w i n t o the Rhine." ( p . 172) The moment f r o m later, her  of e n t i r e l y  subtracting  the  t h e f l u x , w h i c h K a t h e r i n e becomes f u l l y  is first  last  them a s  impossibility  indicated  whilst  evening  she r e v i e w s  something  finished:  she  the l a s t  present aware o f  i s with the F e n n e l s . t h r e e weeks and  On  regards  I t ' s come t o a n end, she t h o u g h t . No m a t t e r what she t h o u g h t m i g h t h a p p e n , o r what she had done t h a t she r e g r e t t e d , i t was a l l now p a r t o f t h e p a s t . Tomorrow she would u n d e r t a k e t h e l o n g j o u r n e y b a c k t o h e r n o r m a l l i f e , and t h i s i s o l a t e d e x c u r s i o n t o E n g l a n d would remain i n her mind as something i r r e l e v a n t and b e a u t i f u l . F o r b e t t e r o r w o r s e , i t was o v e r ;  74 i t had been d u l l , p e r h a p s ; R o b i n had been l e s s e x c i t i n g t h a n she h a d t h o u g h t he w o u l d b e , b u t t h a t m i g h t be f o r t h e b e s t : The p a r e n t s h a d b e e n t a c t f u l a n d q u i t e u n i n t e r e s t e d i n h e r , w h i c h had been a good t h i n g . The h o u s e , so c o m f o r t a b l e a n d u n p r e t e n t i o u s , w o u l d s t a n d f o r many y e a r s y e t among t h e t r e e s , a n d she w o u l d n o t m i s s i t : A s f o r what she w o u l d t e l l h e r f r i e n d s , she would d i s t o r t h e r v i s i t i n t o s o m e t h i n g a m u s i n g . T h e r e was n o t h i n g s a c r e d a b o u t i t . Y e t f o r a l l t h a t as t h e y f l o a t e d t h e r e she x\ranted t o a d d n o t h i n g m o r e , n o t a word o r a look: I t was f i n i s h e d . ( p . 173) Yet  seconds  disappears  later  Robin kisses  and yet another  her and her  perspective  a d d e d t o what s h e h a d c o n s i d e r e d The i n c i d e n t point.  i n which the  The F e n n e l s  sense of  appears  fully  The f i r s t  and has t o  be  understood.  photo i s  t a k e n makes a  i n t e n d t o t a k e two p h o t o s ,  of K a t h e r i n e a l o n e :  completion  photo i s  similar  a group and  one  taken:  A n d so t h e image o f them s t a n d i n g a n d s i t t i n g i n r e l a x e d . a t t i t u d e s i n t h e e v e n i n g s u n was p r e s s e d o n t o t h e n e g a t i v e for a l l eternity: ( p . 162) Since  t h e r e proves  photo s e r v e s as because i t it  is  is  entirely  group as  t o be no more f i l m  the  image t o be c a r r i e d i n t o t h e  static false:  she a p p e a r s  more a c c u r a t e ;  the  r e a l i t y represents  In the camera,  and r e p r e s e n t s Katherine to be,  this  future.  one But  one moment i n i s o l a t i o n  i s n o t a s much a p a r t o f  and a photo of her a l o n e  the  w o u l d be  group w h i c h i s d e p i c t e d as r e l a x e d ,  in  a c o n t i n u a l l y s h i f t i n g and complex set  of  relationships. In the T h i r d Book, Katherine's  when R o b i n d o e s a c t u a l l y a r r i v e  r o o m s , he f a l l s  to b r i n g the  past  i n t o the  at  present  75 as  K a t h e r i n e had hoped and a n t i c i p a t e d .  i n s u f f i c i e n t allowance for l i k e the  photo, a f a l s e  no l o n g e r  exists•  t h o u g h he h a d h o p e d t h a t  established. with his ful,  and the the iti she  since  by c o n t a c t i n g  from h i s  past  someone a t  has  for his  once  c e a s e d t o be  future  meaning-  from the  against  less able  it  brings  s i t u a t i o n she g a i n s  to accept the  by l a y i n g  and s u p p r e s s i n g e x p e c t a t i o n s  present,  establish  c  d i s r u p t i o n s as  stress  part  on t h e  the  against  present: connections  of a m e a n i n g f u l e x i s t e n c e ,  The l a s t  difference  watch t i c k s  few paragraphs  c l e a r l y and p r o b a b l y  own v i e w s t h r o u g h K a t h e r i n e .  and K a t h e r i n e ' s protests  a  and  c o n t a c t s which have meaning i n  however t e m p o r a r y .  novel establish Larkin s  with  sense of awarenessi  U n l i k e K a t h e r i n e he d o e s n o t do t h i s by s e v e r i n g  to  by  a n d he h a s a s e n s e o f c h a o s a n d d i s l o c a t i o n  w h i c h he f i g h t s  by t r y i n g  present  is destroyed  who h a s a l w a y s s e e n c o n t i n u i t y i n a more r i g i d  of a p a t t e r n ,  connected  d i s a p p o i n t m e n t g r a d u a l l y d i m i n i s h e s and as  s t r e n g t h and e x h i l a r a t i o n from h e r  l i m i t e d way, i s  as  relationship  t h e war a n d t h e u n c e r t a i n t y  sees more c l e a r l y and a c c e p t s t h e  Robin,  v e r s i o n of R o b i n  h i s c h i l d h o o d seems t o be s e v e r e d  Katherine*s  is,  a new c o n t i n u i t y c o u l d be  sister  p a t t e r n he h a d c r e a t e d  k i n d of  that  i s d i s a p p o i n t e d i n the meeting  and w i t h h i s  i n t e r r u p t i o n of  made  t h e R o b i n s h e remembers  The o l d c o n t i n u i t y i s b r o k e n , h i s  parents  so t h a t  that  image,  He t o o  w i t h and d i s s o c i a t e d  is  What s h e h a s  the of  the  present  As t h e n i g h t wears  as a c o n s t a n t  the awareness  but  reminder,  i n s i s t e d o n by t h e  on  Robin  ticking  of  76 the  vra.tch, a n d a t  t r y i n g both to  the  see  same t i m e t a l k s  desperately,  something meaningful i n h i s  make c o n t a c t w i t h K a t h e r i n e . she a c c e p t s the  almost  inevitable  l i f e and  K a t h e r i n e accepts the watch  progress  own a t t i t u d e the  as  of time and i n her  a c c e p t a n c e f i n d s some k i n d o f t r a n q u i l l i t y w h i c h with Robin's restlessness.  to  contrasts  Her s t a t e of mind and L a r k i n ' s  seems t o be c r y s t a l l i z e d i n t h e  f i n a l image  of  novel:  T h e r e was t h e s n o w , a n d h e r w a t c h t i c k i n g . So many s n o w f l a k e s , so many s e c o n d s . A s t i m e p a s s e d t h e y seemed t o m i n g l e i n t h e i r m i n d s , h e a p i n g up i n t o a v a s t shape t h a t m i g h t be a b u r i a l m o u n d , o r t h e c l i f f o f a n i c e b e r g whose summit i s o u t o f s i g h t : I n t o i t s shadow dreams c r o w d e d , f u l l of c o n c e p t i o n s and s t i r r i n g s of c o l d , as i f icefloes were m o v i n g down a l i g h t l e s s c h a n n e l o f w a t e r . They w e r e going i n o r d e r l y slow p r o c e s s i o n , moving from darkness f u r t h e r i n t o d a r k n e s s , a l l o w i n g no s u g g e s t i o n t h a t t h e i r o r d e r s h o u l d be b r o k e n , o r t h a t one d a y , h o w e v e r many y e a r s d i s t a n t , the darkness would b e g i n t o g i v e place to l i g h t . Y e t t h e i r p a s s a g e was n o t s a d d e n i n g . U n s a t i s f i e d dreams r o s e and f e l l about them, c r y i n g out a g a i n s t t h e i r i m p l a c a b i l i t y , b u t i n t h e end g l a d t h a t s u c h o r d e r , s u c h d e s t i n y , e x i s t e d . A g a i n s t t h i s k n o w l e d g e , t h e h e a r t , t h e w i l l , a n d a l l t h a t made for protest, could at last sleep, ( p : 248) The j u x t a p o s i n g of the  images  of the  which operate  day i n w h i c h t h e and the As the less  frost  throughout the  throughout  events take place  is  the n o v e l .  The w h o l e  one o f t e n s i o n .  The  h a v e seemed a p r e l u d e t o snow w h i c h h a s n o t  snow f a l l s  intense.  snow a n d t h e w a t c h i s a d r a w i n g t o g e t h e r  the  In the  tension  cold come:  i s b r o k e n a n d t h e c o l d becomes  same w a y , K a t h e r i n e h a s b e e n m o v i n g  day, which i s a l s o her  life  i n microcosm,  t o w a r d s a n a c c e p t a n c e o f a n o r d e r a n d d e s t i n y w h i c h she  cannot  77 resist;  an order which i s represented  p a s s i n g hours from c l o c k s , The t i m e s t r u c t u r e common w i t h there  that  watches of A G i r l  to  indicate that  and  i m p l i e s a l l o t h e r moments;  the  i l l u s i o n of the  and  and  end o f l i f e .  a n y one moment  that  the  The e v e n t s  of A G i r l  the whole p a t t e r n of her l i f e  Fennels,  is  explored.  i s always kept  immediate past and the  emphasis  in  i n c o n t r o l by present.  the  on the  Time i s  library  p h y s i c a l time serves This is  to  to  timetable. emphasise  shown m o s t  the  clearly Robin's  s u d d e n l y s u s p e n d e d a n d she becomes a w a r e  t h e way i n w h i c h t h e the  the  she c o n s t a n t l y r e f e r s  K a t h e r i n e h a s r e c e i v e d news o f t h e c a n c e l l i n g o f  ment a b o u t  that  As In M r s .  summer s p e n t w i t h  t o keep t o the  s h i f t i n g speed of mental t i m e .  visit.  i n Winter  b o t h she a n d t h e r e a d e r a r e v e r y much a w a r e o f  her watch and attempts  after  steady  i n t h e ' t h i r d book of t h e n o v e l , w h i l s t K a t h e r i n e  p a s s i n g o f t h e h o u r s f r o m noon as  This  controlled  l i f e , but  t h e w r i t e r ' s s t r e s s o n t h e movement o f t i m e i n t h e  assesses her  have  end o f t h e d a y a n d by  day  example,  contains  c l o c k s a n d w a t c h e s mark a  c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n one d a y o f K a t h e r i n e ' s  For  In both  i n d i v i d u a l can  are  the use of f l a s h b a c k  the  I n W i n t e r h a s much i n  i n e x o r a b l e movement t o w a r d s t h e  Dalloway,  of  timetables.  speeding up and s l o w i n g of time  whilst constantly  i m p l i c a t i o n the  signals  of V i r g i n i a W o o l f ' s Mrs I D a l l o w a y .  is a desire  by h i m s e l f ,  by t h e  visit:  pace o f t h e day has  e c h o e d h e r own  of excite-  78 He h a d b e e n t h e power t h a t h a d s e t t h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y d a y m o v i n g , t h a t i n c r e a s e d i t s s p e e d u n t i l she a n d a f e w o t h e r c h a n c e t h i n g s a n d p e o p l e were d r a w n u p i n a k i n d o f w h i r l i n g tower of a i r , t h e i r f a c e s m e e t i n g , t h e i r hands t o u c h i n g , seemingly the only t h i n g s l e f t i n the w o r l d . And now, l i k e t h e s w i t c h i n g - o f f o f a c u r r e n t , he s a i d he was n o t c o m i n g , and t h e y were a l l l e f t t h e r e , s p i n n i n g i n t h e e m p t i n e s s , t i l l t h e i m p e t u s s h o u l d be e x h a u s t e d a n d t h e y were t u m b l e d back on the f l o o r . ( p p . 212-213) With the  sudden decrease i n speed the  l i n k i n g w i t h the next u n t i l is  lost,  s e n s e o f e a c h moment  o n l y t h e movement i s  a n d K a t h e r i n e once a g a i n f i n d s h e r s e l f  slowness of time and the meaninglessness and i t s  r e l a t i o n s h i p to the r e s t  t h i n k of her existence  i n the  aware of  the  o f b o t h t h e moment  of her l i f e .  following  apparent  She b e g i n s  to  terms:  B u t d i d she r e a l l y c a r e what she d i d i n E n g l a n d ? There w o u l d be o t h e r t h i n g s f o r h e r t o d o , a n d w h a t e v e r i t was s h e w o u l d do i t u n w i l l i n g l y , o b s t i n a t e l y , a s i f she were w o r k i n g i n a f i e l d ; what she d i d w o u l d be e m p t i e d away l i k e a p a i n f u l l y - f i l l e d b a s k e t , a n d h e r t i m e w o u l d be s p i l l e d away w i t h it. T h e r e w o u l d be s l e e p , s i m p l y t o f r e s h e n h e r a g a i n f o r w o r k ; t h e r e w o u l d be o t h e r M i s s G r e e n s , M i s s P a r b u r y s , M r i A n s t e y s ; a l l t h i s was i n e s c a p a b l e , a n d i t d i d n o t m a t t e r i f she a c c e p t e d i t o r n o t : It accepted her: ( p . 216) As i n J i l l , the  journey  image,  t h e t i m e theme s i n c e movements  e m o t i o n a l development are j o u r n e y o f some k i n d . particular  i s r e l a t e d t o the use  of  i n time and progress  of  o f t e n d e p i c t e d by means o f a p h y s i c a l  Once a g a i n a n d f o r t h e  image o f t h e r a i l w a y j o u r n e y a n d t h e  contained w i t h i n the r a i l w a y c a r r i a g e use of t h i s  same r e a s o n s  image a n d o f t h e o t h e r  travellers  i s e x p l o r e d , but i n  images t h e r e  the  i s some  the  difference.  79 I  n  J  i l l  John i s  journeys his  o n l y h a l f aware of the  and m a t u r i t y ; f o r K a t h e r i n e the  becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y e x p l i c i t ; t o E n g l a n d , have been r e l a t e d i n her outlook that  H e r two m a j o r  journeys,  so o b v i o u s l y t o  important  f o r her the n a t u r a l  o f h e r s e n s e o f any e m o t i o n a l change of a journeyi summer s p e n t  with  the Fennels  is described,  our l a c k of  s h e has a s t r o n g d e s i r e  of h e r s e l f  to get  and, through l i v i n g  different  both of h e r s e l f with  in  i n half realised  and R o b i n s h o r t l y a f t e r  " A n d we w e r e t i r e d a f t e r  contacting  is  terms  people,  and o t h e r  response  journeys" towards  outside the  in a different  She c o n t r a s t s  the  Katherine's  t o add something to her  people.  the  Katherine uses  T h i s comment i s d e v e l o p e d i n J a n e ' s a t t i t u d e  limits  both  I n t h e m i d d l e s e c t i o n o f t h e book i n w h i c h  t o J a n e ' s comment o n h e r s e l f  generally,  link  expression  taking place  t r a v e l image o n l y r a r e l y a n d p e r h a p s  arrivals  his  back and f o r t h between H u d d l e s f o r d and O x f o r d and  i n c r e a s i n g awareness  changes  l i n k between  her  (pi 92).  travel narrow world, awareness attitude  Robin'ss  " I l i k e t o know a b o u t p l a c e s . . . . A l l y o u c a r e a b o u t i s the b i r t h r a t e and the s t a n d a r d of l i v i n g . I want t o know what I s h o u l d f e e l l i k e i f I l i v e d t h e r e . " ( p . 96) Something of her d e s i r e contact that  w i t h K a t h e r i n e communicates  she t h i n k s o f t h e  together  to gain at  "as  time the  i f the three  least  a part of t h i s  itself  three  to Katherine  o f them h a v e  through so  spent  o f them h a d b e e n w a n d e r i n g i n a  80  g r e e n m a z e , g e t t i n g no n e a r e r t h e v e r y end o f t h e about the  effect  c r y s t a l l i z e s as the  three  the c e n t r e "  (p.  Towards  115)*  weeks h o l i d a y K a t h e r i n e ' s  o f R o b i n a n d t h e h o l i d a y on h e r  feelings  life  she w a t c h e s R o b i n m a n o e u v e r i n g t h e b o a t  down  river:  T h e r e was s o m e t h i n g f o r m a l a b o u t h i m , a s i f h e r were a f i g u r e i n a l l e g o r y , c a r r y i n g h e r a s t a g e f u r t h e r o n some u n d e f i n e d journey. ( p i 172) During the w i n t e r sections recurs  i n Katherine's mind,  with Robin, for family that home:  of the book,  it  it  is  once a g a i n i n  i s h e r renewed awareness  causes her t o f e e l ,  as  journey  as  if  important  journey"  of him and h i s  she accompanies  Miss Green  s h e were e n t e r i n g o n a f r e s h s t a g e o f (p.  29).  The i m p o r t a n t  be h e r new a b i l i t y t o r e s p o n d t o her response  someone  image  association  " E v e n g e t t i n g o n t h e bus g a v e a momentary f l i c k e r  pleasure,  to get  when t h e  of  some  journey proves  to  l i k e M i s s Green and  a l s o takes the form of wanting to h e l p M i s s  Green  somewhere:  T h i s was what s h e h a d n o t h a d f o r a g e s , a p e r s o n d e p e n d e n t o n h e r : t h e r e were s t r e e t s a r o u n d t h a t she must h e l p h e r t o c r o s s , b u s e s she m u s t h e l p h e r on a n d a f t e r w a r d s buy t h e t i c k e t s , f o r t h e p a i n t h e g i r l was s u f f e r i n g h a d h a l f - o b l i t e r a t e d h e r n o t i c e of the w o r l d . I n t h e d u l l s u b u r b was h e r home, a n d she must h e l p h e r t o r e a c h i t s a f e l y , and hand h e r o v e r t o whoever would take care of her n e x t . ( p ; 35) The l e t t e r  from R o b i n m a i n t a i n s and even i n c r e a s e s  she h a s b e g u n t o f e e l ,  what  f o r she s e e s h e r m e e t i n g w i t h R o b i n a s  81 a new s t a g e o f a s s e s s m e n t _ i n from which her l i f e w i l l of t h i s  that  which w i l l of the  t a k e a new d i r e c t i o n .  she s e t s o f f  in its  h e r l i f e and perhaps a It  point is  to her meeting w i t h Miss  because  Parbury,  t u r n provide her w i t h a wider r e c o g n i t i o n  people around h e r ,  undefined but necessary  with her  earlier  f e e l i n g of  an  journey:  I t seemed q u i t e n a t u r a l t o h e r t o s e t o f f o n t h i s e r r a n d a s s h e made h e r way t o w a r d s t h e B a n k S t r e e t b u s - s t o p o n c e m o r e i T h i s d a y was a l r e a d y so u n l i k e o t h e r d a y s t h a t i t was b e g i n n i n g to resemble an odyssey i n a dream: to f i n d h e r s e l f i n strange p l a c e s , l o o k i n g f o r strange p e o p l e , folloxtfing out t h i n threads of c o i n c i d e n c e ; ( p p . 179-180) In  retrospect,  after  the telegram c a n c e l l i n g R o b i n ' s  visit,  t h e w h o l e d a y seems l i k e a j o u r n e y t o w a r d s a d i s c o v e r y : s h e f e l t t i r e d , a s i f t h a t day she h a d made a j o u r n e y . ; : . She knew she h a d made some d i s c o v e r y a b o u t h e r s e l f , b u t j u s t a t t h e moment she h a d f o r g o t t e n what i t w a s , a n d i n c l i n e d t o t h i n k she h a d b e e n f a n c y i n g i t . ( p . 225) She h a s n o t she has  i n f a c t y e t made t h e d i s c o v e r y a b o u t  simply prepared h e r s e l f  herself;  through the d a y ' s events  for  the r e c o g n i t i o n which f o l l o w s her meeting w i t h R o b i n : that k i n d of contact  she h a s b e e n h o p i n g f o r f r o m t h e m e e t i n g  R o b i n may n o t be p o s s i b l e , realizing this In  this  she  learns  at  least  for her,  but that  something about the  s i t u a t i o n h e r demands a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s  r e l a t i o n s h i p a r e d i m i n i s h e d a n d she i n a l i m i t e d but p o s i t i v e way.  It  is  left  i s at  free to  this  with  in  q u a l i t y of from  the  life.  the respond  point that  the  82  image o f t h e r a i l w a y c a r r i a g e  occurs:  What a b s t r a c t k i n d l i n e s s s h e c o u l d command was a t h i s s e r v i c e , b u t i t was no more t h a n she m i g h t show t o a f e l l o w - t r a v e l l e r i n a r a i l w a y - c a r r i a g e or on board a s t e a m e r . I n d e e d , t h a t was t h e s t r o n g e s t b o n d she f e l t b e t w e e n t h e m , t h a t t h e y were j o u r n e y i n g t o g e t h e r , w i t h t h e snow, the d i s c o m f o r t , t h e f o o d t h e y s h a r e d , t h e b e d s t h a t were n o t warm e n o u g h . In this s i t u a t i o n she n e e d know n o t h i n g more a b o u t h i m : t h e r e was a f i r e , t h a t h e p a i d t o k e e p b u r n i n g ; she h a d h o t c o f f e e s h e c o u l d g i v e h i m ; t h e r e was s o much l a c o n i c m u t u a l h e l p , w h i l e o u t s i d e l a y t h e p l a i n s , t h e absence of t h e moon, t h e c o m p l e t e enmity of d a r k n e s s . ( p i 237) The j o u r n e y paragraphs  of course  one d e s t i n a t i o n ,  d e s c r i b i n g the  The j o u r n e y  are  icefloes  image i s a l s o  a c t i o n of the n o v e l . journeys  has  Katherine's  i n which i t  Katherine journey, affected.  i s brought but the  worked out  i n terms  calm, clear  on which h e r  The s e c o n d t i m e on w h i c h she  and the d e s t r u c t i o n of t h i n g s  the  important  i s t y p i f i e d by  t o g r e a t e r awareness  premises  of  t o England between  The f i r s t  takes place,  two  indicate.  two j o u r n e y s  t h e w i n t e r a n d t h e war r e f l e c t  her  last  A s a l r e a d y m e n t i o n e d t h e most  t h e r e i s a. s t r o n g c o n t r a s t . weather  as the  the  and warm.  as a r e s u l t  life  which  of  i s based are  journeys  this not  to England,  t h e u p h e a v a l , t h e l a c k o f warmth Katherine had thought basic  to  personality:  She k n e w — f o r s u c h a b r e a k b r i n g s k n o w l e d g e , b u t no a d d i t i o n a l s t r e n g t h — t h a t h e r o l d way o f l i v i n g was f i n i s h e d . In the past she t h o u g h t she had f o u n d h a p p i n e s s t h r o u g h t h e i n t e r p l a y o f h e r s e l f and other p e o p l e . The m o s t i m p o r t a n t t h i n g h a d b e e n t o p l e a s e t h e m , t o l o v e t h e m , t o l e a r n them so f u l l y t h a t t h e i r p e r s o n a l i t i e s were a s d i s t i n c t a s t h e t a s t e o f d i f f e r e n t f r u i t s . Now t h i s b r o u g h t h a p p i n e s s no l o n g e r : she no l o n g e r f e l t t h a t  83 she was e x a l t e d o r made more w o r t h y i f she c o u l d s p i n h e r f r i e n d s h i p s t o i n c r e d i b l e s u b t l e t y and f i n e n e s s ; I t was s o m e t h i n g she had t i r e d o f d o i n g . A n d what h a d r e p l a c e d i t ? H e r e she was a t a l o s s ; She was n o t s u r e i f a n y t h i n g h a d replaced i t . She was n o t s u r e i f a n y t h i n g w o u l d r e p l a c e i t : ( p p . 183-4) Again Larkin is asserting that is necessary, mistic  though development i n awareness  i t does not b r i n g h a p p i n e s s o r enable a n  view of l i f e ,  s i n c e awareness  l o n e l i n e s s and u l t i m a t e  opti-  can only r e v e a l man's  helplessness.  T h e r e a r e many m i n o r j o u r n e y s f o r K a t h e r i n e w i t h i n context  of the major ones.  Whilst  a r e t h e t r i p s down t h e r i v e r .  she i s  of Jane i s  i n Oxfordshire there  On one o f w h i c h K a t h e r i n e  becomes a w a r e o f h e r l o v e f o r R o b i n , t h a t her awareness  the  o n a n o t h e r she  recognises  f a r from b e i n g c o m p l e t e , and on  a t h i r d t h e n e a t scheme o f t h e h o l i d a y s h e h a s f o r m e d i n h e r h e a d i s d i s r u p t e d when R o b i n k i s s e s h e r .  The v a r i o u s w a l k s  t h r o u g h t h e v i l l a g e a n d f r o m t h e gymkhana a l l mark some i n development; h e r t o see is  The j o u r n e y made t o O x f o r d w i t h R o b i n  c l e a r l y that  the  progress enables  image she h a s b u i l t u p a r o u n d R o b i n  e n t i r e l y erroneous and l e a d s h e r to a g r e a t e r awareness  Jane and the reasons Fennels;  u n d e r l y i n g the  I n the w i n t e r s e c t i o n s  bus j o u r n e y s . t o make c o n t a c t  i n v i t a t i o n to v i s i t  o f t h e b o o k she makes  of  the three  On t h e f i r s t h e r d e s i r e t o be more o u t g o i n g a n d with others manifests  her to admit that  itself.  people are not c a r i c a t u r e s ,  l i k e M r i A n s t e y has  The s e c o n d that  leads  e v e n someone  f e e l i n g s a n d v u l n e r a b i l i t i e s she h a d c h o s e n  84 to  ignorei  leads  The t h i r d  j o u r n e y home f r o m w o r k i s  the  t o h e r m e e t i n g w i t h R o b i n and h e r r e c o g n i t i o n of  l i m i t a t i o n s and those of  awareness, journey  the  same p r o g r e s s  The  t o O x f o r d w i t h K a t h e r i n e seems t o b r i n g h i m t o a  factorily.  o f h i m s e l f w i t h w h i c h he c a n n o t  K a t h e r i n e has  reached  the  This difference meeting.  i s most  same a w a r e n e s s  R o b i n i s about  d e s t i n a t i o n a n d he thing which i s  is  c l e a r l y apparent  t o make a j o u r n e y  coming t o E n g l a n d i n w a r t i m e :  i s o l a t i o n but shore up h i s  of h e r s ;  tries  desparately  s e n s e o f what l i f e  ahead of him have  to  n o r m a l l y r e g a r d e d as most  i n such a s i t u a t i o n . what v a l u e s  He l i e s are  left  react;  from  every-  K a t h e r i n e had been to h i s  look for  establish  should be;  forced him to r e a l i z e  earlier  t o a n unknown  His reaction  he d o e s n o t  satis-  winter  i n v o l v e d w i t h a s i m i l a r break  f a m i l i a r to him j u s t as  opposite  in their  very  deal  a n d u n d e r s t o o d b e t t e r what was h a p p e n i n g a n d how t o  himself  towards  t h o u g h he i s a l w a y s l e s s a w a r e t h a n K a t h e r i n e :  s t a r t l e d awareness  i s the  her  life.  To some e x t e n t R o b i n u n d e r g o e s  are  one w h i c h  that  important lose  situation  strength  in  relationships  and y e t  the  the values their  on  to  prospects iihich  significance  awake t r y i n g t o w o r k o u t  for  to him:  " O n e ' s g o t t o h a v e some s o r t o f a i m i n l i f e , o r y o u m i g h t a s w e l l be d e a d : L i s t e n w h o ' s t a l k i n g . My c h a n c e s a r e n ' t w o r t h much: B u t t a k e t h e s e b l o k e s who a r e g e t t i n g m a r r i e d , t h e r e was one o n l y l a s t w e e k ; I t h i n k i t ' s s i l l y o f t h e m , d o w n r i g h t silly: What's the point of i t ? You l e a v e the g i r l , and get y o u r s e l f w i p e d o u t . . . I d o n ' t o n l y mean i t f r o m a p r a c t i c a l  85 p o i n t o f v i e w — . . 1 . I mean w h o ' s g o t a n y t h i n g t o o f f e r a n y o n e these days? Badly put. I say, I'm sorry to burble l i k e t h i s i But i t ' s not worth w h i l e . Obviously i t ' s the only w o r t h w h i l e t h i n g , a c a r e e r and g e t t i n g a f a m i l y , i n c r e a s i n g and m u l t i p l y i n g , whatever t h a t means. B u t when y o u d o n ' t f e e l i t — I m e a n , i f I a s k e d y o u , f o r i n s t a n c e , t o m a r r y me, y o u ' d refuse, wouldn't y o u . . i w o u l d n ' t you?" " I suppose s o . " " W e l l , there you a r e , t h e n . " ( p . 247) Despite t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n that  something has happened t o a l l  t r a d i t i o n a l values, Robin retains altogether  a reluctance  and f o l l o w s up these s p e c u l a t i o n s  suppressed d e s i r e  r e f l e c t i o n o f a m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n , j u s t as i n Winter the  assert  i s used as it  is  individual descriptions  a  in J i l l ,  but  f i t more  closely  one o v e r a l l p a t t e r n a n d a r e more t i g h t l y i n t e g r a t e d  the c e n t r a l theme, essential  which i s a growing awareness  isolation.  Much o f t h e a c t i o n o f J i l l  i n autumn a n d , though the  season  i s melancholy,  moments o f b e a u t y w h i c h l i n k i t w i t h e a r l i e r A Girl the  half  toi  D e s c r i p t i o n of p h y s i c a l environment  into  with a  them go  t o make K a t h e r i n e m a r r y h i m a n d t h u s  a v a l u e he i s a c c u s t o m e d  in A Girl  to l e t  i n Winter sharp contrast  i n the  themes  The o p e n i n g p a r a g r a p h s same f u n c t i o n a s t h o s e  of J i l l  it  as  with  man's  takes  i s made b e t w e e n t h e  T h i s movement f r o m t h e a u t u m n o f J i l l echoed  of  place  has  seasons.  past and the uncompromising w i n t e r c o l d n e s s  i n Winter i s  the  In  summer  of the  of  present.  to the winter of A G i r l I shall indicate  of A G i r l  later.  i n Winter perform  in setting  the  the tone which i s  to  86  dominate  the n o v e l .  entirely  of a g e n e r a l i s e d  w i t h snow a n d f r o s t . qualities  of  The f i r s t  section  of the  d e s c r i p t i o n of the  The e m p h a s i s  lies  book effects  on t h e  consists of  winter,  paralyzing  winter:  V i l l a g e s were c u t o f f u n t i l g a n g s o f men c o u l d c l e a r a p a s s a g e o n t h e r o a d s ; t h e l a b o u r e r s c o u l d n o t go o u t t o w o r k , and on t h e aerodromes n e a r t h e s e v i l l a g e s a l l f l y i n g r e m a i n e d c a n c e l l e d : 1 1 1 P e o p l e were u n w i l l i n g t o get u p . To l o o k a t t h e snow t o o l o n g h a d a h y p n o t i c e f f e c t , d r a w i n g away a l l power o f c o n c e n t r a t i o n , a n d t h e c o l d seemed t o cramp t h e b o n e s , making work h a r d e r and u n p l e a s a n t . Nevertheless, the c a n d l e s h a d t o be l i t , a n d t h e i c e i n t h e j u g s s m a s h e d , a n d t h e m i l k u n f r o z e n ; t h e men h a d t o be g i v e n t h e i r b r e a k f a s t s and got o f f t o work i n t h e y a r d s . L i f e h a d t o be c a r r i e d o n , i n no m a t t e r what c i r c u m s c r i b e d w a y . ( p . 11) But t h i s quality  is of  o f f s e t by two t h i n g s ; the  light  emanating  the  first  from the  of these i s  the  snow:  I n c o n t r a s t t o t h e snow t h e s k y l o o k e d b r o w n . I n d e e d , w i t h o u t t h e snow t h e m o r n i n g w o u l d h a v e r e s e m b l e d a J a n u a r y n i g h t f a l l , f o r what l i g h t t h e r e was seemed t o r i s e u p f r o m i t . ( p i 11) 1  The s e c o n d  t h i n g the  the r a i l w a y , f o r t h i s in spite  of  the  snow b r i n g s still  effects  with  affords  of the  it  is  the  a means o f  awareness  of  communication  weather:  B u t t h r o u g h t h e c u t t i n g s a n d a l o n g embankments r a n t h e r a i l w a y l i n e s , a n d a l t h o u g h t h e y were empty t h e y l e d o n n o r t h wards and southwards t i l l t h e y began t o j o i n , p a s s i n g factories t h a t h a d w o r k e d a l l n i g h t , a n d t h e b a c k s o f h o u s e s where l i g h t showed r o u n d t h e c u r t a i n s , r e a c h i n g t h e c i t i e s where t h e snow was d i s r e g a r d e d , a n d w h i c h t h e f r o s t c o u l d ' o n l y b e s i e g e f o r a few d a y s , b i t t e r l y : ( p p . 11-12)  87 Through t h i s  d e s c r i p t i o n L a r k i n suggests K a t h e r i n e ' s  mind w h i l s t i n E n g l a n d i n w a r t i m e , where t h e ness and i s o l a t i o n cause her to r e t r e a t numbness a n d I n c r e a s e h e r of s t r e n g t h the  isolation.  in isolation is  l i g h t a f f o r d e d by t h e  k i n d of contacts are  into a state  is  of  loneliof  awareness  by t h e d e s c r i p t i o n  snow a n d h e r f i n a l  possible  enforced  Her g r a d u a l  suggested  state  sense of  i l l u s t r a t e d i n the  of  what  description  of the r a i l w a y ^ A similar progression the weather  i n the  i l l u s t r a t e d by v a r i a t i o n s  summer s e q u e n c e .  E n g l a n d t h e day i s h o t , that  is  When K a t h e r i n e a r r i v e s  unblemished,  suggests an i n e v i t a b l e  future  in  i n a s t a t e of  in  perfection  deterioration:  The m o r n i n g when s h e came t o E n g l a n d f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e h a d b e e n s t i l l a n d h o t ; n o t a n a c c i d e n t a l f i n e d a y , b u t one o f a s e r i e s t h a t had a l r e a d y l a s t e d a week; E a c h h a d seemed more f l a w l e s s t h a n t h e one b e f o r e i t , a s i f i n t h e i r s l o w g a t h e r i n g of d e p t h and p l a c i d i t y t h e y were p r o g r e s s i n g t o w a r d s p e r f e c t i o n . The s k y was d e e p b l u e a s i f made r i c h e r by t h e e n d l e s s r e c e s s i o n o f p a s t s u m m e r s : t h e s e a s m o o t h , a n d when a wave l i f t e d t h e s u n shone t h r o u g h i t as t h r o u g h a t r a n s p a r e n t g r e e n window! ( p : 67) At t h i s  stage i n her  l i f e K a t h e r i n e has  experienced  d i s a p p o i n t m e n t o r d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t a n d she h a s n o t h i n g t o make h e r is  question herself  l i k e t h e day i n t h a t  and happiness  at  g r e a t e r awareness ful;  This point  no  encountered  o r h e r way o f l i f e :  she h a s r e a c h e d a p o i n t o f  w h i c h she must e i t h e r  remain or  maturity  through  a n d m a t u r i t y become s a d d e n e d a n d l e s s i s made more e x p l i c i t l a t e r  She  i n the  hope-  novel  88  when K a t h e r i n e t h i n k s o f g i r l s do n o t a p p e a r  she h a d known a t  to have e x p e r i e n c e d  the  sort  s c h o o l who  of break that  she  h a s made w h i l s t i n E n g l a n d a l o n e : g i r l s she h a d known h a d s l i p p e d c o s i l y f r o m c h i l d h o o d t o m a r r i a g e , a n d t h e i r l i v e s w o u l d be one l o n g u n i n t e l l i g e n t summer; ( p i I83) As the v i s i t to  the Fennels  draws t o a c l o s e  and  finds herself  w i t h a more c o m p l e x a n d p e r h a p s  view of  so t o o t h e  life,  summer b e g i n s  Katherine  less  t o merge  certain  i n t o autumn:  The w e a t h e r , a f t e r t h e d a s h o f r a i n , s t a b i l i z e d i n p l e a s a n t warm s u n s h i n e , a n d i n t h e e v e n i n g s t h e r e was o c c a s i o n a l l y a c h i l l i n the b l u e shadows, an I n f i n i t e s i m a l h i n t of autumnal f r o s t , s a d d e n i n g i n any c i r c u m s t a n c e s . ( p i 163) In contrast  to the  c l a r i t y of the c o l o u r s and the  d i s t i n c t i o n between experiences and the autumn; ations,  shadow a n d l i g h t w h i c h K a t h e r i n e  on h e r a r r i v a l , the  easy d i s t i n c t i o n s In the  less  c o l o u r s become more possible  same way K a t h e r i n e * s  and d e c i s i v e  easy judgements,  emotional responses  she  W h i l s t she  i d e n t i f i e s her  subtle  w i t h the approach  that  of  evalu-  have developed  s o m e t h i n g more c o m p l e x a n d l e s s d e f i n a b l e b u t a t not unpleasant:  sharp  into  moment  i s out on the w a t e r w i t h R o b i n  emotional s t a t e with her  environment:  The w a t e r was t h e c o l o u r o f p e w t e r , f o r t h e a f t e r g l o w h a d f a d e d r a p i d l y and l e f t a q u a l i t y of l i g h t t h a t resembled e a r l y dawni I t h a d d r a w n o f f t h e b r i g h t n e s s f r o m t h e meadows a n d s t u b b l e f i e l d s , t h a t vrere now t a r n i s h e d s i l v e r a n d p a l e y e l l o w , a n d t h e shadows w e r e s l o w l y m i x i n g w i t h t h e m i s t . I n t h i s way  89 t h e e d g e s o f h e r e m o t i o n s h a d b l u r r e d , a n d t h e y now o v e r l a i d e a c h o t h e r l i k e t w i n p l a n e s o f w a t e r r u n n i n g o v e r wet s a n d , the l a s t expenditure of succeeding waves. T h e r e was no l o n g e r a n y d i s c o r d i n t h e m ; she f e l t a t p e a c e . ( p . 172) Throughout the r e s t with her all  environment;  round her,  The q u a l i t y o f  of the n o v e l K a t h e r i n e  She s e e s i n t h e b l e a k n e s s  h e r own e m o t i o n a l c o l d n e s s  and  identifies of  winter  isolation:  t h e w i n t e r s c e n e seems t o t y p i f y what l i f e  come t o a p p e a r t o  has  her:  F o r t h e w o r l d seemed t o h a v e moved o f f a l i t t l e , a n d t o h a v e l o s t i t s i m m e d i a c y , a s a b r i g h t p a t t e r n w i l l f a d e i n many washings. I t was l i k e a p a i n t i n g o f a w i n t e r l a n d s c a p e i n n e u t r a l c o l o u r s , o r a n o c t u r n e i n many g r e y s o f t h e r i v e r s i d e , y e t n o t so b e a u t i f u l a s e i t h e r : ( p : 184) She  t h i n k s of h e r s e l f  its  c o l o u r as  if  f o r t h e monotones that  it  seem t o  i s her  as  t h e a g e n t w h i c h has robbed l i f e  she were c o l o u r b l i n d a n d t h u s through her  own f a u l t y v i s i o n ;  own e m o t i o n a l c o l d n e s s  l a c k warmth and v a r i e t y ,  ment does n o t  of  itself  c o l o u r s and produces Elsewhere  lose  c o l o u r but the  t h e monotone  images  left  the  London as  feels life  snow o v e r l a y s  of the c o l d are used to d e s c r i b e  "affecting (pi 182).  as h a v i n g the  the  effects:  in:  the  she  e f f e c t o n h e r o f h e r d e s o l a t i o n when she  of a hard f r o s t " Fennels  She  physical environ-  s t a t e o f e m o t i o n a l s u s p e n s i o n she f i n d s h e r s e l f describes  responsible  w h i c h h a s made  j u s t as t h e  of  had  h e r no more t h a n t h e d i s c o m f o r t  say,  She t h i n k s o f t h e m e e t i n g ; w i t h  p o t e n t i a l i t y to  "warm b a c k t o  life  the  part  90  of h e r t h a t  had been f r o z e n "  (p.  185)*  A s she  her attempts  t o h e l p M i s s G r e e n she t h i n k s  more t h a n i f  she h a d h a n d e d h e r a n e l a b o r a t e  left  f o r weeks  tasteless" of  (pi  in a refrigerator,  cold to describe  she  is  "about  " s h e h a d done no basket of  h e r r e c e p t i o n o f h i m ; he t e l l s  however,  on a d i f f e r e n t  aspect.  and excitement  she  the  fruit  i n s t i n c t i v e l y uses an  as f r i e n d l y as a b l a s t e d b l o c k of  At times,  ice"  that  ( p . 238).  same w i n t e r e n v i r o n m e n t  the w i n t e r scene w i t h  image  her  takes  When K a t h e r i n e h a s a s e n s e o f  looks at  on  a l l f r o s t e d over and  Robin, too,  185)»  l o o k s back  purpose  pleasure:  s h e f e l t t h a t e v e n t h e c o l d was d e l i g h t f u l . M i s s B r o o k s w o u l d see i t i n t e r m s o f t h e d e a d e n i n g snow t h a t was l i t t e r e d e v e r y w h e r e , b u t t o K a t h e r i n e t h e f r o s t made e v e r y t h i n g s t a n d a l o n e and s p a r k l e i ( p i 29) The n u m b i n g q u a l i t y o f t h e Miss Green i s coldness  cold is  i n p a i n and gains  of the water Katherine  s e e n t o be d e s i r a b l e  temporary r e l i e f persuades  from  when the  her to d r i n k ;  t h e a r r i v a l o f R o b i n , the w i n t e r and the  c o l d and a l l  represent  t h a n as a s i g n  are  seen as a c h a l l e n g e  i n e v i t a b l e d e f e a t , as K a t h e r i n e herself  indicates  and R o b i n b e i n g f e l l o w t r a v e l l e r s  assistance against stay  rather  the night  it  assent to a l l the  of  icefloes,  of  providing mutual to  let  Robin  " r e f u s a l w o u l d be d u l l i n g ,  wilderness that  The f i n a l image o f t h e  they  when she t h i n k s  t h e c o l d ; when she d e c i d e s i s because,  After  an  surrounded them" ( p . 2^3): though a u s t e r e ,  has a  kind  91 of beauty  a n d t h e c o m p a r i s o n o f snow i n t h e  snow I n t h e  t o w n does  c e r t a i n circumstances  suggest t h a t  countryside  coldness  can acquire  and  and i s o l a t i o n i n  beauty:  And m e a n w h i l e , the w i n t e r r e m a i n e d . I t was n o t r o m a n t i c o r p i c t u r e s q u e : t h e s n o w , t h a t was g r a c e f u l i n t h e c o u n t r y , was d a y s o l d i n t h e t o w n : i t h a d b e e n t r o d d e n t o a b r o w n powder a n d s h o v e l l e d i n t o t h e g u t t e r s , ( p . 177) The a t t e m p t  to create a balance  the w i n t e r and i t s  atrophying effects  i n d e a l i n g w i t h the the  same t h i n g h a p p e n s  suggestions and  that  cherished,  that  the  loneliness  awareness  life.  n o v e l as  is  s e e n as  cumulative effect  i s an I n e v i t a b l e is  images  loneliness  in this  loneliness  r e c o g n i t i o n of t h i s an  theme o f  between the beauty  of the n o v e l  but r e c o g n i t i o n  when s h e r e a l i z e s  (p.  acceptance of the  moving from darkness  further  made f o r p r o t e s t ,  despite  could at  last  implies  involves  theme b u t t h e n a t u r e  of  that brought In  into darkness,"  the w i l l ,  sleep"  desired  the  " o r d e r l y , slow pro-  (p.  The w i n t e r image i s t h e m a j o r means novel's  I83).  cost of the deadening of the heart  "Against t h i s knowledge, the h e a r t ,  But  condition,  l o n e l y e x i s t e n c e i n E n g l a n d has  c o n c l u d i n g paragraphs  attempt  s o m e t h i n g t o be  k n o w l e d g e " b u t no a d d i t i o n a l s t r e n g t h "  the  in J i l l ;  of and a p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the b l e a k n e s s  acceptance of her  gained at  same  and i s o l a t i o n .  part of man's  essential;  Katherine suggests t h i s  cession,  the  of  of the c e n t r a l  and  and a l l  is will: that  248). of  f o c u s i n g on t h e  character  is  also  92 very  Important.  suggests  her  I n her very p h y s i c a l appearance  isolation.  b o o k , when K a t h e r i n e i s evitability  of  Katherine  E v e n i n t h e summer s e c t i o n o f still  i s o l a t i o n , she  the  not t o t a l l y aware of the is  set  a p a r t by h e r  in-  appearance:  I n her dark brown s k i r t , w h i t e s h i r t and dark brown t i e p i n n e d w i t h a s m a l l Olympic badge, and w i t h h e r h a i r newly b r u s h e d a n d d r a w n b a c k , she l o o k e d s e v e r e a n d f o r e i g n . (p. By t h e t i m e she h a s come t o w o r k i n t h e and m e n t a l b a r r i e r e x p r e s s i o n i n her  library,  she h a s b u i l t a r o u n d h e r s e l f  the has  82)  emotional found  face:  T h e r e was l i t t l e e x p r e s s i o n on h e r f a c e a s s h e c l o s e d t h e door behind h e r . Indeed, there r a r e l y was: her p a l e , s h i e l d shaped f a c e , d a r k eyes and eyebrows, and h i g h cheekbones, were n o t m o b i l e o r e l o q u e n t . N o r , more c u r i o u s l y , was h e r m o u t h , w h i c h was t o o w i d e a n d t o o f u l l - l i p p e d f o r b e a u t y . Y e t b e c a u s e i t was a l e r t a n d s e n s i t i v e i t s h o u l d h a v e b e e n most e x p r e s s i v e . A l m o s t she l o o k e d as i f h e r l i p s were b r u i s e d a n d s h e h a d t o k e e p them u n f a m i l i a r l y c l o s e d . Yet a t o t h e r t i m e s a f a i n t l o o k o f amusement s t o l e i n t o h e r f a c e , a s i f w i t h p l e a s u r e a t t h e c o m p l e t e n e s s w i t h w h i c h she c o u l d cover her thoughts. A n d when she s p o k e i t was w i t h a f o r e i g n accent. ( p p . 15-16) K a t h e r i n e ' s f o r e l g n n e s s i s u s e d i n t h e same way a s working-class isolation becomes  origins; it  enables  t h e w r i t e r t o examine man's  i n a somewhat e x a g g e r a t e d  form which i n  a n image f o r m a n ' s c o n d i t i o n .  England before  itself  When K a t h e r i n e i s  the b e g i n n i n g of the war, the  principal  h e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f them i s o n l y p a r t i a l .  shown m o s t c l e a r l y  i n the  progress  in  result  of being f o r e i g n i s that her communication w i t h others therefore  John's  and This  of her r e l a t i o n s h i p s  is  with  93  Jane and R o b i n . either  From t h e  outset  s h e does  not  understand  o f t h e m , b u t she c r e a t e s a m e n t a l image o f  bases her subsequent to understand that  at  i s megative and t h a t t o w a r d s h e r he i s  actions the  on t h e m .  She  positive  i n f a c t w o r k i n g much more i n t e r m s When he s u g g e s t s t h a t  s h o u l d be u s e d f o r a t  t o be l e s s c o n c e r n e d  to  least  establish  part  of  o f t h e d a y he  an intimate  p l a n n e d on a s i m i l a r b a s i s ,  not understanding t h i s , w h i c h does n o t Robin's  exist,  essential  his  Katherine's seems  relationship  w i t h K a t h e r i n e t h a n to e x c l u d e Jane and i r r i t a t e h e r . t r i p to Oxford is  fails  outset her r e l a t i o n s h i p with Robin  when he seems t o be b e i n g  r e l a t i o n s h i p with Jane. language  and responses  each and  but  The  Katherine,  a s s u m e s a new i n t i m a c y w i t h R o b i n  and t h e r e f o r e  separation  from  brings  i n t o the  open  her:  She l e a n e d o v e r a n d s t r o k e d a l o c k o f h i s h a i r i n t o p l a c e , a t w h i c h h i s e y e s , i n t h e ' s h a d o w o f h e r a r m , opened w i d e . "Wake u p , " she s a i d . "I wasn't a s l e e p . " He s a t u p q u i c k l y a s i f i t h a d b e g u n to r a i n . F o r a moment t h e y s a t s i d e by s i d e , t h e n he s c r a m b l e d to h i s f e e t . " I f y o u ' v e r e s t e d , we m i g h t p e r h a p s be g e t t i n g on." K a t h e r i n e r e a l i z e d a t o n c e — t h o u g h t o o l a t e — t h a t she had made a n a d v a n c e he w o u l d n o t r e c e i v e , a n d she s c r a m b l e d u p b l u s h i n g — b l u s h i n g a n d b e w i l d e r e d . He h a d b e h a v e d a l m o s t a s i f she h a d s c a r e d h i m , a n d i t h a d s h a k e n t h e w h o l e d a y o f f i t s course. ( p p . 140-141) This  i n c i d e n t marks the b e g i n n i n g of K a t h e r i n e ' s  withdraw and i s o l a t e unable to d e a l . Katherine decides  herself  in situations  to  w i t h w h i c h she  When t h e y r e t u r n t o t h e F e n n e l s ' to apologise  attempts  feels  house,  t o J a n e , n o t because she  wishes  94 to e s t a b l i s h a desire  to  a more  intimate  relationship with her,  extricate herself  from any sense of  but  from  involvement:  Now she was a c t u a l l y h e r e , she f e l t l e s s e a g e r t o a p o l o g i s e ; t h e d e s i r e h a d come i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e f r o m a l o n g i n g t o s e t e v e r y t h i n g r i g h t , so t h a t she c o u l d e x t r i c a t e h e r s e l f , a s one m i g h t pay a b i l l b e f o r e l e a v i n g a h o t e l . But i t might l e a d t o n o t h i n g o f t h e s o r t . . . . More l i k e l y i t would p r e c i p i t a t e more e n t a n g l e m e n t s , more c o m m i t m e n t s , c l u m s y a n d u n s a t i s f y i n g b e c a u s e she c o u l d n o t f a t h o m what t h e s e E n g l i s h p e o p l e meant, ( p . 143) It  i s at  this  point that  J a n e i n much t h e has  becomes c l e a r  of her  to h e r ;  result  of  her and  household  she has a c c e p t e d R o b i n ' s  t r i e d to b u i l d up a been d e s p e r a t e l y  own i s o l a t i o n i n t o K a t h e r i n e ' s  t h i s misunderstanding  would pass t h r o u g h t h i s  is Katherine's  house and l e a v e  as a l l the  o t h e r s who h a d s l e p t  (p.  No r e a l  165).  during her  i n mastering her through h i s  in this  it  feelings  indifference  is  behind,  g u e s t room h a d  has  failure  feels,  no t r a c e  towards him t h a t R o b i n her.  The  sense of  o n l y when K a t h e r i n e  and k i s s e s  trying  world.  c o n t a c t between R o b i n and K a t h e r i n e  stay since  then  invitation  i n a c h i e v i n g a n y k i n d o f m e a n i n g f u l c o n t a c t a n d she "she  she  she h a s b e e n w r i t i n g t o R o b i n b u t  r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h R o b i n w h i l e Jane has from her  treated  treated  t h e demand b e i n g made on h e r by J a n e .  was u r g e d by J a n e ; a n d she has  to break  s h e has  p o s i t i o n i n the F e n n e l s '  communicating w i t h Jane; when i t  that  same way t h a t R o b i n h a s  f a i l e d to respond to  The r e a l n a t u r e  she r e a l i z e s  done" is  made  succeeded  breaks  95 D u r i n g t h e war p e r i o d effects  i n England, Katherine f e e l s the  o f b e i n g f o r e i g n much more s t r o n g l y .  communication misjudge  still  e x i s t s a n d she f e e l s  someone l i k e Mr. A n s t e y  because  w i t h nuances o f I n f l e c t i o n and language. difficulties arise people around  from h e r a w a r e n e s s ,  her, of the fact  that  n a t i o n t e n d t o become c l o s e r k n i t  i s a l a r g e s c a l e working  that John  is  perhaps  of her u n f a m i l i a r i t y More  serious of the other  i n w a r t i m e p e o p l e o f one  a n d make any f o r e i g n e r The r e s p o n s e  out of t h e s o r t  feel, of a  of behaviour  experiences i n r e l a t i o n to Christopher.  suppresses strength  s h e may  and that  e v e n more i s o l a t e d a n d a l i e n t h a n n o r m a l . nation  that  The p r o b l e m o f  The  group  i t s own f e a r s a n d g a i n s a s e n s e o f s e c u r i t y a n d  from  t h e p r e s e n c e o f one who  i s excluded.  Mr. A n s t e y  i n some r e s p e c t s a v e r s i o n o f C h r i s t o p h e r ; h i s p o s i t i o n i n  the l i b r a r y i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y  s t r o n g a n d he l a c k s  social  c o n f i d e n c e ; t o compensate f o r t h i s a n d make h i s p o s i t i o n seem more s e c u r e he u s e s K a t h e r i n e t o a s s u r e h i m s e l f t h a t he b e l o n g s and fact  she does n o t . that  background almost  H i s p r i n c i p a l weapon a g a i n s t h e r i s t h e  s h e i s a f o r e i g n e r a n d t h e r e f o r e c u t o f f from t h e and i n s t i n c t s  common t o t h o s e who a r e E n g l i s h .  e v e r y c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h K a t h e r i n e he makes some  s u c h a s t h e one w h i c h  In  allusion  followss  " T h e r e a r e two m i s t a k e s t h e r e , M i s s L i n d , do y o u f o l l o w me?.... And n e i t h e r o f them, i f I may say s o , s h o u l d h a v e b e e n made b y anyone w i t h a n ounce o f what we E n g l i s h c a l l s a v v y or gumption or...nous." ( p . 17)  96 His attitude Anstey says home,  i s t a k e n u p by M i s s F e a t h e r with reference to  "'Send  someone—ha,  f o r an hour or t w o . ' " Katherine, (p.  21).  extension  "'Perhaps  someone  so t h a t  when M r .  t o accompany M i s s G r e e n  h a ! — y o u ' d be g l a d t o g e t  Miss Feather  responds  by s a y i n g  you w o u l d n ' t mind g o i n g , M i s s  Katherine regards of her t o t a l  such i n c i d e n t s as  p o s i t i o n i n the  r i d of to  Llnd'"  simply an  library:  She h a d b e e n a p p o i n t e d t e m p o r a r y a s s i s t a n t , w h i c h m a r k e d h e r o f f f r o m t h e p e r m a n e n t s t a f f : she was n e i t h e r a j u n i o r a y e a r o r so o u t o f s c h o o l who was l e a r n i n g t h e p r o f e s s i o n , nor a s e n i o r p r e p a r i n g to take the i n t e r m e d i a t e or f i n a l e x a m i n a t i o n . . . . T h e r e f o r e a n y odd j o b t h a t was r e a l l y n o b o d y ' s d u t y f e l l t o h e r . . . . I t a n n o y e d h e r , n o t b e c a u s e s h e gave two p i n s f o r l i b r a r y p r a c t i c e , b u t b e c a u s e i t s t r e s s e d what was a l r e a d y s u f f i c i e n t l y m a r k e d : t h a t she was f o r e i g n a n d h a d no proper status t h e r e . ( p . 25) A s she  leaves  s m a l l b o y he stop  the  l i b r a r y and pauses  "shrank  from her  to give a s s i s t a n c e to  f o r e i g n v o i c e , " and a t  " M i s s G r e e n s t o o d a l i t t l e away f r o m h e r ,  c l a i m i n g any r e l a t i o n s h i p " by h i s  own d e a f n e s s ,  and uses t h i s  (;p. 2 8 ) .  takes note that  to pierce  The d e n t i s t Katherine  her confidence  the  answering Katherine's  law of  this  country'"  i s v e r y much a f r a i d t h a t  hopelessly  lost,  but apart  with  bus  dis-  too,  isolated  i s not E n g l i s h h i s own;  presence of "'It's  the  the  law—  ( p . 46).  When K a t h e r i n e a r r i v e s she  objections  if  and e s t a b l i s h  he r e f u s e s t o g i v e M i s s G r e e n g a s w i t h o u t t h e nurse,  as  the  a  i n England f o r the as a f o r e i g n e r  f r o m odd m o m e n t s ,  first  she w i l l such as  time feel  finding  97 her drawers l i n e d w i t h  " f o r e i g n newspapers",  by  the t o t a l l o n e l i n e s s and d i s o r i e n t a t i o n  the Fennels a g a i n s t  she  i s t o meet on h e r s e c o n d a r r i v a l .  fact  i s the working out of the  is well  cushioned  The s e c o n d a r r i v a l  in  f e a r s K a t h e r i n e had had  previously: The f i r s t f e w weeks h a d b e e n a n i g h t m a r e . . . . N e v e r i n h e r l i f e had she e x p e r i e n c e d s u c h b o t t o m l e s s d e s p a i r and l o n e l i n e s s : t h e r e was n o t h i n g f a m i l i a r , n o t h i n g o f h e r own c h o o s i n g , n o t h i n g t h a t she c o u l d t u r n t o and g r a s p i n t h e f a c e o f e v e r y thing else. I t was a s i f t h e w o r l d h a d b e e n t u r n e d r o u n d , l i k e innumerable b i t s of r e v e r s i b l e scenery. ( p . 181) It  is during this  period that  as n o t s i m p l y t h e r e s u l t E n g l a n d , but as become.  she comes t o r e g a r d h e r  of b e i n g a f o r e i g n e r  something basic  isolation  in winter i n  i n the p e r s o n a l i t y she  She c a n no l o n g e r r e l y on c o n t a c t  to p r o v i d e her w i t h happiness s i n c e  she i s  with other  has people  irrevocably alone:  H e n c e f o r w a r d , i f she n e e d e d c o m f o r t , she w o u l d h a v e t o c o m f o r t h e r s e l f ; i f s h e were t o be h a p p y , t h e h a p p i n e s s w o u l d h a v e t o b u r n f r o m h e r own n a t u r e . I n s h o r t , s i n c e p e o p l e seemed n o t t o a f f e c t h e r , t h e y c o u l d n o t h e l p h e r , a n d i f she was t o go on l i v i n g s h e w o u l d h a v e t o g e t t h e s t r e n g t h f o r i t s o l e l y out of h e r s e l f . ( p . 184) Once she h a s a c c e p t e d her  is and  it  is  i s o l a t i o n e v e n more e x t e n s i v e  demands o n o t h e r s is,  this  therefore,  and expect  inevitable that since  she w i l l  make  she w i l l make no  n o t h i n g t o be a s k e d o f h e r .  She  s u r p r i s e d when s h e m e e t s V e r o n i c a P a r b u r y , who  i n h e r own way i s o l a t e d , d e s p i t e t h e p r e s e n c e the attachment  of her  w i t h M r . A n s t e y ; b u t she does n o t  mother  regard  98  herself  as  e n t i t l e d to refuse  Despite Katherine's assertion dependent  on y o u , t h e r e ' s  t h e demands made o n h e r by that,  someone  is  entirely  s o m e t h i n g wrong somewhere.  s h o u l d n ' t be a s k e d o r g i v e n " ( p . makes a n i m p r e s s i o n t h a t  "if  198),  she c a n n o t  Miss  entirely  others.  It  Parbury's  attitude  negate:  H a v i n g t r i e d f o r so l o n g t o l i v e f o r h e r s e l f a l o n e , h a v i n g c o n c l u d e d t h a t n o t e v e n t h e maximum s e l f i s h n e s s w o u l d s e c u r e t h e h a p p i n e s s s h e f e l t h e r s e l f e n t i t l e d t o , i t was d i s t u r b i n g t o meet one who v a l u e d t h e s e t h i n g s so l i g h t l y , ( p . 205) As a r e s u l t  s h e l o o k s b a c k on h e r c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h M i s s  Parbury r e a l i z i n g that based on t h e  a l l her previous a t t i t u d e s  premise that  girl  basis  205), but t h a t Miss  Parbury has  f o r h e r l i f e , one s i m i l a r t o t h a t  of  i n t h e c o n v e n t whom K a t h e r i n e h a d known e a r l i e r .  seems t o K a t h e r i n e t h a t  been  "one s h o u l d t r y t o a c c e p t any m i s -  fortune with equanimity" (p. a different  have  this  the It  is a viewpoint  t h a t f l u n g away a t t h e s t a r t a l l c o n c e p t i o n o f f o r t u n e a n d m i s f o r t u n e , t h i s she f o u n d h e r s e l f r e l u c t a n t l y r e s p e c t i n g , a n d s h e c o u l d r e c o g n i z e h e r p r e s e n t r e s p e c t by h e r k n o w l e d g e t h a t s h e w o u l d p r o b a b l y t e l l n o - o n e o f what she h a d l e a r n e d that day. ( p . 205) Despite her the  i n t e n t i o n o f f o r g e t t i n g what she h a s  i n c i d e n t , h e r newly a c q u i r e d knowledge does  attitude  towards R o b i n .  l e a r n e d from inform her  Prom t o t a l boredom a n d d i s m a y a t  the  demands b e i n g made o n h e r by h i m , she moves t o a p o s i t i o n where, without denying her  i s o l a t i o n , she  is able  to  accept  99  their  r e l a t i o n s h i p as  one o f  "mutual h e l p " i n the  t o t a l chaos s u r r o u n d i n g them. s i m i l a r to that positive  of the  i n that  Katherine's  scholars  In J i l l ,  she h a s r e a c h e d  of being v u l n e r a b l e ,  that  loneliness  people's  and of other  f o r her  loneliness  is  no c o m p l e t e l y  hut  it  position less  i n man's  shown i n t h e n o v e l by t h e  fact  relationships.  a n d more p a t h e t i c  between K a t h e r i n e ,  The  be f u l f i l l e d  depicts  is a  less  relationshi is  i n v o l v e d w i t h a t h i r d p e r s o n who a p p e a r  to achieve  Jane  a meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p for  to Jack Stormalong,  t h e n o v e l we l e a r n t h a t and t h a t  with  because M i s s Parbury  f e e l i n g d i r e c t e d towards h i m .  successful  of  M r . Anstey, l i k e Jane,  insensible  i n her marriage  he  early  each  ually tries  aware-  relationship  and K a t h e r i n e are to the  from f e a r  essential  that  v e r s i o n of the  Jane and R o b i n .  m a k i n g demands w h i c h c a n n o t  is  a l l meaningful.  of L a r k i n ' s b e l i e f  successful  the  more  needs can p r o v i d e h e r  between M r . A n s t e y , M i s s Parbury and her mother interesting  is  only p o s i t i v e acceptance  l i f e which i s at  The t o t a l i t y  final position  than from a g r a d u a l l y i n c r e a s i n g  ness through experience  a basis  the  face of  but at  the marriage  does  eventherself  the c o n c l u s i o n not  seem  of  entirely  b e c a u s e o f t h e war she a n d h e r h u s b a n d  are  separated. When K a t h e r i n e f i r s t m e e t s R o b i n she of h i s  i s o l a t i o n , but  The p h o t o she h a s  it  i s v e r y much a w a r e  seems t o be s o m e t h i n g he h a s  of him g i v e s  the  impression that  he  chosen. has  100 a v o i d e d m a k i n g h i m s e l f known t h r o u g h h i s a p p e a r a n c e : expression  on h i s  f a c e was e v a s i v e  f u l l y c a p t u r e d by t h e camera" London t h i s Robin's  impression is  (p.  i n the 72).  strengthened  sense of not  On t h e as  "The  journey  she  being to  observes  expression:  I t was i m p o s s i b l e t o i m a g i n e what he was t h i n k i n g : he seemed p e r f e c t l y adjusted to a l l h i s s u r r o u n d i n g s — i n c l u d i n g h e r — a n d a b l e t o w i t h d r a w h i s r e a l p e r s o n a l i t y e l s e w h e r e . . . . The e x p r e s s i o n o n h i s f a c e was c o o l , a s i f t r a v e l l i n g a l o n e , ( p . 77) T h i s detachment,  almost  pleasure  i n b e i n g w i t h d r a w n , has  d i s a p p e a r e d e n t i r e l y when R o b i n v i s i t s K a t h e r i n e . i s no l o n g e r a s s u m e d a n d e n j o y e d to him.  The c o n t r a s t  indicates  this  but v e r y r e a l and f r i g h t e n i n g  i n h i s behaviour towards  clearly,  His isolation  Katherine  a s he I m m e d i a t e l y a t t e m p t s  t o make  be o u t g o i n g t o w a r d s h i m a n d g i v e h i m t h e w a r m t h a n d he c r a v e s .  H i s demeanour  k i n d o f demand he u n r e a l the  of u t t e r meaninglessness  and p r e v e n t s  is  f u l l y aware.  she  anyone  circumstances  she  that  she  to  the  render  too has a b a r r i e r w h i c h but  her  i n communication  early conversations  a n d when t h e  immediately withdraws.  intervene  is  experiencing.  from knowing h e r :  A l l her  Katherine are a s e r i e s of questions t u r n e d on h e r  this  he I s  a n d i s o l a t i o n come f r o m a n i n a d e q u a c y  o f w h i c h she  is  Katherine that  affection  making i n an attempt  l i k e Robin i n that  sets her apart reserve  is constantly  feelings  Jane i s  convinces  her  It  finds herself  with  questioning is  able  o n l y when to  make  101 any k i n d of c o n t a c t  with others.  w i t h K a t h e r i n e o n l y comes a b o u t of tea  Her f i r s t  r e a l communication  when K a t h e r i n e s p i l l s h e r  o v e r t h e bed and i n the r e s u l t i n g c o n f u s i o n the  u a l l y a s s u m e d masks a r e d r o p p e d .  cup  habit-  A f t e r her e x c l u s i o n from  c o n v e r s a t i o n by R o b i n a n d K a t h e r i n e t h e r e s u l t i n g a n t a g o n i s m towards K a t h e r i n e overcomes  her n a t u r a l reserve  a n d she  tells  Her d e s i r e to  break  K a t h e r i n e s o m e t h i n g o f what h e r l i f e  is.  from her  She w a n t s t h e k i n d  contact  i s o l a t i o n is only p a r t i a l . that a l e t t e r  g i v e s , a s e n s e o f k n o w i n g someone a n d  b e i n g known b y them b u t w i t h no a b s o l u t e side;  she t r i e s  fully  understand:  of  to express  this  commitment o n  t o K a t h e r i n e who does  either not  " D o n ' t y o u s e e what I mean?—how w o n d e r f u l i t w o u l d be t o a b l e t o t e l l them e v e r y t h i n g , a n d be c e r t a i n t h a t t h e y ' d n e v e r — I m e a n , t h a t t h e y ' d be so r e m o t e a n d away f r o m i t all." ( p . 148) Here and elsewhere Larkin's  letter  seems t o  be  image f o r t h e k i n d o f l i m i t e d c o m m u n i c a t i o n w h i c h c a n  be made b e t w e e n p e o p l e . achieved  i n the n o v e l the  be  is  shown c l e a r l y  But the  p a r t i a l n a t u r e o f what c a n be  i n the r e s u l t s  of K a t h e r i n e ' s  letters  to Robin: When s h e h a d w r i t t e n h e r l e t t e r s she h a d b a r e l y known t h a t J a n e e x i s t e d , a n d now she was a s k e d t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e n e t s s h e h a d c o n t r i v e d so c u n n i n g l y t o c a p t u r e R o b i n h a d s u c c e e d e d down t o t h e l a s t s y l l a b l e i n s n a r i n g J a n e . ( p . 150)  102 Robin's  p l e a t o K a t h e r i n e t o w r i t e t o h i m w h i l s t he i s  t h e army i s a c l u t c h i n g t o t h e close  t o someone.  t h e s e l e t t e r s as Fennels  He i s  to r e - e s t a b l i s h  i n d i c a t e d , but As i n J i l l  and reminder t h a t  it  feeling  same k i n d o f hope  K a t h e r i n e had put i n t o h e r  The w i n t e r i s t h e most  d a r k e r by w a r .  p o s s i b i l i t y of  p u t t i n g the  when s h e a t t e m p t e d  I have a l r e a d y  last  important  letter  to  in the  contact with  image o f  t h e war i s a c o n s t a n t  i s not o n l y on the  them.  isolation  i s a w i n t e r made b l e a k e r  as  and  background  personal l e v e l  c o n f u s i o n and l a c k of communication e x i s t s  but a l s o  that  on a n  international  level.  have a l l been  i r r e v e r s i b l y d i s r u p t e d by t h e war a n d i n  The l i v e s o f K a t h e r i n e , R o b i n a n d J a n e  case t h e i r  i s o l a t i o n Increased  because of  t h e war a n d g r i p p e d by c o l d i m a g e s  the  in  by i t .  each  The c i t y b l a c k e d the a c t i o n  out of  novel.  T h e r e were a f e w p e o p l e h u d d l e d i n d o o r w a y s , o r w a l k i n g f r o m c i n e m a s , b u t t h e w i d e c e n t r a l s t r e e t s were d e s e r t e d o f t r a f f i c , and t h e b u i l d i n g s were g r e a t s i l e n t l o c k e d s h e l l s . Here and t h e r e s o l d i e r s were s h o u t i n g . A t t h i s t i m e a l l t h e t o w n h a d drawn w i t h i n i t s e l f . The d o o r s a n d windows were s h u t a n d c u r t a i n s had been a r r a n g e d a c r o s s them, t o keep the l i g h t and warmth i n d o o r s . O u t s i d e t h e r e was n o n e . T h e r e was no moon t o show how t h e f r o s t e n c r u s t e d e v e r y t h i n g : t h e d a r k s o a r e d up l i k e a c a t h e d r a l , a b l i n d n e s s ; i t c o v e r e d the town and the f r o z e n a l l o t m e n t s when t h e h o u s e s b e g a n t o s c a t t e r i n t o f i e l d s , t h e n the b r i t t l e g r a s s , and the woods. Convoys of l o r r i e s c o u l d g e t a l o n g t h e m a i n r o a d s w i t h c h a i n s o n , b u t t h e r e was no o t h e r t r a f f i c . She t h o u g h t o f t h e d a r k n e s s c o v e r i n g n o t o n l y these m i l e s of s t r e e t s around h e r , but a l s o of the shores, t h e b e a c h e s , a n d t h e a c r e s o f t o s s i n g s e a t h a t she h a d c r o s s e d , w h i c h d i v i d e d h e r f r o m h e r p r o p e r home. A t l e a s t h e r b i r t h p l a c e a n d t h e s t r e e t s she w a l k e d i n were s h a r i n g t h e same n i g h t , h o w e v e r many u n f r u i t f u l m i l e s were b e t w e e n t h e m . A n d t h e r e t o o p e o p l e w o u l d k e e p i n d o o r s , a n d n o t t h i n k o f much b e y o n d t h e f i r e s t h a t warmed t h e m , f o r t h e same w i n t e r l a y s t i f f l y a c r o s s the whole c o n t i n e n t . ( p . 224)  CHAPTER IV THE DEVELOPMENT OP THE TREATMENT OP THE THEME OF LOVE IN LARKIN'S POETRY Like his novels,  P h i l i p L a r k i n ' s poetry focuses on  the u n i v e r s a l themes of l o v e , death and i t s r e l a t i o n to t i m e , and Nature as i t r e f l e c t s values.  These concerns  of poetry  (his f i r s t  are  or impinges upon man and h i s  e s t a b l i s h e d i n h i s f i r s t volume  p u b l i s h e d work), The North S h i p ; but as  I have a l r e a d y suggested attitude  life,  i n the d i s c u s s i o n of the n o v e l s , h i s  towards these themes  i s one which develops and matures,  so that t h e r e i s a s u b s t a n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e between the  attitudes  i n f o r m i n g the f i r s t volume of poetry and those of The Less Deceived and The Whitsun Weddings, w i t h the novels forming a b r i d g e between the two.  The g r a d u a l development f i n d s  e x p r e s s i o n not o n l y In the p o e t ' s  changing a t t i t u d e s  and  broader v i s i o n but a l s o i n the nature of the images, emphasis and verse forms he  situations,  chooses.  The sense of an i n d i v i d u a l e x p r e s s i n g h i m s e l f In h i s own terms, Weddings,  which permeates The Less Deceived and The Whitsun i s almost t o t a l l y absent  from The North S h i p .  t h i s volume L a r k i n has c l e a r l y not d i s c o v e r e d h i s  individuality  and he r e l i e s h e a v i l y on h i s l i t e r a r y r a t h e r than h i s experience,  both f o r h i s technique and I d e o l o g y .  In  actual  Whereas  n o v e l s o b v i o u s l y make use of L a r k i n ' s own e x p e r i e n c e s ,  the  they  c o u l d not be d e s c r i b e d as a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l n o v e l s , because  of  104 the degree o f d i s t a n c i n g and o b j e c t i v i t y i n them.  I n The  N o r t h S h i p he f o c u s e s c l o s e l y on h i m s e l f b u t p r e s e n t s hims e l f i n terms o f l i t e r a r y c o n v e n t i o n s r a t h e r t h a n e x p l o r i n g t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f h i s response  to a c t u a l experiences.  The m a j o r i t y o f t h e poems i n The N o r t h S h i p f o c u s on the theme o f l o v e .  I n most cases t h e l o v e poem t a k e s t h e  form o f a n e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e poet's i n a b i l i t y t o l o v e , o r h i s doubts about t h e r e a l v a l u e ; o f l o v e .  H i s a t t i t u d e towards  l o v e i s a p a r t o f h i s t o t a l a t t i t u d e t o l i f e ; he has a sense of detachment and an i n a b i l i t y t o f i n d a n y t h i n g which  will  make l i f e m e a n i n g f u l f o r him. He sees l o v e as one o f t h e means by which o t h e r s seek t o g i v e l i f e s i g n i f i c a n c e b u t f i n d s t h a t he i s unable t o do t h i s .  L a c k i n g t h e enrichment  he f e e l s o t h e r s may have, he i d e n t i f i e s  himself, i n a series  o f poems d e a l i n g w i t h h i s l o v e l e s s s t a t e , w i t h the c o l d o f w i n t e r o r e a r l y s p r i n g and w i t h t h e c o l d l i g h t o f e a r l y m o r n i n g , a l l images which negate a f u l l n e s s and r i c h n e s s i n life.  The poem "Dawn" i s an e x p l i c i t a s s o c i a t i o n o f h i s  emotions w i t h images such as those mentioned above: To wake, and hear a cock Out o f t h e d i s t a n c e c r y i n g , To p u l l t h e c u r t a i n s back And see t h e c l o u d s f l y i n g — How s t r a n g e i t i s For t h e h e a r t t o be l o v e l e s s , and as c o l d as t h e s e .  1  The  title  o f t h e poem i s a t once a statement  o f p h y s i c a l time  T h e N o r t h S h i p , p. 15. ( F u t u r e r e f e r e n c e s t o t h i s work w i l l be made w i t h i n t h e t e x t u s i n g t h e a b b r e v i a t i o n NS.) x  105  and a l s o process  of the e m o t i o n a l s t a t e of the o f a w a k e n i n g t o a new a w a r e n e s s  c o n d i t i o n a n d what i t reflect  implies.  he i s  of h i s  describes  from the  The c o c k a n d t h e  immediate s i t u a t i o n .  h i s r e a c t i o n to the  i n s i m i l a r terms  to those  of n i g h t and d e a t h ,  of a l o v e l e s s  of  the  poem d e s c r i b e s  r e a l i z a t i o n of l o v e ' s  indicates  the  a p p r o p r i a t e images the  about  of  "X",  the  (NS. p .  38)  series  of  the n a t u r e of the  for particular ideas;  love,  w i t h the morning:  images w i t h i n t h i s  lack of assurance  awareness  22)  i n theme t o  fading is associated  a r b i t r a r y use of  the  here  richer:  M o r n i n g has s p r e a d a g a i n Through every s t r e e t , A n d we a r e s t r a n g e a g a i n . The r a t h e r  image  an awareness  a sense of l i f e b e i n g  poem c l o s e l y r e l a t e d  their  relationship  T h e r e was no l a m b i n g - n i g h t , No g a l e - d r i v e n b i r d Nor f r o s t - e n c i r c l e d r o o t A s c o l d a s my h e a r t . (NS. p . But i n another  in  I n poem " X " he  ending of a love  s t a t e which f o l l o w s a f t e r  and presumably a f t e r  clouds  "Dawn", but the b a s i c  since  in a  loveless  h i s mood i n t h e i r r e s t l e s s n e s s a n d a l s o  detachment  is  poet,  this  poems most  is related  o v e r a l l i m p r e s s i o n t h e v o l u m e g i v e s o f a p o e t who h a s  c l e a r l y d e f i n e d the  precise  nature of h i s  to not  experiences.  I n a l l t h e s e poems L a r k i n seems t o be a d o p t i n g a t r a d i t i o n a l romantic a t t i t u d e  that  l o v e i s the  emotion which  106  b r i n g s man a l i v e a n d t h a t and c o l d .  This attitude  f o r m i n a number o f tradition. focus  t o be w i t h o u t l o v e i s  of the  c a n be s e e n i n a s l i g h t l y  poems w h i c h a r e  The o b j e c t poems i s  t o be numb  of  love Is  on the  close  to the  different  courtly  r a r e l y d e s c r i b e d so t h a t  emotion f o r  its  own s a k e  rather  poet d e s c r i b e s  becomes a n I n t e l l e c t u a l  poet  the  intellectual  The f a c t  than through  quality.  i s attempting to a n t i c i p a t e  the  a f u l l y meaningful love through h i s committing himself  It  i s as  though  the  I m p o s s i b i l i t y of f i n d i n g imagination rather  than  In J i l l  he t a k e s u p t h i s  the  theme,  he d e t a c h e s t h e r o m a n t i c i s m f r o m h i m s e l f a n d r e p r e s e n t s a stage through which the  Immature a n d i n n o c e n t  before reaching awareness. perspective  to romantic  within this  first  and experience  Several of  as  of the love to  present  as pass  love's  one w h i c h a r i s e s  i n poems inadequacies  out of  pain  process  poems.  poems i n t h i s v o l u m e d e a l w i t h solve  it  J o h n must  than b e i n g an escape from the i n the  but  way he g i v e s a n i r o n i c  The v i s i o n o f  to John i s  rather  experience  In this  love which i s not  volume.  w h i c h he a t t r i b u t e s  inadequacy  that  experience  t o a n a c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p and f a c i n g  p a i n of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t .  of t h i s  love  poems a l r e a d y m e n t i o n e d d e a l w i t h a l o v e w h i c h h a s  been r e a l i z e d i m a g i n a t i v e l y r a t h e r emphasises  The  response  than a p h y s i c a l or p u r e l y e m o t i o n a l one.  two o f t h e  the  rather  than on a p a r t i c u l a r love i n a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n . which the  love  the  problem of  life's  the  seeming  lack  107  of meaning.  By I m p l i c a t i o n i n poem "XVI" l o v e i s equated  w i t h t h e o t h e r means t o which man r e s o r t s t o f i l l and a v o i d awareness  o f emptiness and  i n time  loneliness:  The b o t t l e i s drunk out by one; A t two., the book i s s h u t ; A t t h r e e the l o v e r s l i e a p a r t , Love and i t s commerce done. (NS. p. 28) 5  But even i n t h i s poem t h e r e i s a r o m a n t i c i s m i n the n a t u r e of the  g e s t u r e of d e b a s i n g l o v e t o the l e v e l of "commerce",  w i t h o u t i n any way  j u s t i f y i n g t h e statement or r e a l i z i n g the  p r o c e s s of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t .  The statement i s too g e n e r a l and  a b s t r a c t t o have t h e Impact of a d e e p l y - f e l t The d i s t i n c t l y deadening q u a l i t i e s  conviction.  of l o v e a r e suggested  i n poem " X X I I " where f a c i n g up t o the harshness of a s o l i t a r y b l e a k j o u r n e y "To t r i c k t h i s hour when l o v e r s (NS. p. 35)»  re-embrace"  I s seen as p r e f e r a b l e t o the a c c e p t a n c e of l o v e ,  s e c u r i t y , and involvement which c a r r y w i t h them d i m i n i s h e d awareness: t h e t r a v e l l e r pursues h i s j o u r n e y , " l e s t / L o v e s i n k a grave round t h e s t i l l - s l e e p i n g head" (NS. p.  35).  The l a s t poem i n the volume seems t o echo t h i s s t a t e m e n t , f o r t h e r e l o v e i s seen as i n i m i c a l t o the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , which needs the awareness  found i n i s o l a t i o n and  which l o v e a t t e m p t s t o d i s g u i s e .  insecurity,  The awareness e x p e r i e n c e d  by one not I n v o l v e d i n and t h e r e f o r e not d e c e i v e d by l o v e i s a l s o e x p r e s s e d i n "Ugly S i s t e r " , where l o v e i s shown as b e i n g  108  part of the world of it  possible  to  Involvement;  "attend to the  e s c a p e f r o m t h i s w o r l d makes  t r e e s and t h e i r g r a c i o u s  To w i n d s t h a t m o v e " ( N S . p . 3 1 ) . as d i v o r c e d from the w o r l d of t r a s t between the and  lines  The n a t u r a l w o r l d i s  love i n t h i s  L o v e ' s world i n the  on L a r k i n ' s p a r t t o p r e s e n t  i s the  final  i m p l i c a t i o n of  repeated  line,  "It  seems a t  first  t o be a n a s s e r t i o n  the  stanza reverses this  last  s e n t e d as  poem,  loneliness  poem " X I I I " ,  i s not love you w i l l  o f f s e t by  concornet indicates  and a n a w a r e -  n e s s o f n a t u r e a s more p o w e r f u l a n d s i g n i f i c a n t t h a n This  seen  poem a n d t h e  quoted above and " t h e v i o l i n ,  drum" which r e p r e s e n t s  a tendency  silence/  find"  of a l a c k  love.  i n which (NS. p .  the 25)  i n Nature; but  Impression since  love is  pre-  death:  I t i s not l o v e you w i l l f i n d : You h a v e no l i m b s C r y i n g f o r s t i l l n e s s , y o u h a v e no m i n d Trembling with seraphim, You h a v e no d e a t h t o come. ( N S . p . 25) The most nature  Is  effective  treatment  of l o v e of a  i n poem " X X " , w h i c h i s one o f t h e  poems i n t h e v o l u m e .  It  indicates  few  general narrative  the d i r e c t i o n of  the  p o e t r y b o t h i n b e i n g a d r a m a t i c n a r r a t i v e and i n the of L a r k i n ' s a t t i t u d e awareness  t o w a r d s l o v e ; he i n d i c a t e s h i s  of h i s ambivalence  than through d i r e c t  ambivalence complete,  t h r o u g h tone and t e n s i o n  statement.  later  rather  109 The f i r s t The p o e t ' s is  stanza  i n the  first  reference to h i m s e l f ;  the  the  p o s i t i o n as a n o b s e r v e r  emphasised  which i s  establishes  "I  rather  l i n e by t h e  see  tone of the than a  poem.  participant  p o s i t i o n i n g of  a g i r l d r a g g e d by t h e  t a k e n up and d e v e l o p e d I n the  last  the  wrists",  two l i n e s  of  stanza: As s i m p l e as the t h i n g s B e i n g no m o r e , no l e s s ,  The s t a t e m e n t o f t h e f i r s t h i s detached  I see, t h a n two weak e y e s . ' ( N S . p . 32)  stanza  is  p o s i t i o n as a n o b s e r v e r  the  p o e t ' s awareness  and h i s a c c e p t a n c e  of of  this: I s e e a g i r l d r a g g e d by t h e w r i s t s A c r o s s a d a z z l i n g f i e l d of snow, A n d t h e r e i s n o t h i n g i n me t h a t r e s i s t s . ( N S . p . 32) However, the next  sound emphasis  two l i n e s ,  "Once",  as  what he i s  if  and t h i s ,  of the  stanza  s a y i n g , negates the  1  now a b l e  t o assume  i n the next  t o t a l detachment.  of  stanza:  jealousies. ( N S . p . 32)  line,  a l s o undermines the  the  of  of the t r u t h  statement of the  Once i t w o u l d n o t be s o ; Once I s h o u l d c h o k e w i t h p o w e r l e s s  d e v o i d of s u b t l e t y /  c a r r i e d by  coupled w i t h the r e p e t i t i o n  to give himself reassurance  The u s e o f t h e w o r d " s e e m "  is  " B u t now I  statement that  seem he  is  The snow i m a g e , w h i c h  110 i s used throughout external other the  the  image o f t h e  poems  express  indicative awareness  the  the  simple  poet's emotional coldness  i n the volume: In t h i s  q u a l i t y of the  does  poem, i s n o t u s e d a s  image i n A G i r l  poet's coldness  poem i t h a s  it  is  in  something  of  In Winter, f o r ,  o n one l e v e l ,  of a c e r t a i n k i n d of beauty and acceptance of  as  it  though is  also  t o be f o u n d i n  isolation.  The u s e o f  the  the  words " d a z z l i n g * and " b l i n d i n g l i g h t " w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o  it  1  also  suggests that  operate  perhaps  a s a n image f o r h i s  i n v o l v e d , but that work.  This  stanza,  as  i n the  expressed  i s a l l o w i n g the  s u p p o r t e d by t h e  first,  fact that  the d e c i s i v e  beauty  i s u n d e r c u t by t h e  w h i c h sounds  i n the  statement, obvious  at  second  "And s t i l l  involvement  laughsr; and  t o f i g h t , " and t h e r e g r e t  negative  snow t o  i s o l a t i o n because of the  t h r o u g h sound i n , " A s she  pretends  repeated  poet  i n f a c t a degree of s e l f - d e c e p t i o n i s  idea i s  I h a v e no r e g r e t "  and  the  it  struggles,  e m p h a s i s e d by  the  in  N o t h i n g so w i l d , n o t h i n g so g l a d a s s h e R e a r s u p i n me, And would n o t , though I watched an hour y e t . ( N S . p . 32) What f o l l o w s I s a n o b v i o u s r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f a w h i c h he i s n o t t o t a l l y a b l e occurs  very frequently  pompous, o v e r s t a t i n g  i n the  to accept; later  situation  such r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n  poems.  The  slightly  o f t h e c a s e u n d e r c u t s what i s b e i n g  said  Ill  so t h a t the t e n s i o n s w i t h i n the poet are  revealed:  So I walk o n . Perhaps what I d e s i r e d —That long and s i c k l y hope, someday to be As she i s — g a v e a' f l i c k e r and e x p i r e d ; For the f i r s t time I'm content to see What poor mortar and b r i c k s I have to b u i l d w i t h , knowing t h a t I can Never i n seventy years be more a man Than now—a sack of meal upon two s t i c k s . (NS. p . 3 2 ) The use of the r e p e t i t i o n of the f i r s t  l i n e of t h i s stanza  the b e g i n n i n g of the necct stanza u n d e r l i n e s the e f f e c t man t r y i n g to persuade h i m s e l f I n t e l l e c t u a l l y of h i s ment and w i l l i n g n e s s to accept what e x i s t s , emotional r e s i s t a n c e  to  at  of a  detach-  despite his  it.  The "two o l d ragged m e n / C l e a r i n g the d r i f t s w i t h shovels and a spade" are i n s t r o n g c o n t r a s t They are o l d and u n a t t r a c t i v e ,  and, r a t h e r  to the  girl.  than p l a y i n g and  f i g h t i n g y o u t h f u l l y i n the snow r e f l e c t i n g - i t s beauty, are s h o v e l l i n g i t away i n c a r t s .  they  The monotonous q u a l i t y of  t h e i r work and t h e i r apparent r e s i g n a t i o n to b e i n g "a sack of meal upon two s t i c k s . " makes them seem a s u i t a b l e  object  f o r L a r k i n to empathize with without l o s i n g h i s sense of l o v e l e s s n e s s and detachment. way h i s l i f e must be l i v e d .  In them he sees a model f o r But they are not the safe  the  release  f o r emotion he judges them to b e , s i n c e the emotion once acknowledged q u i c k l y overtakes h i s r a t i o n a l i z i n g and makes him aware of h i s r e a l  desires:  112 Damn a l l explanatory rhymes! To be that g i r l ! — b u t t h a t ' s i m p o s s i b l e . (NS. p . 33) The slow monotony and d i f f i c u l t y of the next l i n e s as he d e s c r i b e s h i s d e t e r m i n a t i o n to supress h i s d e s i r e s l i f e based on l o v e and involvement I n d i c a t e s effort  for a  the u n n a t u r a l  involved for him: For me the t a s k ' s to l e a r n the many times When I must s t o o p , and throw a s h o v e l f u l : I must repeat u n t i l I l i v e the f a c t That e v e r y t h i n g ' s remade With s h o v e l and spade. (NS. p . 33) The l a s t  other  stanza weakens the poem and l i n k s i t w i t h the  poems i n the volume, s i n c e ,  i n s t e a d of r e s o l v i n g the  c o n f l i c t or acknowledging the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of r e s o l u t i o n w i t h i n the terms e s t a b l i s h e d i n the poem, t h a t i s the use of s i t u a t i o n and response as an image,  i t moves i n t o the world  of f a n t a s y and the image of the u n i c o r n , which does not late satisfactorily  to the r e s t of the poem, i s used as a  j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the p o e t ' s this  re-  c h o i c e of a way of l i f e .  image i s so much out of c o n t e x t ,  of the r e a l i s s u e s of the poem.  Because  i t seems l i k e an e v a s i o n  Though J i l l and A G i r l  In  Winter conclude s i m i l a r l y w i t h an image r a t h e r than statement or a c t i o n p r e s e n t i n g the r e s o l u t i o n , i n the novels the arises  n a t u r a l l y from a l l that has preceeded,  and i n both  cases there i s an honesty i n acknowledging that r e s o l u t i o n i s found i s u n s a t i s f a c t o r y  image  whatever  and p a r t i a l .  113  The l o v e poems  I n The L e s s D e c e i v e d a r e  less  easily-  g r o u p e d t o g e t h e r t h a n t h o s e i n The N o r t h S h i p ; t h e between the  i n d i v i d u a l poems i n t h e v o l u m e s i s r e f l e c t e d  i n the t o t a l i t y are  dramatic  rather  of each book.  i n that  i n that  than a statement.  they present  the w o r k i n g out of  The s e n s e o f t h e problems  life  are  satisfactory,  rather  poses i s  through  carried  The l o v e poems  so t h a t ,  for  causes a s h i f t  Of n e c e s s i t y from the almost  to  a l t h o u g h no one a n g l e  something approaching a t o t a l view of  simultaneously;  love  put t o g e t h e r and  this difference exclusive  is can  operate  i n approach  focus  on t h e  also  poet  i n The N o r t h S h i p t o a more w i d e r a n g i n g s y m p a t h y  a v a r i e t y of significances the  personam i n The L e s s D e c e i v e d . of the  exclusive  title  the  of the  indicated i n shows i t s e l f  this in his  problems which l o v e poses f o r him are  to him but part  of the u n s a t i s f a c t o r y  a s a w h o l e w h i c h f a c e s man i n g e n e r a l . own f a i l u r e s he s e e s t h a t  adequacies  poet  with  One o f t h e many  of the volume i s  i n c r e a s e d awareness  recognition that  his  share  solving  be g a i n e d when a l l t h e v i e w p o i n t s a r e  shift:  They  so v a r i e d b e c a u s e t h e w r i t e r i s a t t e m p t i n g  v i e w l o v e f r o m many a n g l e s  himself  attitudes  i m p o s s i b i l i t y of  t o t a l c o m p o s i t i o n of the book.  example,  also  Deceived  t h e y u s u a l l y end w i t h a q u e s t i o n  c o m p l e t e l y any of the i n the  The poems I n The L e s s  than presenting the r e s o l u t i o n of an i d e a .  an honesty  difference  w i t h a l l men: t h a t  Instead  q u a l i t y of of mourning  he s h a r e s c e r t a i n b a s i c to view the  in-  p o s s i b i l i t y of  a  not life  114 perfect  l o v e i s to be d e c e i v e d .  that h e ,  The poet r e c o g n i s e s ,  however,  j u s t as other men, i s only l e s s d e c e i v e d ; t h a t a  c e r t a i n amount of w i l f u l d e c e p t i o n remains i n order to make man capable of c o p i n g w i t h what l i f e  presents.  ness f o r man can only be h i s awareness  T o t a l aware-  of h i s attempts  at  self-deception. Perhaps the most e f f e c t i v e way of demonstrating the d i f f e r e n c e s between the two volumes i s to compare poems w i t h s i m i l a r s t a r t i n g p o i n t s .  individual  The p o s i t i o n of  observer  which L a r k i n a s s i g n s to h i m s e l f i n poem "XX" i n The North S h i p i s re-examined and developed i n "Reasons f o r Attendance" In The Less D e c e i v e d .  The development and i n c r e a s e d com-  p l e x i t y l i e s i n the f a c t t h a t ,  i n s t e a d of simply s t a t i n g h i s  detachment and attempting to accept i t ,  i n "Reasons  for  A t t e n d a n c e " he r a t i o n a l i z e s and j u s t i f i e s h i s p o s i t i o n through h i s a l l e g i a n c e to a r t individuality.  and h i s d e s i r e to r e t a i n h i s  "The trumpet's v o i c e ,  loud and a u t h o r i t a t i v e "  2  i s the i n i t i a l common f o c a l p o i n t of the poet and the young dancers;  but h i s t o t a l s e p a r a t i o n from them i s i n d i c a t e d i n  h i s p o s i t i o n as one l o o k i n g i n from o u t s i d e through "the lighted glass."  The music appeals to h i s i n t e l l e c t w h i l s t  the dancers are responding i n an emotional and p h y s i c a l way:  ^The Less D e c e i v e d , p . 18. (Future r e f e r e n c e s to t h i s work w i l l be made w i t h i n the t e x t u s i n g the a b b r e v i a t i o n L D . ) i  115  S h i f t i n g i n t e n t l y , f a c e to f l u s h e d Solemnly on the peat of h a p p i n e s s . Almost a g a i n s t  face, (LD_. p .  18)  h i s w i l l the p o e t ' s i m a g i n a t i o n responds  to  the s i t u a t i o n and he becomes momentarily s u f f i c i e n t l y Involved to q u e s t i o n h i s  detachments  —Or so I f a n c y , s e n s i n g the smoke and sweat, The wonderful f e e l of g i r l s . Why be out here? (LD. p . 18) At this  p o i n t he b r i n g s h i s reason i n t o p l a y and attempts  rationalize  the p o s i t i o n he m a i n t a i n s .  to  The tone of the poem  changes and becomes r a t h e r g l i b as he o v e r s t a t e s the value of h i s detachment  and attempts to deny the v a l i d i t y of the v i e w -  p o i n t of the dancers  by r e d u c i n g t h e i r response  t h e i r dancing to "they maul to and f r o . "  to "sex"  and  He s t a t e s t h a t i n  c o n t r a s t to them he i s drawn by something t o t a l l y n o n physical: What c a l l s me Is t h a t l i f t e d , rough-tongued ( A r t , i f you l i k e ) whose i n d i v i d u a l sound I n s i s t s I too am i n d i v i d u a l . (LD. p . 18) It  i s more or l e s s at  but i n "Reasons  this  bell  p o i n t t h a t poem "XX" c o n c l u d e s ,  f o r A t t e n d a n c e " the whole statement of  poem i s questioned by the l a s t  the  stanza:  T h e r e f o r e I stay o u t s i d e , B e l i e v i n g t h i s ; and they maul to and f r o , B e l i e v i n g t h a t ; and both are s a t i s f i e d , I f no one has misjudged h i m s e l f . Or l i e d .  (LD. p .  18)  116  Here the  poet does n o t s i m p l y i n d i c a t e h i s d o u b t s about  r e a l motives f o r h i s  p o s i t i o n , b u t he q u e s t i o n s  idea of choosing a s t a n c e . he seems t o detached  this the  title  of the  f e e l t h a t man d o e s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y  or i n v o l v e d but t h a t  r e a l i z e d we s t a r t choice.  As the  once a c e r t a i n  to r a t i o n a l i z e  The w h o l e p r o c e s s  recurring situation,  whole  poem s u g g e s t s choose to  position  be  is  i t and p r e s e n t  i t as a good  poem p r e s e n t s  i n miniature  of the since  the  the  it  starts with a  i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s a r e r e a l i z e d and the  situation;  process  of  r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n and d e n i g r a t i o n of the o p p o s i t e v i e w p o i n t begins. —it  The poem does n o t  simply a r r i v e s at I n poem " X X  and t h e r e i s  W  little  end w i t h a n a t t e m p t  a p o i n t of complete  the f o c a l p o i n t of the to  perspective  universal situation.  as r e p r e s e n t i n g Since  a b s e n t f r o m poem " X X " .  i m p o s s i b i l i t y of  security  of an i n v u l n e r a b l e v i e w p o i n t .  l o v e i s a l s o more h o n e s t  because t h i s  is  sees h i m s e l f  in a  a  one o f many is terms  i n poem " X X " , b u t  ever f e e l i n g  the  His attitude  and a l s o a m b i v a l e n t .  p o s s i b i l i t y of  poet,  position.  one a s p e c t o f  a s he d o e s  honestly  to the  the  towards h i m s e l f which  presents  responds  poem i s  He d o e s n o t move o u t s i d e t h e  s i t u a t i o n he e s t a b l i s h e s the  awareness.  he s e e s h i m s e l f a s  he a s s u m e s a n i r o n i c a t t i t u d e  of the  resolution  suggest u n i v e r s a l i t y i n h i s  I n "Reasons f o r A t t e n d a n c e " L a r k i n c l e a r l y different  at  He a t  l o v e i n p h y s i c a l terms  s o m e t h i n g he d o e s n o t h a v e he a t t e m p t s  towards once but to  be  117  objective  and a n t 1 - r o m a n t i c  A poem w h i c h , successfully image i s  about  it.  l i k e "Reasons  for Attendance",  and e c o n o m i c a l l y w i t h a focus  "No R o a d " .  It  has  c e r t a i n resemblances  " X X I V " i n The N o r t h S h i p i n t h a t  image a n d b o t h i m p l y t h a t  on r e a s o n as the  earlier  emotion. poem h a s  there are also t h a n add to  other  it;  Here the the  is reflected  been  effect  subject.  though  rather  see/  The  of the  This focus,  rhetorical  The poem ends w i t h a that  the r i g h t d e c i s i o n  note has  made;  point the  questions  poet  what t h e  of t h e r o a d as  a s i t u a t i o n i n which the  questions  the c e n t r a l  possible,  it  decision  but even  at  the d e c i s i o n and i n p a r t i c u l a r  situation reveals  about  himself.  image c r e a t e s t h e  a l t h o u g h communication I n the  that  the  one,  (NS. p . 37).  p a r t h a s a l r e a d y b e e n made a n d a c t i o n t a k e n ;  this  is  use"  that  language and i n a  and even complacency  "No R o a d " d e s c r i b e s to  based on  from t h i s  "we a r e h u s k s ,  which d i m i n i s h e s the  i n the a b s t r a c t  definite  image a s a c e n t r a l  Images w h i c h d e t r a c t  note i n a p p r o p r i a t e to the of c e r t a i n t y  Both are  poem  p a r t i n g i s b a s e d a s much  g r a i n going forward to a d i f f e r e n t l a c k o f economy,  to  s i m i l a r i t i e s end, f o r ,  journey  f o r examples  central  both deal with a  d e c i s i o n to conclude a love a f f a i r . journey  o n one  works  form of  sense  The that,  l o v e b e t w e e n two  i s a communication rather  use  people  t h a n a m e r g i n g , and  w i t h i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p each r e t a i n s - a  separate  identity;  118 The p a r t i n g i n t h i s poem " X X I V " ,  s i t u a t i o n i s n o t t h e d r a m a t i c one  hut s i m p l y a l e t t i n g of the r o a d f a l l  d i s u s e — m o r e an o p t i n g out r a t h e r But,  the  poet  suggests,  has been e s t a b l i s h e d ,  reaffirmed. is  into  than a d e l i b e r a t e  break.  o n c e c o m m u n i c a t i o n b e t w e e n two p e o p l e  the grounds f o r the r e s u m p t i o n of  r e l a t i o n s h i p continue to exist decision to  of  p a r t cannot  f o r some t i m e ,  so t h a t  the  the  be a f i n a l one b u t one t h a t must  The i n e v i t a b i l i t y o f t h e  eventual f i n a l  be  separation  emphasised by the use of rhyme: "A l i t t l e l o n g e r , / A n d t i m e  w i l l be t h e  stronger"  last  establishes  stanza  (LD. p. 2 6 ) . the  s i t u a t i o n t o be n e g a t i v e he o b v i o u s l y f e e l s t h a t  poet's  The m o r n i n g image i n  the  a m b i v a l e n c e : he f e e l s  the  a n d i n some ways he r e g r e t s h i s awareness  h i s r e n e w e d i s o l a t i o n : . "To w a t c h t h a t  it,  but  has been i n c r e a s e d  by  w o r l d come u p l i k e a  cold sun,/Rewarding others,  i s my l i b e r t y "  the  h i s need f o r s u c h a s i t u a t i o n of  same t i m e he f e e l s  that  (LD. p. 2 6 ) .  i s o l a t i o n d i m i n i s h e s h i m i n some w a y : " N o t t o p r e v e n t my w i l l ' s  fulfilment,/Wllling  i t , my a i l m e n t "  The w h o l e poem e v e n t h r o u g h t h e n a t u r e o f t h e expresses a melancholy tenderness w h i c h t h e downward t o n e emphasises.  There  r e f u s a l on the situation.  than self-awareness  is  (LD. p. 2 6 ) . image,  and sense o f l o v e ' s  value,  of the l a s t  l i n e , quoted i n the  above,  poem a n d a  part to overdramatize h i m s e l f or  I n poem " X X I V " t h e r e  it  central  i s a self-awareness  poet's  At  is  self-consciousness  a n d , a l t h o u g h the form of the  poem  the rather suggests  119 an attempt a t  the c o n t r o l l e d tone of "No R o a d " , t h i s  always m a i n t a i n e d , f o r the  is  not  lines,  now at l a s t Never has sun more b o l d l y paced the s k y , Never were h e a r t s more eager to be f r e e , To k i c k down w o r l d s , l a s h f o r e s t s , (NS. p .  37)  a t t r i b u t e a largeness and v i t a l i t y to the c h a r a c t e r s and s i t u a t i o n which i s not m e r i t e d and which c o n t r a s t w i t h the sobriety  of the f i n a l and most s u c c e s s f u l  image:  But i t i s b e t t e r t h a t our l i v e s u n l o o s e , As two t a l l s h i p s , wind-mastered, wet w i t h l i g h t , Break from an estuary with t h e i r courses s e t , And waving p a r t , and waving drop from s i g h t . (NS. p . 3?) The poet of poem "XXIV" s t i l l has hope f o r the f u t u r e ;  parting  simply means s e t t i n g  freer  out i n f u r t h e r  exploratory  trips,  alone.  "No Road" expresses a sense of f a i l u r e , s i n c e ,  this  j u s t one r e l a t i o n s h i p which he has chosen not  is  maintain,  i t r e p r e s e n t s an o v e r a l l f a i l u r e to achieve  f a c t o r y communication with anyone.  It  i s o l a t i o n but an e x p r e s s i o n  signifying a  w i t h i n man.  L i k e "Reasons  of t h i s  to satis-  i s an a s s e r t i o n  f o r Attendance"  c a t i o n s beyond the very s p e c i f i c  though  situation  of h i s  failure  i t makes  impli-  described.  The c o u n t e r p a r t of poems " I V " and "X" i n The North Ship is  "Places,  Loved Ones", f o r a l l d e a l with the  of i s o l a t i o n and of b e i n g unable to l o v e .  feeling  In the e a r l y  poems  120  L a r k i n i s c o n c e r n e d o n l y w i t h how t h i s h i m s e l f and t h e r e uniquei  i s an i m p l i c a t i o n that  In "Places,  a broad perspective. b o t h i n terms  situation affects his position is  L o v e d O n e s " he p u t s h i s He a d m i t s f r e e l y h i s  position into rootlessness  of p l a c e s and p e o p l e : Noy. I h a v e n e v e r f o u n d The p l a c e w h e r e I c o u l d s a y T h i s i s my p r o p e r g r o u n d , Here I s h a l l s t a y ; Nor met t h a t s p e c i a l one Who h a s a n i n s t a n t c l a i m On e v e r y t h i n g I own Down t o my name. (LD> p . 16)  But any s u g g e s t i o n of s e l f - p i t y which such an a d m i s s i o n m i g h t i m p l y i s u n d e r c u t by t h e s l i g h t l y m o c k i n g t o n e he a d o p t s t o w a r d s t h o s e who h a v e s u c c e e d e d w h e r e he a p p e a r s  to  failed;  is a f i n a l i t y  I n the c l a i m to have found a p l a c e t h e r e  and a s s e r t i v e n e s s v i c t i o n that  the  which expresses statement  a desire rather  s h a l l be t r u e ;  just  as  have  than a con"instant  c l a i m " a n d " e v e r y t h i n g I own/Down t o my name" s u g g e s t s  an  i n d e c e n t h a s t e and a d e s i r e f o r t o t a l merging l e s t  contrary  arguments s h o u l d i n t e r v e n e . continues it  This note  any  of mocking c r i t i c i s m  i n the second s t a n z a where t h e poet s u g g e s t s  i s a d e s i r e to avoid r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the f a i l u r e  one's  l i f e that  elsewhere:  that of  causes the haste to e s t a b l i s h r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  121  Y o u a s k them t o b e a r You o f f I r r e v o c a b l y , So t h a t i t ' s n o t y o u r f a u l t S h o u l d the town t u r n d r e a r y , The g i r l a d o l t . ( L D . p . 16) Until this  p o i n t i n the  i m p l i c a t i o n , accepted life ed,  evolves, since  but  poem t h e r o o t l e s s  one h a s ,  by  f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e way h i s  i n the  he I n d i c a t e s  last  that  c a n be b l a m e d f o r f a i l u r e  stanza t h i s  illusion  the very nature  i n exactly  the  is  of t h i s  destroy-  isolation  same w a y i  Y e t , h a v i n g missed them, y o u ' r e B o u n d , none t h e l e s s , t o a c t A s i f what y o u s e t t l e d f o r Mashed y o u , i n f a c t . ( L D . p i 16) The p o s s i b i l i t y o f t h e i l l u s i o n that different  other  perhaps t h i n g s  way o f  life  is  p r e s e r v e d as  an  c o u l d have worked out b e t t e r  in  circumstances: A n d w i s e r t o k e e p away Prom t h i n k i n g y o u s t i l l m i g h t t r a c e U n c a l l e d - f o r t o t h i s day Your p e r s o n , your p l a c e . (LJD. p . 16)  The f i n a l s t a t e m e n t o f t h e responsible but that life  the  for his  poem seems t o be t h a t man i s  c o n d i t i o n and f a i l u r e  idea of the  p o s s i b i l i t y of a completely  i s a n i l l u s i o n and t h a t  have found l o v e and h i s rootless  life  successful  u l t i m a t e l y t h e man who a p p e a r s  " p r o p e r g r o u n d " i s as  through the f a c t  have chosen t h i s  i n h i s way o f  i s o l a t e d and  o f b e i n g a man a s he who a p p e a r s  condition.  to  to  122  The b r o a d e n i n g a w a r e n e s s "Places, since  Loved Ones" takes another  this  is  successful to A G i r l  presented  of t h i s  consciousness.  v i e w p o i n t must owe  differentiated two a r e  the  Katherine  female  the  posed by d o i n g t h i s still  a girl  and fully  There  i s h i n t of  "One man r e s t l e s s l y  whereas  waiting a train"  woman a n d c h i l d a r e  s i l k of dreams,/A s h e l l of  sleep"  is  i s at  taken up i n J i l l  and I t  k i n d of s e x u a l awareness w i t h the w i n d .  that  i n "the  (NS. p . 35). the  two l i n e s  p o i n t of r e a c h i n g  J o h n most c o m p l e t e l y  the ambiguity of the  of the  dark  The w i n d  I n "Wedding-Wind" the bridegroom i s  i a t e d w i t h t h e wind as  poem t a k e u p t h e  title  n i g h t of the h i g h w i n d " tinued i n that to the  wind, of her  it  is  (LD_. p . 1 5 ) .  identifies assocsuggests;  implication:  The a s s o c i a t i o n  "The  the is  con-  t h e man who g e t s u p d u r i n g t h e n i g h t  stable-doors  and the h o r s e s  w h i l e t h e woman r e m a i n s a n d i s husband:  image  some  w i n d b l e w a l l my w e d d i n g - d a y , / A n d my w e d d i n g - n i g h t was  see  this  w i t h the wind which "runs w i l d / B e a t i n g each  shuttered house";  first  through  p o i n t o f m a r r i a g e when  into conjunction.  i n poem " X X I I " w h e r e t h e  is  The  something  p s y c h o l o g y as becoming  from the male a t  brought  is associated  The p r o b l e m s  fewer since  L a r k i n seems t o s e e  of  form i n "Wedding-Wind",  I n W i n t e r where L a r k i n w o r k s e n t i r e l y  i n the n o v e l are  the  o f sympathy  f r o m a woman's p o i n t o f v i e w ;  establishing  Katherine's  the  and area  made r e s t l e s s b y  passive  i n the  to  the  absence  123  A n d a s t a b l e d o o r was b a n g i n g , a g a i n a n d a g a i n , T h a t he must go a n d s h u t i t , l e a v i n g me Stupid i n candlelight, hearing r a i n , S e e i n g my f a c e i n t h e t w i s t e d c a n d l e s t i c k , Yet seeing n o t h i n g . ( L D . p . 15) The b e g i n n i n g o f t h e the  environment,  is  second  stanza,  though a d e s c r i p t i o n  o b v i o u s l y a l s o a d e s c r i p t i o n of  husband's  effect  under the  sun by t h e w i n d ' s b l o w i n g " ( L D . p . 1 5 ) .  i s d e v e l o p e d as effect  of  on the w i f e :  "Now i n t h e  she makes a n e x p l i c i t  the wind on the  of  the  day/All's  ravelled The  image  comparison between  s u r r o u n d i n g s a n d h e r new  the  emotional  state s A l l Is the wind H u n t i n g t h r o u g h c l o u d s and f o r e s t s , t h r a s h i n g My a p r o n a n d t h e h a n g i n g c l o t h s o n t h e l i n e . C a n i t be b o r n e , t h i s b o d y i n g - f o r t h b y w i n d Of j o y my a c t i o n s t u r n o n , l i k e a t h r e a d C a r r y i n g beads? ( L D . p . 15) She w o n d e r s w h e t h e r h e r n a t u r a l p a s s i v i t y a n d even at  this  w i t h i n the  p o i n t she  stands  partnership,  and s t a r e s ,  " S h a l l I be l e t  p e r p e t u a l m o r n i n g s h a r e s my b e d ? " The poem i s L a r k i n ' s m o s t power o f amount o f  love i n this irony.  love a separation o f w h i c h she  Despite  c a n be  retained  to sleep/Now  it  is  statement about  q u a l i f i e d by a  t h e woman's e x h i l a r a t i o n a n d  b e t w e e n t h e man a n d t h e woman i s  t a k e s no a c c o u n t .  t h e w e d d i n g - n i g h t and t h e  this  (LD. p . 15)• positive  volume, but  reflectiveness,  I n both the  certain her  established  description  f o l l o w i n g d a y t h e woman i s  the  of  alone;  124  t h e man i s  clearly  a way w h i c h she  I n v o l v e d I n h i s work and s u r r o u n d i n g s  is not.  the wind c a r r i e s  The c o m p a r i s o n o f t h e h u s b a n d  with i t  irony since  the wind i s  not s i m p l y e x h i l a r a t i n g and f o r c e f u l but a l s o it  is  the  cause of the  i s not n e c e s s a r i l y horses  is  good, since  of  p o s s i b i l i t y of her  i r o n y of the  poem l i e s  itself  of the wind on  w i t h her husband  eventual destruction; i n her  destructive—  Her q u e s t i o n i n g of  the a l l i a n c e  last  with  shown a s  exhilaration  the e f f e c t  t o make them r e s t l e s s .  e f f e c t on h e r s e l f the  f l o o d s — a n d the  in  the  the  suggests  and the  final  question:  Can even death d r y up T h e s e new d e l i g h t e d l a k e s , c o n c l u d e Our k n e e l i n g a s c a t t l e b y a l l - g e n e r o u s waters? ( L D . p . 15) Her q u e s t i o n i s their  love;  i n t e n d e d as an a s s e r t i o n  the mention of death c l e a r l y  The s e x u a l a s p e c t o f i n any of the reference to  poems. it  of the  power  proscribes  love i s never d e a l t  its  with  I n "Wedding-Wind" there i s an  through the  sound q u a l i t y of the  of  directly oblique  line  "And a  s t a b l e d o o r was b a n g i n g , a g a i n a n d a g a i n , " a n d e v e n h e r e is  sense of  something d e s t r u c t i v e .  The o n l y o t h e r  makes r e f e r e n c e t o s e x u a l i n t e r c o u r s e , violent aspect;  "Deceptions"  deals  o n l y i n d i r e c t l y a l o v e poem b u t f o r two r e a s o n s :  it  indicates  I  again deals  with a rape. include i t  there  poem w h i c h with  its  T h i s poem  in this  L a r k i n ' s broadening  limits.  is  section  sympathy  125  f o r and awareness love;  of others  and t h i s  is a kind  d o e s he s u g g e s t  a s p e c t of r a p e .  assigned a passive r o l e but "Wedding-Wind" since  a b o u t by d r u g s .  I n none o f h i s  it  it.  it  Is  else:  a degraded v e r s i o n of  i s t o t a l lack of r e s i s t a n c e  The m a l e i s t h e a g g r e s s o r ,  but i t  up the  stairs  theme a n d h i s u l t i m a t e a w a r e n e s s leaving nothing.  p l e a s u r e and happiness  filment's desolate  in life;  attic"  i n The N o r t h S h i p , b u t  that  also,  is  "To b u r s t  on t h i s  the sexual  finding  into  ful-  37).  f a i l u r e of r e l a t i o n s h i p s Larkin is  r e l a t i o n s h i p s and b e w a i l i n g the  and r e a l i s t i c  journey  to gain  "Latest  Face"  v e r s i o n of t h i s  occurs dealing  p o s s i b i l i t y of  i s a much more  theme.  He a c k n o w l e d g e s  powerful a t t r a c t i o n of p h y s i c a l beauty but a l s o there  i n advance  inevitable conclusion,  i n t h e poems t h e r e  becoming a d i s c a r d e d l o v e r .  the  the  (LD. p.  A n t i c i p a t i o n of the  aggressive  brought  i s a s t r i p p i n g away o f  The m a n ' s a t t e m p t  i n "Next Please"  with specific  that  an  i s a v e r s i o n of the  s a t i s f a c t i o n becomes a n Image f o r m a n ' s h o p e o f  suggested  is  is  seems b a s e d o n d e s p e r a t i o n more t h a n a n y t h i n g  His progress  deception,  the  Once a g a i n t h e f e m a l e  a g g r e s s i o n o n a p e t t y s c a l e s he s u b d u e s r e s i s t a n c e and h i s d e s i r e  poems  t h a t a s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p has any o f  values normally a t t r i b u t e d to  as  of  secondly because L a r k i n chooses to d e a l w i t h p h y s i c a l  love i n the negative  in  in itself  suggests  i s a p o t e n t i a l s t e r i l i t y i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p begun  basis:  126 A d m i r e r a n d a d m i r e d embrace On a u s e l e s s l e v e l , w h e r e I c o n t a i n your current grace, You my j u d g e m e n t . (LD_. p . 41) However, development of the r e l a t i o n s h i p beyond t h i s t o d i s c o v e r whether a n y t h i n g e x i s t s  behind the  point  masks:  will The s t a t u e o f y o u r b e a u t y w a l k ? M u s t I wade b e h i n d i t , t i l l Something's found—or i s not f o u n d — (LD. p . c r e a t e s the k i n d of  involvement which the  may make u n d e s i r a b l e . challenges  beauty's  D e n i a l of the b a s i c  power a n d i s  increased  i n "Places,  real choice,  Loved Ones" the  since  perhaps a l s o  destructive:  before  being  no  the s t r o n g p o s s i b i l i t y of d e s t r u c t i o n  of  either  that  the  choice. poet's  The L e s s D e c e i v e d t h a n t h e  impulse i s to  last  destroy  l e s s markedly d i f f e r e n t  latter  is  from  f r o m The N o r t h S h i p .  i s an i n c r e a s e d m a t u r i t y which t a k e s the form of  even wider range and  The e n e r g y o f t h e  destroyed.  The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s i s  There  41)  situation i n fact affords  some k i n d a c c o m p a n i e s l i n e s does suggest  awareness  attraction  can D e n i a l of you duck and r u n , Stay out of s i g h t and double r o u n d , L e a p f r o m t h e s u n w i t h mask a n d b r a n d And murder and not u n d e r s t a n d ? (LD. pi As  41),  of sympathy, a g r e a t e r  ironic  an  self-awareness,  a n i n c r e a s e d c o m p a s s i o n f o r man i n h i s a t t e m p t s  to  127  preserve an i l l u s i o n of c e r t a i n values which d e a l w i t h the l a c k of love focus  largest  Songs of the  and t h e i r f u l f i l m e n t ; t h i s , group of the  i n Age" deals  love's  love or with the  The  idea of  love.  significantly,  w i t h t h e need t o m a i n t a i n t h e  constantly  present,  illusion  it  a constant  of  a household  o b j e c t taken f o r g r a n t e d , but they are never examined: represent  is  "Love  The s o n g s a r e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  They a r e  of  our  l o v e poems i n t h i s v o l u m e ,  potentialities.  poems  inadequacy  o n t h e m i s e r y c a u s e d by t h e g a p b e t w e e n  expectations the  in life.  they  p r o m i s e o f what l o v e c a n do i f a n d when  is c a l l e d upon: She k e p t h e r s o n g s , t h e y t o o k so l i t t l e s p a c e , The c o v e r s p l e a s e d h e r ; One b l e a c h e d f r o m l y i n g i n a s u n n y p l a c e , One m a r k e d I n c i r c l e s b y a v a s e o f w a t e r , One m e n d e d , when a t i d y f i t h a d s i e z e d h e r , And c o l o u r e d , by h e r d a u g h t e r — 3  When t h e moment o f w i d o w h o o d , a n d by i m p l i c a t i o n l o n e l i n e s s arrives,  then the  may be e x p l o i t e d . the  songs a r e  opened t h a t  their  potentiality  They b r i n g b a c k t h e memory o f y o u t h a n d  sense then of l i f e ' s  rich  potential:  And the u n f a i l i n g sense of b e i n g young Spread out l i k e a spring-woiken t r e e , w h e r e i n That h i d d e n freshness sung, That c e r t a i n t y of time l a i d up i n s t o r e A s when s h e p l a y e d them f i r s t . (WW. p . 12)  3The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s , p ; 12. A l l f u t u r e r e f e r e n c e s t o t h i s v o l u m e w i l l be i n c l u d e d i n t h e t e x t w i t h t h e a b b r e v i a t i o n , WWi  128 The p o t e n t i a l  i n c l u d e d the  i d e a of  loves  I t s b r i g h t i n c i p i e n c e s a i l i n g above, S t i l l p r o m i s i n g to s o l v e , and s a t i s f y , And s e t unchangeably i n o r d e r . (WW. p . But,  w i t h the  subsequent it  is,  e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e memory i n t h e  experience,  and the  love's  power i s  a d m i s s i o n o f t h i s means  light  seen f o r the the  of illusion  d e n i a l of  f u t u r e h o p e o f l o v e a s a remedy f o r t h e c h a o s a n d of  12)  all  inadequacies  lifes So To p i l e them b a c k , t o c r y , Was h a r d , w i t h o u t l a m e l y a d m i t t i n g how I t h a d n o t done so t h e n , a n d c o u l d n o t n o w . (WW. p . 12) In this  that since  the  poem a n d i n " F a i t h H e a l i n g " L a r k i n i s  t r a d i t i o n a l values  the  i l l u s i o n cannot  ance of l i f e without the The f o c u s lonely,  of  p l a c e d on l o v e a r e  irony is directed  u s i n g the  fact  d i s c r e p a n c y between the c r e a t e and the r e a l i t y  accept-  i l l u s i o n t h e n becomes much h a r d e r .  t h o s e whose p r o f e s s i o n i s t h e illusions,  destructive,  a l w a y s be m a i n t a i n e d a n d t h e  "Faith Healing", too,  but the  suggesting  of  i s o l d e r women who a r e less against  them t h a n  c r e a t i n g and m a i n t a i n i n g of loneliness  to a s s i s t  them.  i l l u s i o n these people attempt  to  of t h e i r m o t i v e s and a t t i t u d e s  is  i n the f i r s t  against  stanza,  p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the  The  brought  out  contrast  between  "warm s p r i n g r a i n o f l o v i n g c a r e " a n d " E a c h d w e l l s  129  some t w e n t y  seconds":  Stewards t i r e l e s s l y P e r s u a d e them o n w a r d s t o h i s v o i c e a n d h a n d s , W i t h i n whose warm s p r i n g r a i n o f l o v i n g c a r e E a c h d w e l l s some t w e n t y s e c o n d s . Now, d e a r c h i l d , What's w r o n g , the deep A m e r i c a n v o i c e demands, A n d , s c a r c e l y p a u s i n g , goes i n t o a p r a y e r D i r e c t i n g God a b o u t t h i s e y e , t h a t k n e e . (WW. p . 15) The e x c e s s i v e selves  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y that  i n what t h e y  the healers  p r o m i s e i s shown i n t h e i r  The p r o m i s e d l o v e a n d u n d e r s t a n d i n g l o o s e s of emotion, u g l y In i t s it  take upon them"Directing God".  a pent-up f l o o d  excess and the depth of  loneliness  betrays: and s u c h j o y a r r i v e s T h e i r t h i c k tongues b l o r t , t h e i r eyes squeeze g r i e f , a crowd Of huge u n h e a r d a n s w e r s jam a n d r e j o i c e — . (WW. p . 15)  L i k e t h e widow o f  " L o v e Songs  i n A g e " they have m a i n t a i n e d  an i l l u s i o n that  had they been l o v e d t h e i r  l i v e s would have  been d i f f e r e n t .  The i l l u s i o n  when t h e y a r e  all  that  the  f a i t h healer  have n o t h i n g but  is  shattered  has t o o f f e r and t h e y f i n d t h a t  " A n immense s l a c k e n i n g a c h e " .  i s d e s t r o y e d and the  given  The  s t r e n g t h of the acceptance of  illusion loneliness  a n d i s o l a t i o n h a s gone l e a v i n g o n l y a t o t a l v u l n e r a b i l i t y . The i m a g e r y o f t h e applying his the  poem s u g g e s t s  that  they  L a r k i n i s not s i m p l y  ideas about  love to t h i s  specific  occasion  c o n f r o n t a t i o n of the  f a i t h healer  and t h e women, b u t  of  130  suggesting that f a i t h healer  l i f e as a whole operates  I n him and t h e i r  l o v e a t h i s hands i s man's b e l i e f  e x p e c t a t i o n of r e c e i v i n g  i n a C h r i s t i a n God a n d  Idea of an a l l embracing heavenly l o v e . L a r k i n seems t o s u g g e s t ,  open t o u s .  Winter t h a t ,  of  Such a  is destructive since  e y e s away f r o m t h e p r e s e n t  l o v e , we a r e  The  i s L a r k i n ' s v e r s i o n of our v i s i o n o f G o d , and  t h e women's b e l i e f  which are  on t h i s b a s i s .  and the l i m i t e d  He s u g g e s t s  t h o u g h we c a n n o t  it  turns  our  in A Girl  to receive  capable of o f f e r i n g to others  belief,  possibilities  a s he d o e s  expect  the  In  undivided  a l i m i t e d form  lovei I n everyone there sleeps A sense of l i f e l i v e d a c c o r d i n g to l o v e . To some i t means t h e d i f f e r e n c e t h e y c o u l d make By l o v i n g o t h e r s , b u t a c r o s s m o s t i t sweeps A s a l l t h e y m i g h t h a v e done h a d t h e y b e e n l o v e d . That n o t h i n g c u r e s . (WW. p . 15)  Even the c a p a c i t y to g i v e l o v e has is  inherent dangers.  so S a d " i l l u s t r a t e s t h e p a t h o s o f a l i f e d e d i c a t e d  others,  s i n c e t h e g i v i n g becomes  dependence and s t i f l e s becomes  the r e c e i v e r ;  i s no p u r p o s e l e f t ,  wanted and burdensome l o v e . to a f f o r d the  to  i n such a case a k i n d the object of  t o o much t h e r e a s o n f o r e x i s t e n c e ,  removal there  "Home  love  so t h a t w i t h  no s t r e n g t h ,  of  its  only an u n -  I n a r e l a t i o n s h i p w h i c h seems  fewest b a r r i e r s and the g r e a t e s t o p p o r t u n i t y  f o r c o m m u n i c a t i o n , " T a l k i n g i n b e d o u g h t t o be  easiest,/Lying  together  and h o n e s t y  t h e r e goes b a c k so f a r " ,  an awareness  131  are  created  which themselves  identification.  prevent a sense of  Two p e o p l e who a r e h o n e s t  focus  t o t a l l y on t h e m s e l v e s :  their  e n v i r o n m e n t and t h e i r  total  and aware  t h e i r awareness position within  will  cannot  extend  to  it:  O u t s i d e , the w i n d ' s Incomplete unrest B u i l d s and d i s p e r s e s c l o u d s about the s k y , A n d d a r k towns h e a p u p o n t h e h o r i z o n . None o f t h i s c a r e s f o r u s . (WW. p . 2 9 ) So t h a t  t h e i r honesty  s i n c e w i t h i n the  t a k e s them t o t h e  p o s i t i o n of  silence,  situation  I t becomes s t i l l more d i f f i c u l t t o f i n d Words a t o n c e t r u e a n d k i n d , Or n o t u n t r u e a n d n o t u n k i n d . (WW. p . 2 9 ) Brought to a s i m i l a r k i n d of awareness  through impending  d e a t h , a g a i n l o v e seems t o s o l v e n o t h i n g , f o r a t moment t h e  individual finds himself totally  From t h e e x c h a n g e o f Unreachable w i t h i n a The t r a f f i c p a r t s t o B r i n g s c l o s e r what i s And d u l l s t o d i s t a n c e L a r k i n seems t o f e e l  to  escape from the  briefly length  alone:  Far love to l i e room l e t go b y l e f t t o come, a l l we a r e . (WW. p .  that  love is b a s i c a l l y selfishness  33)  what m o s t p e o p l e d e f i n e  and a n a l m o s t  inevitable isolation.  instinctive  He s u g g e s t s  i n " F a i t h H e a l i n g " and d e a l s w i t h the in "Self's  such a  point at  the Man" and "Dockery and S o n " .  The  as desire  this some former  132  poem i s v e r y s i m i l a r t o  "Places,  Loved Ones",  for  t h e s t a t e o f t h e m a r r i e d s e t t l e d man a n d t h a t man, e v e n t u a l l y showing t h a t  the c o n t r a s t  Is  it  of the false,  contrasts isolated since  the b a s i c m o t i v a t i o n f o r c h o i c e of s t a t e i s s e l f i s h n e s s . man w i t h o u t t i e s , them b e c a u s e  whom L a r k i n f e e l s  he r e p r e s e n t s ,  he d o e s n o t w i s h t o meet  m a r r i e d man o r woman seems a t  first  than  Though the  requires  t h e demands, so t h a t  engaged i n t a k i n g r a t h e r  marriage  s i g h t t o be p r e p a r e d t o  meet t h e s e d e m a n d s , what e a c h i n f a c t else s h a l l f u l f i l  is without  t h e demands t h a t  o r a n y c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l make o n h i m .  The  is  that  each p a r t n e r  someone  becomes  giving:  He m a r r i e d a woman t o s t o p h e r g e t t i n g away Now s h e ' s t h e r e a l l d a y , A n d t h e money he g e t s f o r w a s t i n g h i s l i f e o n w o r k She t a k e s a s h e r p e r k To pay f o r t h e k i d d l e s ' c l o b b e r a n d t h e d r i e r And the e l e c t r i c f i r e . (WW. p . 24) The two s t a t e s a p p e a r w i t h i n h i m s e l f i n " W i l d O a t s " , the r e l a t i o n s h i p described there for loneliness rather  seems t o be a  than a n y t h i n g . e l s e .  emphasised s i n c e the progress i n m a t e r i a l terms r a t h e r  consolation  The p o i n t  of the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s  than emotional  since  ones:  And i n seven years a f t e r t h a t Wrote over f o u r hundred l e t t e r s , Gave a t e n - g u i n e a r i n g I got back i n the e n d . (WW. p . 41)  is described  133  The e x t r a v a g a n c e almost  of the  f r e n z i e d attempt  ends b e c a u s e o f f e e l s that possible,  f o u r hundred l e t t e r s  suggests  to communicate.  relationship  i l l u s i o n on b o t h p a r t s .  The  The g i r l  a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d of a l l - i n v o l v i n g  an  obviously  love  is  though not w i t h h i m : P a r t i n g , a f t e r about f i v e R e h e a r s a l s , was a n a g r e e m e n t T h a t I was t o o s e l f i s h , w i t h d r a w n , And e a s i l y bored t o l o v e . (WW. p .  H i s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s t o h i s awareness  of  41)  obviously related  "bosomy E n g l i s h r o s e " who r e p r e s e n t s  one b e y o n d h i s r e a c h ,  an u n r e a l standard against  which  somehis  r e l a t i o n s h i p has been measured: I n my w a l l e t a r e s t i l l two s n a p s Of bosomy r o s e w i t h f u r g l o v e s o n . Unlucky charms, perhaps. (WW. p . 41) The e s s e n t i a l l y perhaps  suggested  The f i n a l t h i s presents place  destructive  in life.  i n the  q u a l i t y of h i s v i s i o n of her  p r e d a t o r y image i n t h e  poem i n t h e v o l u m e i s  L a r k i n * s most c o m p l e t e He m a i n t a i n s h i s  both l o v e and the v a l u e s others  fur  gloves.  " A n A r u n d e l Tomb" a n d comment o n l o v e a n d  ironical attitude attribute  to  the  context  of d e a t h and i t s  its  towards  i t by choosing  t o make h i s c o n c l u d i n g r e m a r k s a b o u t a l o v e d e p i c t e d i n a b o v e t h e tomb o f a d e a d c o u p l e .  is  Immediately love i s  stone  put  l i m i t a t i o n s i n the face of  into  this  134  clearly defined. responds hands,  to the  It fact  i s almost despite that  the k n i g h t and h i s  "One s e e s , w i t h a s h a r p t e n d e r  d r a w n , h o l d i n g h e r h a n d " (WW. p . 4 5 ) . •vulnerability i n himself "lie"  i n the  (WW. p . 45)•  next  line:  that  he  lady are holding  s h o c k , / H i s hand He n e g a t e s  with-  this  immediately w i t h the ambiguity "They would not t h i n k t o  He s u g g e s t s t h a t  has been t r a n s l a t e d  himself  of  l i e so  long"  what b e g a n a s a w h i m s i c a l i d e a  b y t i m e i n t o a s t a t e m e n t w h i c h was  not  intended: Such f a i t h f u l n e s s i n e f f i g y Was j u s t a d e t a i l f r i e n d s w o u l d s e e : A s c u l p t o r ' s sweet commissioned g r a c e Thrown o f f i n h e l p i n g t o p r o l o n g The L a t i n names a r o u n d t h e b a s e . (WW. p . The e s s e n t i a l l y appear  unrealistic  t o make i s  nature  suggested  l i n k e d through lengths Later generations,  i n , "Rigidly  and b r e a d t h s / O f  l a c k i n g the  i n t h e K n i g h t ' s way o f  life,  the  What w i l l It that  tomb,  "to  however,  is  love"  (WW. p .  p r o o f h a s t o be s o u g h t a n d i s  instinct  and t u r n s  it  established  almost  in  They true:/  46). the very  found o n l y a t totally static,  into need.  45).  possibilities.  "Our a l m o s t - i n s t i n c t " ;  d e a d l o v e r s whose r e l a t i o n s h i p i s the  its  (WW. p .  k i n d of o r d e r  prove/Our a l m o s t - i n s t i n c t  s u r v i v e of us is,  time"  seek another  they  they/Persisted,  sense of order  l o v e a n d t a k e them a s a s y m b o l o f visit  of the statement  45)  The p r o o f ,  the  fact  tomb  of  questions such as  it  is,  i s "amost t r u e " r a t h e r than t r u e , because i t i s not  the a c t u a l l o v e or i t s e f f e c t s which have s u r v i v e d , but "faithfulness  i n e f f i g y " and "stone f i d e l i t y " .  What does  i n f a c t s u r v i v e i s man's I n s t i n c t i v e need t o prove the Importance o f l o v e , s i n c e t h i s i s what l i n k s the knight and  lady w i t h the " e n d l e s s l y a l t e r e d people" passing  tomb..  by the  CHAPTER V THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TREATMENT OF A L L OTHER MAJOR THEMES I N LARKIN»S POETRY The c e n t r a l  issue  i n a l l L a r k i n ' s poems i s  examination of the r e a l i t i e s concerned w i t h the major  s e e s man a s a c r e a t u r e his  i n e v i t a b i l i t y of death;  He  who c o n s t a n t l y a v o i d s f a c i n g u p t o  i s not that  recognisable  o f s t a t i n g what he  believes  of f i n d i n g and d e p i c t i n g any k i n d of m e a n i n g f u l  existence  once the m e a n i n g l e s s  accepted.  The l o v e poems f i t  q u a l i t y of into this  L a r k i n sees l o v e as the major large  the  The p r o b l e m w h i c h emerges g r a d u a l l y a s  poetry matures  but that  He i s  in life;  s t a t e t h r o u g h h a v i n g a number o f e a s i l y  modes o f e s c a p e . the  of man's c o n d i t i o n .  l i m i t a t i o n s which e x i s t  l i m i t a t i o n being the  an  l i f e has  pattern,  i l l u s o r y escape,  e n o u g h t o be c o n s i d e r e d s e p a r a t e l y .  c a n be c o n s i d e r e d w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t  been  but,  the group  A l l other  of the o v e r a l l  The N o r t h S h i p poems w h i c h q u e s t i o n l i f e a r e  theme. like  q u a l i t y of  They r e l y v e r y h e a v i l y on c e r t a i n  images w o r k i n g w i t h  poems i n w h i c h t h e e a r l y poems t h e  situation is  idea expressed  itself  an image.  In  important  o f t h e poem, n o t t h e r e s o l v i n g o f o r p r e s e n t i n g o f a or viewpoint.  The w r i t e r i s  stating his  the  abstraction;  economy o f t h e  i s t h e most  Is  themes  l o v e poems i n t h e v o l u m e I n t h e i r  c u m u l a t i v e e f f e c t a n d do n o t h a v e t h e  since  a later these aspect conflict  questions about  life  137  rather  than a c t i v e l y  of  poem.  the  In J i l l clearly  and A G i r l  t h r o u g h the use  the  cyclic  yet  is  of the  closely  on t h e  ever  of the  progress  w h i l s t the w i n t e r of the year  w i n t e r as h i s  He i s itself  or pathos  of the  idea f i r s t  i n the  novels.  frenzied  in activity.  has a s u c c e s s i o n Imperative  w i t h the  the  repeated  line,  "A drum t a p s :  the  and,  the word "drum" w i t h i t s  repeated,  there is  expressed spring,  a n d i n man a s in  culminating i n  particular the  i s , however, undercut  a wintry drum."  emphasises since  fact  Each stanza  stanza  after  poem i n The  onset of  i n nature  The f i r s t  of f o r c e f u l verbs  "Rejolcel"  first  c l e a r l y and f i n a l l y  d e s c r i b i n g t h e a w a k e n i n g o f new l i f e almost  future  some k i n d o f l i f e  t a k e s shape : i n the  The poem d e a l s  does  i n d i v i d u a l man  death.  as  so  t h a t he  o r by t h e  i s not as  Larkin  focused  generations  North S h i p , though i t  death;  oncoming  b y t h e c o n t i n u e d e x i s t e n c e o f man i n p o s s i b i l i t y of  and  from b i r t h to  a s redeemed  The  of  from s p r i n g  an element of hope,  f i n a l season.  tragedy  year  suggests the  i n d i v i d u a l and on l i f e  present the  is that  i n w h i c h man p a r t i c i p a t e s  The p r o g r e s s  s p r i n g and so a l w a y s c o n t a i n s  not  s e a s o n Imagery  i s m i r r o r e d i n man's  sees man's  process  i n W i n t e r a n i d e a w h i c h emerges  q u a l i t y of nature  separate from.  to winter but,  f o r m u l a t i n g them t h r o u g h t h e  by  This  t h a t s p r i n g w i l l be f o l l o w e d b y w i n t e r  further  emphasis  funereal  connotations  on man's  approaching  is  138 death.  I n subsequent  the f o r e ;  Idea of death Is kept  emphasis t o negate the  s t a n z a seems t o a s s e r t .  i n the  the  ploughman and t h e  i n which they are  positive  S i m i l a r l y the  lovers  qualities  q u a l i t y of  i s u n d e r c u t by t h e  Even i n the  last  life  perspective  puts  What p l o u g h m a n h a l t s h i s p a i r To k i c k a b r o k e n p l a t e Or c o i n t u r n e d u p b y t h e s h a r e ? What l o v e r s w o r r y much T h a t a g h o s t b i d s them t o u c h ? ( N S . p .  effort  to  i n s t a n z a two t h e w o r d s " r e s u r r e c t e d " a n d " d e a d "  carry sufficient the  stanzas  and most a s s e r t i v e  required to  the  positive  "Cast o f f rememberings" suggests  of d e a t h , as does the i n which s p r i n g i s  stanza,  11)  the  i r o n y i n the second h a l f of the  seen i n j u x t a p o s i t i o n t o d e a t h and  c o n c l u d i n g note of the  force  stanza the  f r e n z y i s the repeated reminder of  deaths L e t i t a l l come a b o u t T i l l c e n t u r i e s of s p r i n g s A n d a l l . t h e i r b u r i e d men S t a n d on e a r t h a g a i n . A drum t a p s s a w i n t r y d r u m . ( N S . p . 12) Poem " X V I I " d e v e l o p s t h e  i d e a o f t h e a b o v e poem o f  the  s e p a r a t i o n b e t w e e n man a n d n a t u r e f o r w h i c h m a n ' s m o r t a l i t y is  largely responsible.  a n d n a t u r e f o r he f e e l s  The p o e t b e g i n s b y a s s o c i a t i n g man that  to capture the melancholy of  the  139  " s a d w i n d " he must come i n t o c o n t a c t human c o n d i t i o n w h i c h i s visit  its  counterpart,  the dead" (NS. p . 29).  i n such a v i s i t and r e v e a l s i n harmony w i t h t h e  with that  in contrast  He i m a g i n e s what he w i l l  an expectation  (NS. p .  the  stones  "shine  l i k e g o l d " and  to the  earth.  chooses to  express  life.  earth  so p e r f e c t  he i n d i c a t e s  what he  of Y e a t s ,  nature considers  is  seen  of the  as t o h u r t the  from which " A l l quietness  (NS. p . 14),  the  The image o f t h e m o o n ,  Through the c o n t r a s t  a n d b r i g h t " moon w h i c h i s  of  29)  i s t h r o u g h t h e d i s c r e p a n c y b e t w e e n man a n d  u s e d i n a manner w h i c h i s r e m i n i s c e n t  gone"  nature  image  the d i s a p p o i n t i n g l i m i t a t i o n s of  are  man's  a s s e r t s her l a c k of m o r t a l i t y : i n the f a c e  L a r k i n on o c c a s i o n s  and the  29)  i n fact  Of more a n d e v e r m o r e , A s some v a s t s e v e n - p i l e d w a v e , Mane-flinging, manifold, Streams at an endless s h o r e . (NS. p .  contrast  nature  tragedy of man:  morning as a whole c r e a t e s the  that  find  of f i n d i n g  i n s p i r e melancholy i n nature;  sodden g r a v e " ,  It  the  I must  i s d e s t r o y e d b y t h e r e a l i t y he f i n d s t h a t  d e a t h does n o t  "each  of  "For t h i s  H e a d s t o n e a n d wet c r o s s , P a t h s where t h e m o u r n e r s t r e a d , A solitary bird, These c a l l up t h e shade of l o s s . His v i s i o n  part  and c e r t i t u d e  in  "definite eyes, of worth  his dissatisfaction  with  140 the  flawed q u a l i t y of  life.  through an i n t e l l e c t u a l way w h i c h i s  not  a l l In the  i n the  poem " W i n t e r "  to the  scene b e f o r e him t h a t h i s  than through his normal everyday image o f  i s made  is  through his ideas  sudden awareness of situation.  later  It  is  poems.  are  response  indicated  rather  some s i g n i f i c a n c e  the  in a  Similarly  imaginative  swan w h i c h c a l l s  in a up  the  winter: F o r t h e l i n e o f a swan D i a g o n a l on water Is the c o l d of w i n t e r (NS. p .  and the  obliquely  rather than physical s i t u a t i o n  found at it  The s t a t e m e n t  19),  h o r s e w h i c h s u g g e s t s t h e human w i n t e r : And each h o r s e l i k e a p a s s i o n Long s i n c e d e f e a t e d Lowers i t s h e a d . ( N S . p . 19)  Neither  of  the  images i s  in Itself  particularly  evocative.  H i s a w a r e n e s s o f w i n t e r becomes a n a w a r e n e s s o f d e a t h a n d earlier human  image o f t h e  "waste of t h i s t l e s "  is  translated  into  terms: A n d s h r i v e l l e d men s t a n d Crowding l i k e t h i s t l e s To one f r u i t l e s s p l a c e . (NS. p .  In this  the  way t h e d e s o l a t i o n  19)  o f w i n t e r becomes a n image f o r  condition.  However, u n l i k e any of the  the n o v e l s ,  the  l a t e r poems,  poem ends o n a n u p w a r d n o t e w i t h t h e  or  man's  Indeed suggestion  141 of g l o r y I n man's  Indomitable s p i r i t  be e x t e n d e d t h r o u g h t h e g e n e r a t i o n s  and i n h i s a b i l i t y to  to  follow:  Yet s t i l l the m i r a c l e s Exhume i n e a c h f a c e Strong s i l k e n seed, That to the s t a t i c Gold w i n t e r sun throws back E n d l e s s and c l o u d l e s s p r i d e .  (NS. p p . 19-20)  Among t h e o t h e r poems b a s e d o n t h i s theme two a r e c o n s i d e r i n g i n some d e t a i l ,  s i n c e t h e y a r e b e t t e r poems t h a n  most i n t h e volume and t h e q u a l i t i e s w h i c h d i s t i n g u i s h from the r e s t are those which are to r e c u r i n the poetry.  Poem " X I I " h a s a c l e a r n e s s  and c o n s i s t e n c y of m e n t i o n e d so f a r  focuses  same way a s he f o c u s e s  awareness  o f f o c u s a n d a n economy  of h e r ,  not u n d e r s t a n d .  The  w i t h i n t h i s context  on K a t h e r i n e i n A G i r l  sense of the g i r l  poems one  the r a i l w a y c a r r i a g e conveying  i s o l a t e d p e o p l e t o one d e s t i n a t i o n .  on a P o l i s h a l r g l r l  observer's  later  The c e n t r a l image o f t h i s poem i s  which dominates the l a t e r work: a group of  them  Imagery s p r i n g i n g from t h i s w h i c h t h e  lack.  worth  poet  i n much t h e  In Winter.  i s based e n t i r e l y on h i s  s i n c e s h e s p e a k s a l a n g u a g e w h i c h he The poem i n d i c a t e s h i s v i e w p o i n t  visual does  I n the  f u s i o n of p h y s i c a l d e t a i l s : The s w i n g i n g a n d n a r r o w i n g s u n L i g h t s her e y e l a s h e s , shapes Her sharp v i v a c i t y of bone. H a i r , w i l d and c o n t r o l l e d , runs b a c k : And g e s t u r e s l i k e t h e s e E n g l i s h oaks F l a s h p a s t t h e windows o f h e r f o r e i g n t a l k . ( N S . p . 24)  The  pro-  142 The c l o s e n e s s her; of  but  It  of h i s o b s e r v a t i o n I n d i c a t e s i s a strange  interest/Before  There  because of the  and p a r t i a l i n t e r e s t ;  her angled beauty  i s a complete  his  falls"  interest  in  " a l l humanity  (NS. p .  24).  l a c k of r e a l communication between  i n c o m p r e h e n s i b i l i t y o f what she  is  them  saying.  What s h e s a y s becomes s i m p l y " a v o i c e / w a t e r i n g a s t o n y (NS. p . 2 4 ) .  The u s e o f t h e r a i l w a y image s u g g e s t s  s i t u a t i o n has w i d e r i m p l i c a t i o n s .  The  place"  that  the  incomprehensible  s o u n d s w h i c h t h e g i r l makes a r e c o m p a r e d t o t h e t r a i n b e a t , so t h a t itself  the  idea of s i g n i f i c a n c e not understood a t t a c h e s  to the  j o u r n e y a n d so t o l i f e .  f a i l u r e t o communicate on t h i s any p e r s o n ' s  Isolation.  narrowing sun" suggest by t h e  S i m i l a r l y the  girl's  o c c a s i o n becomes a n Image  The u s e o f t h e w o r d s " s w i n g i n g a n d a wider time context  which i s  supported  i m p l i c a t i o n s of ageing c a r r i e d i n "shapes/Her  vivacity  of b o n e . "  suggestions  for  The image i s  sharp  f u r t h e r extended w i t h  of a c c r u i n g experience  the  in  The t r a i n r u n s o n t h r o u g h w i l d e r n e s s Of c i t i e s . S t i l l t h e hammered m i l e s D i v e r s i f y behind her f a c e . ( N S . p . 24) The "XIV",  j o u r n e y a s a n Image f o r l i f e i s  "Nursery T a l e " ,  i n which d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t about  a s p e c t o f l i f e i n poem " X I I " i s of l i f e .  The poem s u g g e s t s  appointment but that  c e n t r a l t o poem  this  extended t o  not o n l y t h a t  one  i n c l u d e the  l i f e is a  whole  dis-  is constantly being r e a l i z e d  afresh,  143 each d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t c a r r y i n g the the  f i n a l d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t of  poet  one s t e p n e a r e r  to  death:  So e v e r y j o u r n e y t h a t I make L e a d s m e , a s i n t h e s t o r y he was l e d , To some new a m b u s h , t o some f r e s h m i s t a k e : So e v e r y j o u r n e y I b e g i n f o r e t e l l s A weariness of daybreak, spread With c a r r i o n k i s s e s , c a r r i o n f a r e w e l l s . ( N S . p . 26) The a w a r e n e s s  of t h i s aspect of  life  i s b r o u g h t a b o u t by  i m a g i n a t i v e sympathy w i t h t h e n u r s e r y t a l e w h i c h g i v e s poem i t s  title.  idea that  Indirectly  the  i s developed i n J i l l ,  poem b e g i n s that  come t h r o u g h i m a g i n a t i v e e x p e r i e n c e In his recreating  he p e r c e i v e s  a p a t t e r n o n w h i c h most  awareness  o f r e a l i t y may  of the t a l e of the  a p p r o a c h t o w a r d s e a c h new e x p e r i e n c e  the  to b u i l d up the  a s much a s t h r o u g h  experience.  his  concrete  horseman,  l i v e s are based:  the  w i t h some h o p e f u l  illusion  w h i c h i s d e s t r o y e d by t h e r e a l i t y w h i c h p r e s e n t s  itself  place  everything  of the  expectations,  l e a d i n g t o one  inevitable  u n t i l we r e a l i z e  that  in  the is  conclusion:  f o r though H i s p l a c e was s e t , t h e r e was no more T h a n one u n p o l i s h e d p e w t e r d i s h , t h a t b o r e The b a t t e r e d c a r c a s e o f a c a r r i o n c r o w . ( N S . p . 26) The t i t l e since  it  of the  poem s u g g e s t s a f u r t h e r  suggests that  which begins  the  process  l i n k w i t h the  novels,  of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t i s  v e r y e a r l y a n d i s common t o a l l m e n ' s  one  experience.  144 Poem  M  XXI",  which also  perception  is  explores  idea of  i n some ways e v e n c l o s e r  t h e dream o r v i s i o n i s a d i r e c t mind.  the  imaginative  to J i l l ;  in this  product of the  p o e t ' s own  L i k e J o h n he l i v e s t h r o u g h a n e x p e r i e n c e  i m a g i n a t i o n b e f o r e he d o e s ness of a l l experiences  so i n r e a l i t y ,  W i t h i n t h e dream t h e to death.  It  surrounding  poet  is a blind  in his  so t h a t  his  aware-  d e v e l o p i n g t o w a r d s t h e dream  w i l l be e n h a n c e d by h i s k n o w l e d g e o f t h e  poem  possible  situation  conclusion.  sees l i f e as a p r e c a r i o u s i g n o r i n g of the f o r c e s of  opposition destruction  it: And the wind c l i m b e d up the caves To t e a r a t a d a r k - f a c e d g a r d e n Whose b l a c k f l o w e r s were d e a d , A n d b r o k e r o u n d a h o u s e we s l e p t i n , A drawn b l i n d and a b e d . ( N S . p . 34)  When t h e be  ignorance  i s broken, the r e a l i t y  o f e x i s t e n c e must  faced: I was s l e e p i n g , a n d y o u woke me To w a l k o n t h e c h i l l e d s h o r e Of a n i g h t w i t h no memory. (NS, p .  and  total  i s o l a t i o n and emptiness  become  34)  apparent:  T i l l y o u r v o i c e f o r s o o k my e a r T i l l y o u r two h a n d s w i t h d r e w A n d I was empty o f t e a r s , On t h e edge o f a b r i c k e d a n d s t r e e t e d s e a And a c o l d h i l l of s t a r s . ( N S . p . 34) It  is  t o escape t h i s k i n d of awareness  d e v i s e d f o r h i m s e l f v a r i o u s means  t h a t man h a s  of d i s g u i s i n g h i s  loneliness  145 and h i s knowledge of d e a t h ' s  approach.  Two o f t h e  poems  The N o r t h S h i p w h i c h d e a l w i t h s e l f - d e c e p t i o n f o c u s n i g h t as  the  since  it  and i n our i s o l a t i o n a t too,  attempts  then that  this  we f i n d o u r s e l v e s  time perceive  with death,  our basic  so t h a t  the  is lived.  much g r e a t e r  degree  Isolation.  of urgency i n the attempt  sense of urgency  p i c k e d up In the and l e t  the  (NS. p . 17). established,  In the  Images o f  flames break  the  to  l i g h t and d a r k ,  I n poem " X V I " t h e r e  approach  The v e r b s  shadows  Is a g r e a t e r  carry  and t h i s  " K i c k up the  d r i v e the  a  prolong the  energy they e x p r e s s ,  loose/To  images  Poem " V I " e x p r e s s e s  daytime a c t i v i t i e s and t o a v o i d b e i n g a l o n e . this  loneliness.  I n poem " V I " a n d " X V I "  of time which emphasises  i n e v i t a b l e hours of  alone;  frenzied  d u r i n g t h e d a y t o a v o i d f a c i n g n i g h t become  i s an awareness  of the  is  is associated  o f t h e way i n w h i c h l i f e there  on the  t i m e when i t becomes m o s t d i f f i c u l t t o m a i n t a i n  the deception,  Night,  in  fire,  back"  sense of  almost monotonous, r o u t i n e to which the  is  an  poet  is  resigned: The b o t t l e i s d r u n k o u t b y o n e ; A t t w o , the book i s s h u t ; At t h r e e , the l o v e r s l i e a p a r t , L o v e a n d i t s commerce d o n e . (NS. p . Yet  i n b o t h poems t h e moment o f b e i n g a l o n e  difficult  because of the attempts  i n contrast  to the  energy of the  i s made more  to delay i t .  much o f t h e m e a n i n g i s c a r r i e d b y t h e c h a n g e earlier  28)  I n poem " V I "  i n pace and s o u n d ;  l i n e s we h a v e :  146 Who c a n c o n f r o n t The i n s t a n t a n e o u s g r i e f o f b e i n g a l o n e ? Or w a t c h t h e s a d i n c r e a s e A c r o s s the mind of t h i s p r o l i f i c p l a n t , Dumb i d l e n e s s ? ( N S . p . 17) Poem " X V I " d e v e l o p s r a t h e r his  i n a b i l i t y to enjoy  d i f f e r e n t l y , since  the f i n a l  the  poet  regrets  escape of the d a y , s l e e p  and  forgetfulness: A n d I am s i c k f o r want o f s l e e p ; So s i c k , t h a t I c a n h a l f - b e l i e v e The s o u n d l e s s r i v e r p o u r i n g f r o m t h e c a v e Is n e i t h e r s t r o n g nor deep; O n l y a n image f a n c i e d I n c o n c e i t . (NS. p . The s e r i e s  o f poems w h i c h g i v e t h e v o l u m e i t s  t a i n a l l t h e themes i n the volume.  and most o f t h e  Although t h i s  anything else that  the  later  common w i t h C o l e r i d g e ' s i n that  it  poems.  In style  lacks  i t h a s much i n it  and i t does n o t have t h e  same  Inevitability. image i s t h e b a s i s  of the  poem i n c o n j u n c t i o n  i d e a of the n o r t h , c o l d n e s s and I s o l a t i o n ,  greater  w i t h the  i s not a p a r t i c u l a r l y  i n The N o r t h S h i p I t  i n g t o w a r d s a more c o m p l e t e a w a r e n e s s . the  i n k i n d from  d o e s n o t w o r k w i t h Images o f s u c h a r c h e t y p a l  The j o u r n e y w i t h the  con-  elsewhere  "Ancient M a r i n e r " , but i s u n l i k e  s i g n i f i c a n c e and a s s o c i a t i o n , sense of  is different  L a r k i n has w r i t t e n , i t  immediacy of the  title  images w h i c h o c c u r  series  o r i g i n a l poem a n d l i k e t h e o t h e r s  28)  significance  of the  The " L e g e n d "  all  assist-  establishes  journey north i n comparison  j o u r n e y s made e a s t a n d w e s t :  147 B u t t h e t h i r d went w i d e a n d f a r I n t o an u n f o r g i v i n g sea Under a f i r e - s p i l l i n g s t a r , A n d i t was r i g g e d f o r a l o n g j o u r n e y . ( N S . p . 44) The r e m a i n i n g poems i n t h e the  journey northwards.  sequence each mark a s t a g e  "65°  North"  i s a poem w h i c h  the g r a d u a l merging of v i s i o n and r e a l i t y . world of  emptiness  is  so  I n t h e dream  the  ( N S . p . 45)  s h i p goes n o r t h w a r d , the dream i s  indicates  traces  perceived:  My s l e e p i s made c o l d By a r e c u r r e n t dream Where a l l t h i n g s seem S i c k e n i n g l y to poise On e m p t i n e s s , o n s t a r s D r i f t i n g under the w o r l d . As the  in  its ultimate,complete  p a r t l y r e a l i z e d and  realization:  L i g h t s t r i k e s from the i c e : L i k e one n e a r d e a t h Savours the serene b r e a t h , I grow a f r a i d , Now t h e b a r g a i n i s m a d e , That dream draws c l o s e . ( N S . p . 45) "70° N o r t h " a n d ' ^ ^ N o r t h " balance previous  work t o g e t h e r  between v i s i o n and r e a l i t y as poem.  "Fortune T e l l i n g "  and the m e e t i n g w i t h a dark g i r l with death.  I n "75°North",  on board s h i p sees d i f f e r e n t approaching fate  i n the  t o make t h e  is contained i n  indicates a long who seems t o be  w i t h i n the b l i z z a r d , images;  form of the  same  the girl:  the  journey  associated each  person  poet r e c o g n i s e s  his  148 And beyond a l l doubt I know A g i r l Is standing there Who w i l l t a k e no l o v e r s T i l l she winds me i n h e r h a i r . (NS. p. 46) The  word "wind" p i c k s up " w i n d i n g - s h e e t " i n t h e p r e v i o u s  s t a n z a and makes t h e a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h d e a t h more e x p l i c i t . The  l a s t poem i n t h e sequence, "Above 80  North",  i s d i s a p p o i n t i n g i n t h e way t h a t t h e c o n c l u s i o n of poem "XX" is.  The v i s i o n becomes t h e t o t a l e x p e r i e n c e and t h e i d e a o f  d e a t h as a woman i s a g a i n s u g g e s t e d .  But t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e  of t h e v i s i o n i s n o t c l e a r and t h e expected r e s o l u t i o n o f the e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e e a r l i e r poems i n t h e sequence does not occur. The  c l e a r impression  g i v e n by The Less D e c e i v e d t h a t  the poet has l e a r n t t o e x p r e s s h i m s e l f  i n h i s own terms i s  r e f l e c t e d i n a s e r i e s o f poems which a r e s e l f - e x p l o r a t o r y . A l t h o u g h t h e volume has a much b r o a d e r range o f sympathy and a w i d e r p e r s p e c t i v e on u n i v e r s a l problems, as t h e number o f poems making some k i n d o f s o c i a l comment i n d i c a t e s , i n a sense t h i s i s o n l y p o s s i b l e once L a r k i n has e s t a b l i s h e d h i s own i d e n t i t y and i s aware o f how h i s v i s i o n o f l i f e i s a f f e c t e d by i t .  The s e l f t h a t L a r k i n p r e s e n t s  almost i d e n t i c a l with Katherine i n Winter.  i n The Less D e c e i v e d i s  a t the conclusion of A G i r l  The l a s t paragraph o f t h e n o v e l summarises t h e  s t a t e m e n t s made i n L a r k i n ' s poems o f s e l f - e x a m i n a t i o n :  149 Y e t t h e i r passage was not s a d d e n i n g . U n s a t i s f i e d dreams r o s e and f e l l about them, c r y i n g out a g a i n s t t h e i r i m p l a c a b i l i t y , but i n the end g l a d t h a t such o r d e r , such d e s t i n y , e x i s t e d . A g a i n s t t h i s knowledge, the h e a r t , the w i l l , and a l l t h a t made for protest, could at l a s t sleep. (AGW. p. 248) L a r k i n f e e l s t h a t he has r e a c h e d a p o i n t of awareness when his  i l l u s i o n s a r e a p p a r e n t as such t o him.  "Poetry  I n "Toads" and  of D e p a r t u r e " he i n d i c a t e s ways of l i f e which a p p e a l  t o him as b e i n g more s a t i s f y i n g t h a n h i s own.  His d e s i r e to  escape work i s the s t a r t i n g p o i n t o f "Toads" and he l o n g i n g l y of t h o s e who  do  thinks  so:  L o t s of f o l k l i v e on t h e i r w i t s : Lecturers, l i s p e r s , Losels, loblolly-men, l o u t s — They don't end as paupers; L o t s of f o l k l i v e up l a n e s With f i r e s i n a bucket, Eat w i n d f a l l s and t i n n e d s a r d i n e s — They seem t o l i k e i t . T h e i r n i p p e r s have got bare f e e t , T h e i r unspeakable wives Are s k i n n y as w h i p p e t s — a n d y e t No one a c t u a l l y s t a r v e s . (LD. p. And  32)  y e t even w h i l e he e x p r e s s e s h i s envy, t h e r e i s a r e l u c t a n t  awareness i n him  of t h e unromantic and u n a p p e a l i n g a s p e c t s o f  such s i t u a t i o n s i n d i c a t e d i n the s l i g h t l y q u a l i f y i n g , s l i g h t l y undercutting  q u a l i t y of the l a s t l i n e s of each s t a n z a .  In  " P o e t r y of D e p a r t u r e s " he shows h i m s e l f t o be e x c i t e d by hear lng,  "He  (LP. p. 34);  chucked up e v e r y t h i n g / A n d .just c l e a r e d o f f " But a g a i n i n the i m p l i e d comparison between the  150  e f f e c t t h i s has literature,  on him and a c e r t a i n t y p e o f  he s u g g e s t s h i s a w a r e n e s s  such s i t u a t i o n s  of  the  Imaginative l a c k of  hold for him:  So t o h e a r  it  said  He w a l k e d o u t o n t h e w h o l e c r o w d L e a v e s me f l u s h e d a n d s t i r r e d , L i k e T h e n she u n d i d h e r d r e s s Or T a k e t h a t y o u h a s t a r d . fDD. p . I n b o t h poems he c o n c l u d e s such escapes are as  reality  not  escapes r a t h e r  by d e m o n s t r a t i n g h i s a w a r e n e s s  f o r h i m b e c a u s e he i s  than s o l u t i o n s .  f o r t h i s awareness  3*0  a s does A G i r l  too aware o f  "Toads" uses the  same  that them image  i n Winter:  For something s u f f i c i e n t l y t o a d - l i k e S q u a t s i n me, t o o ; I t s hunkers a r e heavy as h a r d l u c k , And c o l d as snow. ( I D . p . J2) The f i n a l s t a n z a a l s o t h i s awareness  expresses a s i m i l a r acceptance of  i n v o l v e s i n t h e way o f d i m i n i s h e d  what  expectations:  I d o n ' t s a y , one b o d i e s t h e o t h e r One's s p i r i t u a l t r u t h ; B u t I do s a y i t ' s h a r d t o l o s e e i t h e r , When y o u h a v e b o t h . ( L D . p . 33) "Poetry of Departures" expressed  at  the  concludes  end o f J i l l  w i t h an idea s i m i l a r to  and i n " P l a c e s ,  "Reasons f o r A t t e n d a n c e " .  L a r k i n tends  i n w h i c h he f i n d s h i m s e l f ,  to  one  Loved Ones" and  t o accept the  some e x t e n t b e c a u s e he  situation believes  151  h i s n a t u r e has  created  pattern determines  his  the  so t h a t  l i f e t o w h i c h he w i l l  r e t u r n d e s p i t e any attempt B u t I ' d go  situation,  t o "break f r o m  a  definite  eventually  it:  today  Y e s , swagger t h e n u t - s t r e w n r o a d s , Crouch i n the fo'c'sle Stubbly w i t h goodness, i f I t w e r e n ' t so a r t i f i c i a l , Such a d e l i b e r a t e s t e p backwards To c r e a t e a n o b j e c t : Books; c h i n a ; a l i f e Reprehensibly perfect. ( L D . p . Jk) The image o f c o l d f o r a w a r e n e s s 1 Remember": early  occurs  i n "I  " C o m i n g u p E n g l a n d by a d i f f e r e n t  i n t h e c o l d new y e a r "  the t i t l e  suggests,  view back  on h i s  with the a c t u a l i t i e s  line/For  (LD. p. 3 8 ) . In t h i s  L a r k i n balances the k i n d of  l i f e which It  adolescence is described e n t i r e l y  as  fabricate,  H i s c h i l d h o o d and  i n negative  By now I ' v e g o t t h e w h o l e p l a c e Our g a r d e n , f i r s t : w h e r e I d i d B l i n d i n g theologies of flowers A n d w a s n ' t s p o k e n t o by a n o l d A n d h e r e we h a v e t h a t s p l e n d i d  poem,  once,  romanticised  w o u l d be t e m p t i n g t o  o f what he r e m e m b e r s .  Remember,  terms:  clearly charted. not invent and f r u i t s , hat. family  I n e v e r r a n t o when I g o t d e p r e s s e d , The b o y s a l l b i c e p s a n d t h e g i r l s a l l c h e s t , T h e i r c o m i c F o r d , t h e i r f a r m where I c o u l d be "Really myself". I ' l l show y o u , come t o t h a t , The b r a c k e n w h e r e I n e v e r t r e m b l i n g s a t ,  152  D e t e r m i n e d t o go t h r o u g h w i t h i t ; where s h e L a y b a c k , a n d " a l l became a b u r n i n g m i s t " . A n d i n t h o s e o f f i c e s , my d o g g e r e l Was n o t s e t u p i n b l u n t t e n - p o i n t , n o r r e a d By a d i s t i n g u i s h e d c o u s i n o f t h e m a y o r , Who d i d n ' t c a l l a n d t e l l my f a t h e r T h e r e B e f o r e u s , h a d we t h e g i f t t o see a h e a d — • ( L D . p p . 3«-9) The t e m p t a t i o n w o u l d be t o do a s to wish,  "You l o o k as  ( L D . p . 39).  if  whenever  you wished the  suppose  "Nothing,  are  it's  not  the  place's  l i k e something,  by g e n e r a l  echoes the c o n c l u s i o n s  too,  the  similar  anywhere." ( L D . p . 39)  t e m p o r a r i l y i s caused opinion that  of  In the  by  childhood is  The t o n e o f  complete  t h e r e c o g n i t i o n o f what l i f e r e a l l y h a s  D e p a r t u r e s " and " S k i n " . is,  that  "Oh w e l l , fault," I said.  happens  e x c i t i n g and memorable.  r e s i g n a t i o n at offer  in Hell,"  emerged:  i l l u s i o n fostered  necessarily  seems  t h o s e o f h i s own p e r s o n a l i t y  The d i s a p p o i n t m e n t he e x p e r i e n c e s the  place  o r w h e r e v e r he h a d b e e n b o r n a  p a t t e r n would have I  f r i e n d s u g g e s t s he  B u t once a g a i n comes t h e a s s e r t i o n  l i m i t a t i o n he r e d i s c o v e r s and t h a t  the  "Toads" and " P o e t r y  to  of  l a s t m e n t i o n e d poem t h e r e  the sense of a l i f e w h i c h as a r e s u l t  own p e r s o n a l i t y h a s b e e n more empty t h a n  of  Larkin's  most:  A n d p a r d o n me, t h a t I C o u l d f i n d , when y o u were n e w , No b r a s h f e s t i v i t y To w e a r y o u a t , s u c h a s Clothes are e n t i t l e d to T i l l the f a s h i o n changes. (LD. p.  kj)  153  "If  My D a r l i n g "  different  from that  h i s response his total head.  i n the  other  personality,  Instead  he t r i e s  of  using  t o show what g o e s o n i n h i s  He makes u s e o f t h e A l i c e T h r o u g h t h e the  t h e windows o f  same t i m e u s i n g t h e  the  soul.  image o f h e r s e l f  If  tion negatively,  Looking Glass  idea of the  eyes  being  h i s d a r l i n g were t o go b e y o n d  reflected  d i s c o v e r what he r e a l l y i s .  in his  eyes t h e n she  T y p i c a l l y he b e g i n s  i n d i c a t i n g that  secure normality w i t h evidence of  poems.  personality  t o a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n as an i n d i c a t i o n of  s i t u a t i o n , at  the  i s an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of L a r k i n * s  of  she w o u l d n o t  would  the  find  descripi n him a  o r d e r and a r o u t i n e  capable  continuation: She w o u l d f i n d no t a b l e s a n d c h a i r s , No mahogany c l a w - f o o t e d s i d e b o a r d s , No u n d i s t u r b e d e m b e r s ; The t a n t a l u s w o u l d n o t be f i l l e d , n o r t h e fender-seat cosy, Nor t h e s h e l v e s s t u f f e d w i t h s m a l l - p r i n t e d books f o r the Sabbath, Nor t h e b u t l e r b i b u l o u s , t h e housemaids l a z y .  She w o u l d f i n d ,  instead  accept a landscape  (LD. p.  of an environment f a m i l i a r and easy  changeable  42) to  and s l i g h t l y d i s g u s t i n g :  She w o u l d f i n d h e r s e l f l o o p e d w i t h t h e c r e e p of v a r y i n g l i g h t , Monkey-brown, f i s h - g r e y , a s t r i n g of i n f e c t e d c i r c l e s L o i t e r i n g l i k e b u l l i e s , about to c o a g u l a t e . ( L D . p . 42) Instead  of the  indefinitely  suggestion  of an o r d e r p o s s i b l e  t o be  continued  s h e w o u l d " r e m a r k / T h e unwholesome f l o o r , a s  it  154  m i g h t be t h e  s k i n of a g r a v e "  way i n w h i c h d e a t h r o b s expression  i n the  "adhesive  s t a t u e k i c k e d i n the feelings"  life  (LD. p. 42). of  its  H i s sense of  beauty  and meaning  sense of b e t r a y a l , / A  finds  Grecian  p r i v a t e s , . m o n e y , / A s w i l l - t u b of  (LJD. p . 4 2 ) .  the  finer  She w o u l d be made f u l l y a w a r e o f  e f f e c t s o f h i s a t t e m p t s t o be f r e e o f  illusion,  constant r a t i o n a l i z i n g leading to c o n t i n u a l  the  balanced  by  equivocation:  S h e ' d be s t o p p i n g h e r e a r s a g a i n s t t h e c o n s t a n t recital I n t o n e d by r e a l i t y , l a r d e d w i t h t e c h n i c a l t e r m s , E a c h one d o u b l e - y o k e d w i t h m e a n i n g a n d m e a n i n g ' s rebuttal. ( L D . p . 42) To be s u c h a p e r s o n means a c c e p t i n g life,  and t o  f u l l y understand t h i s  g i v i n g up a l l the  the meaninglessness  of  p o s i t i o n would Involve  i l l u s i o n s t h a t make l i f e  seem w o r t h w h i l e :  For the s k i r l of t h a t b u l l e t i n u n p i c k s the world l i k e a knot, A n d t o h e a r how t h e p a s t i s p a s t a n d t h e f u t u r e neuter M i g h t k n o c k my d a r l i n g o f f h e r u n p r l c e a b l e p i v o t . ( L D . p . 42) This  group of  poems r e p r e s e n t s L a r k i n ' s a t t e m p t  i n a c t i o n responding to life;  and a l s o  and h i s  situations  investigates  p h y s i c a l appearance,  and o t h e r  to view himself  people's  his mental-psychological a l l without i l l u s i o n or  view of make-up self-  deception; When K a t h e r i n e awareness,  she b e g i n s  in A Girl to  In Winter reaches a state  see more c l e a r l y  the m o t i v a t i o n s  of of  155  the l i v e s of others and she begins to view with compassion what she would have once d e s p i s e d .  In p a r t i c u l a r she becomes  aware of R o b i n ' s f r a n t i c attempts to f i n d meaning i n l i f e , h i s need to e s t a b l i s h some order w i t h i n the chaos and h i s reluctance death;  to accept the movement of time towards  impending  S i m i l a r l y L a r k i n i n The Less Deceived i s l e s s  self-  absorbed and more aware of man w i t h i n the context of h i s everyday l i f e s e a r c h i n g f o r v a l u e s .  There are poems i n t h i s  volume of a k i n d which are not present  i n The North S h l p i  These are poems which t r y to view l i f e objectively—rfiot simply p o i n t i n g out i t s  inadequacies as i n The North S h i p — b u t  a t t e m p t i n g to be p o s i t i v e about what l i f e has to o f f e r once its  l i m i t a t i o n s are a c c e p t e d .  a t i v e of t h i s ' g r o u p ; necessary  It  "Born Y e s t e r d a y " i s  represent-  i n d i c a t e s what i s normally seen as  f o r a happy l i f e through the expectations  and hopes  c e n t r e d on a new-born g i r l : the u s u a l s t u f f About being b e a u t i f u l , Of running o f f a s p r i n g Of innocence and l o v e — They w i l l a l l wish you t h a t .  (LD.. p .  24)  L a r k i n expresses h i s s c e p t i c i s m about such hopes, it  prove p o s s i b l e , / W e l l y o u ' r e a lucky g i r l "  What he f e e l s  "And should  (ID. p.  24);  i s t h a t the b a s i s f o r any k i n d of happiness i s  l a c k of e x p e c t a t i o n s extreme b e a u t y .  which a r i s e  from any unusual t a l e n t  or  I f she can reg ard h e r s e l f as o r d i n a r y , then  she w i l l not be d i s t r a c t e d by hopes f o r the f u t u r e from  the  156  extracting  t h e maximum f r o m what a c t u a l l y e x i s t s .  paradox which h i s wish contains o r d i n a r y person" w i t h the  i s the r a r e t y  potential for  The  of  "the  happiness:  May y o u be o r d i n a r y ; H a v e , l i k e o t h e r women, An average of t a l e n t s : Not u g l y , n o t g o o d - l o o k i n g , Nothing uncustomary To p u l l y o u o f f y o u r b a l a n c e , That, unworkable I t s e l f , Stops a l l the r e s t from w o r k i n g . I n f a c t , may y o u be d u l l — I f t h a t i s what a s k i l l e d , Vigilant, flexible, Unemphasised, e n t h r a l l e d C a t c h i n g of happiness i s c a l l e d . (LD. p . "At Grass" expresses a s i m i l a r viewpoint, f o r  it  24)  i s the  horses  i n t h e i r anonymity, with a l l t h e i r  fame a n d e x c i t e m e n t  them who f i n d some p e a c e i n l i f e .  They t o o h a v e r e a c h e d  p o i n t of o r d i n a r i n e s s found despite  i n which happiness  the approach of  of a s o r t  behind the  c a n be  death:  Do m e m o r i e s p l a g u e t h e i r e a r s l i k e f l i e s ? They s h a k e t h e i r h e a d s . Dusk b r i m s t h e shadows. Summer b y summer a l l s t o l e a w a y , The s t a r t i n g - g a t e s , t h e c r o w d s a n d c r i e s — A l l b u t t h e u n m o l e s t i n g meadows. A l m a n a c k e d , t h e i r names l i v e ; t h e y Have s l i p p e d t h e i r n a m e s , a n d s t a n d a t e a s e , Or g a l l o p f o r what must he j o y , A n d n o t a f l e l d g l a s s s e e s them home, Or c u r i o u s s t o p - w a t c h p r o p h e s i e s : Only the groom, and the groom's b o y , W i t h b r i d l e ; i n t h e e v e n i n g come. (Ljp.. p . 45) " W i r e s " approaches  the  young and o l d c a t t l e .  same p r o b l e m t h r o u g h t h e Larkin represents  image o f  y o u t h as a s t a t e  the of  157  expectancy  which can only lead to p a i n f u l d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t :  Young s t e e r s a r e a l w a y s s c e n t i n g p u r e r water Not h e r e but anywhere. Beyond the w i r e s L e a d s them t o b l u n d e r u p a g a i n s t t h e w i r e s Whose m u s c l e - s h r e d d i n g v i o l e n c e g i v e s no q u a r t e r . ( L D . p . 27) It  is  through the  p a i n of r e a l i z a t i o n that  But m a t u r i t y r e p r e s e n t s r e c o g n i s i n g of  l i m i t s , an avoidance of  day,/Electric  (LD. p. 27). evitable  The f i r s t  Larkin feels  p r a i r i e s have e l e c t r i c  that  i n the  last  Larkin is  i t means  the  pain through  " Y o u n g s t e e r s become o l d  l i m i t s to t h e i r widest l i n e of the  this  sense of  fences"  that  cattle  senses"  poem i n d i c a t e s  how i n -  limitation is:  "The  a more v i o l e n t  paragraph of A G i r l  suggesting  deliberate  widest  (LD. p. 27).  "Wires" obviously represents of that  comes.  a l i m i t a t i o n since  n a r r o w i n g of e x p e c t a t i o n : from that  maturity  statement  i n Winter.  r e a c h i n g a s t a t e of  It  seems  awareness  c a n be more p o s i t i v e l y d e s t r u c t i v e a n d p a i n f u l t h a n he h a d previously people  i n d i c a t e d , s i n c e he i s more a w a r e h i m s e l f  less able  V i o l e n c e of the no v i o l e n c e a t appearance  t o a c c e p t what he s e e s a s same k i n d o c c u r s  of a soundless  volume i s  i n "Myxomatosis".  perhaps  There  explained within  The s l o w l y d y i n g r a b b i t , f i e l d / W h i l e hot  other  inevitable.  a l l i n The N o r t h S h i p a n d t h e r e a s o n f o r  in this  poem i t s e l f .  of  "Caught i n the  is its  the centre  i n e x p l i c a b l e h o u r s go b y "  ( L P . p . 31)» seems, l i k e K a t h e r i n e ,  t o hope t h a t  a state  of  158  s t i l l n e s s and w a i t i n g w i l l past before  be r e w a r d e d b y a r e t u r n t o  the p a i n f u l experiences:  t h i n g s w o u l d come r i g h t a g a i n / I f still rabbit  and w a i t " ( L D . p . 31).  t h e same t i m e d e s t r o y s t h e  " Y o u may h a v e t h o u g h t  you c o u l d only keep q u i t e  Larkin's  i s an a s s e r t i o n of d e a t h .  the  sharp r e p l y to  He k i l l s  the  the r a b b i t but  at  i l l u s o r y hope o f a r e t u r n t o  n o r m a l i t y w h i c h w o u l d h a v e u l t i m a t e l y c a u s e d more p a i n a n d suffering:  "I'm glad I can't  explain/Just  i n what jaws y o u  were t o s u p p u r a t e " ( L D . p . 31)• The c l e a r a s s e r t i o n o f t h e  inevitability  what t h i s means i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c The N o r t h S h i p L a r k i n r e v e a l s  of d e a t h and  o f The L e s s D e c e i v e d .  t h a t d e c e p t i o n s and  e x i s t b u t he d o e s n o t h i m s e l f t a k e a n y a c t i o n t o  illusions destroy  t h e m , a s he d o e s v e r y p o s i t i v e l y i n t h i s v o l u m e .  He d o e s  i n s e v e r a l w a y s : he makes c l e a r t h a t man f i n d s i t to face up to the f a c t  "Dry-PoInt" accept  d e a t h as  o f d e a t h b u t he a s s e r t s t h a t r e f u s i n g  abstract  i n f l u e n c e he f e e l s  is.  I n some ways t h i s  poems i n t h e v o l u m e b u t t h i s  concreteness,  since  i t represents  terms,  is  i n us a n i n a b i l i t y  death  life.  inability  to  i s one o f t h e m o s t  in Itself  gives i t  through the q u a l i t y of  a b s t r a c t i o n s man's thought processes there  i t has on  i s an i n d i c a t i o n of man's  It  so  difficult  t o do s o i s d e s t r u c t i v e ; he comments o n t h e n a t u r e o f a s he s e e s i t a n d t h e  In  concerning death.  a its Because  t o see d e a t h i n r e a l , p h y s i c a l  we t e n d t o i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e i n t h e manner o f t h e poem.  159  The poem i s a l s o c o n c r e t e of the  process  new k i n d o f The f i r s t attempt  of  in its  illusion,  illusion,  reflection,  a process  i n w h i c h most o f u s awareness  through i l l u s i o n .  t o be l o n g e r  of  a  participate.  o f d e a t h w h i c h we  L i f e i s then a  s t r u g g l e f o r supremacy between the awareness u n t i l death i s too c l o s e  movement,  disillusionment, recreation  s t a n z a a s s e r t s our b a s i c  to suppress  in its  and the  constant illusion  avoided}  E n d l e s s l y , time-honoured i r r i t a n t , A bubble i s r e s t i v e l y forming at your t i p . B u r s t i t a s f a s t a s we c a n — I t w i l l g r o w a g a i n , u n t i l we b e g i n d y i n g . S i l e n t l y i t i n f l a t e s , t i l l we're enclosed And f o r c e d t o s t a r t the s t r u g g l e t o get outs B e s t i a l , Intent, r e a l . The wet s p a r k c o m e s , t h e b r i g h t b l o w n w a l l s c o l l a p s e : (LD. p . 1 9 )  1  The s t e r i l i t y w h i c h t h e n f a c e s u s i n o u r new a w a r e n e s s , depicts  i n terms  of  Larkin  landscapes  B u t what s a d s c a p e s we c a n n o t t u r n f r o m t h e n : What a s h e n h i l l s ! what s a l t e d , s h r u n k e n l a k e s ! How l e a d e n t h e r i n g l o o k s , Birmingham magic a l l d i s c r e d i t e d . ( L D . p . 19) B u t b e c a u s e we a r e r e l u c t a n t of  life,  there  to accept such an u t t e r  is a temptation to create a different  negation kind  of  cafv. S h o p e n h a u e r ' s comment when d i s c u s s i n g t h e f a c t t h a t , a l t h o u g h d e a t h must c o n q u e r , we p u r s u e Our f u t i l e p u r p o s e s , " a s we b l o w o u t a s o a p - b u b b l e a s l o n g a n d a s l a r g e a s p o s s i b l e , a l t h o u g h we know p e r f e c t l y w e l l t h a t , i t w i l l burst." Q u o t e d by B e r t r a n d R u s s e l l , H i s t o r y o f W e s t e r n P h i l o s o p h y ( L o n d o n : A l l e n a n d U n w i n , 1 9 4 6 ) , p . 784.  i6o illusion—that  o f some l i f e t o be e x p e r i e n c e d a f t e r  which being experienced a f t e r d e s t r u c t i o n and n e g a t i o n . i n d i c a t e s by t h e use o f  death i s beyond i t s  That t h i s  death,  powers  i s an i l l u s i o n  "dream" i n the  last  of  Larkin  line:  A n d how r e m o t e t h a t b a r e a n d s u n s c r u b b e d r o o m , I n t e n s e l y f a r , t h a t p a d l o c k e d cube of l i g h t We n e i t h e r d e f i n e n o r p r o v e , Where y o u , we d r e a m , o b t a i n no r i g h t o f e n t r y . ( L D . p . 19) L a r k i n seems t o f e e l t h a t f a c i n g h i s contemporaries society  i n w h i c h we l i v e  there are  special difficulties  and f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s offers  l e s s and l e s s  because  i n terms of  s t r u c t u r e d o r d e r and a sense of t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s . A r u n d e l Tomb" t h i s  is  t o see a permanence church,  p r e s e n t e d as  i n love;  "Church G o i n g " ,  dominate the that  it  poem: t h e d i s a p p e a r a n c e  represents,  out such places  t h e two themes  explored! which  of the church and a l l  and man's tendency to c o n t i n u e t o  i n s e a r c h o f s o m e t h i n g w h i c h seems t o  m i s s i n g from l i f e i the church  suggests  desire  poem l o c a t e d i n a  the wider i m p l i c a t i o n s are  The a m b i g u i t y o f t h e t i t l e  a  I n "An  one r e a s o n f o r t h e  i n another  the  seek be  One p a r t o f L a r k i n c a n a f f o r d t o mock  building:  A n o t h e r c h u r c h : m a t t i n g , s e a t s , and s t o n e , And l i t t l e b o o k s ; s p r a w l i n g s of f l o w e r s , c u t F o r S u n d a y , b r o w n i s h n o w ; some b r a s s a n d s t u f f Up a t t h e h o l y e n d ; t h e s m a l l n e a t o r g a n i ( L D . p . 28)  161  But there  i s something which cannot  mockery and w h i c h f o r c e s  be d e s t r o y e d by h i s  him to acknowledge i t s  powers  And a t e n s e , m u s t y , u n i g n o r a b l e s i l e n c e , B r e w e d God knows how l o n g . H a t l e s s , I t a k e o f f My c y c l e - c l i p s i n awkward r e v e r e n c e . ( L D . p . 28) His an  desire  f o r amused d e t a c h m e n t  awareness  i n e x p l i c a b l e i n v o l v e m e n t c r e a t e i n him and the  t e n s i o n which r e f l e c t s w i s h e s t o deny t h a t it  and a r e l u c t a n t  asserts, i t s  Despite his  the  larger  problem.  poem a  F o r , a l t h o u g h he  t h e c h u r c h i s a n y t h i n g more t h a n a  presence  as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  building,  of something more.  assertions  B u t s u p e r s t i t i o n , l i k e b e l i e f , must d i e , A n d what r e m a i n s when d i s b e l i e f h a s g o n e ? G r a s s , weedy p a v e m e n t , b r a m b l e s , b u t t r e s s ,  sky,  A shape l e s s r e c o g n i s a b l e each week, A p u r p o s e more o b s c u r e , (LD. pp. 28-29) he f e e l s  that  as  l o n g as t h e r e  of the church i t w i l l  i s nothing to take  remain an I r r e s i s t a b l e  the  place  attraction  to  some s because i t h e l d u n s p l i t So l o n g a n d e q u a b l y what s i n c e i s f o u n d Only i n s e p a r a t i o n — m a r r i a g e , and b i r t h , And d e a t h , and t h o u g h t s of t h e s e — f o r w h i c h was b u i l t This special s h e l l . ( L D . p . 29) A g a i n the  last  two p a r a g r a p h s  provide the basic  of A G i r l  of  I n W i n t e r seem  to  p a t t e r n o f L a r k i n ' s c o n c l u s i o n , f o r what  162 he i s  s a y i n g i s t h a t man m u s t f i n d some k i n d o f o r d e r  life.  When a l l e l s e f a l l s  from the awareness p r o g r e s s i o n of the  if  i s a c o m f o r t t o be  o f one p e r c e p t i b l e  l i f e towards d e a t h .  church created  and,  there  an awareness  the  gained  inevitable  W i t h i n the o l d system,  that  only f o r the reason that  order:  in  a l l tends  towards  death  the church ground s t i l l  v i s i b l e reminders of m o r t a l i t y , i t w i l l  assist  has  i n creating  a  p e r c e p t i o n of the only remaining i n d e s t r u c t i b l e order i n l i f e : A s e r i o u s house on s e r i o u s e a r t h i t i s , I n whose b l e n t a i r a l l o u r c o m p u l s i o n s m e e t , Are r e c o g n i s e d and robed as d e s t i n i e s . A n d t h a t much n e v e r c a n be o b s o l e t e , S i n c e someone w i l l f o r e v e r be s u r p r i s i n g A h u n g e r i n h i m s e l f t o be more s e r i o u s , And g r a v l t a t i n g ^ w i t h i t t o t h i s g r o u n d , W h i c h , he once h e a r d , was p r o p e r t o g r o w w i s e i n , I f o n l y t h a t so many d e a d l i e r o u n d . ( L D . p . 29) Although Larkin i n s i s t s ness of d e a t h and l i f e ' s i n a poem s u c h a s  so f i r m l y t h a t  constant  l i m i t a t i o n s i s necessary—and  "Wants" expresses a d e s i r e  of suggesting a p o s i t i v e death wish i n h i m s e l f , desire  of o b l i v i o n r u n s "  a b o u t what d e a t h  involves.  "Arrivals,  of  extent  "Beneath  it  (LD_. p . 2 2 ) — h e h a s no i l l u s i o n s  He d o e s n o t welcome d e a t h u n -  r e s e r v e d l y b u t e x p r e s s e s some f e a r means t o h i m .  even  t o be f r e e  t h e a r t i f i c i a l ways o f m a k i n g l i f e s i g n i f i c a n t t o t h e  all,  aware-  a n d r e v u l s i o n f o r what  D e p a r t u r e s " , as  the t i t l e  suggests,  is  concerned w i t h the  j o u r n e y theme a n d o n c e a g a i n t h e  is  a n image o f l i f e .  On t h e n a r r a t i v e  l e v e l the  it  poem  journey describes  163  the  constant  port cannot  comings and g o i n g s of w h i c h people l i v i n g fall  sense of the  t o be a w a r e .  T h i s awareness  creates  a  f l u c t u a t i n g , a r b i t r a r y q u a l i t y of l i f e .  new a r r i v a l  suggests  though t h i s  is  the  illusory  a  Each  p o s s i b i l i t y o f a new b e g i n n i n g , s i n c e we a l w a y s make t h e  same  choices:  And we, b a r e l y r e c a l l e d from s l e e p t h e r e , sense A r r i v a l s lowing i n the d o l e f u l d i s t a n c e — H o r n y d i l e m m a s at. t h e g a t e o n c e m o r e . Come a n d c h o o s e w r o n g , t h e y c r y , come a n d c h o o s e w r o n g ; A n d so we r i s e . ( L P . p . 44) W i t h e a c h d e p a r t u r e we a r e r e m i n d e d o f t h e  inevitable  u n d e t e r m i n e d t i m e o f o u r own d e p a r t u r e a n d what i t  but  involves:  At n i g h t a g a i n they sound, C a l l i n g t h e t r a v e l l e r now, the outward bound: 0 not f o r l o n g , they c r y , 0 not f o r l o n g — A n d we a r e n u d g e d f r o m c o m f o r t , n e v e r k n o w i n g How s a f e l y we may d i s r e g a r d t h e i r b l o w i n g , Or i f , t h i s n i g h t , h a p p i n e s s t o o i s g o i n g . ( L D . p . 44) The poem h a s a s a d a n d u n e a s y t o n e ; disease the  it  b r o u g h t about by the c o n s t a n t  l i m i t a t i o n s of l i f e but suggests  prepared f o r the  end.  poem s p r i n g s f r o m t h e " G o i n g " the constantly suggests  focus that  that  suggests awareness  that  the  perpetual  of d e a t h and  we a r e n e v e r  The d i s c o m f o r t a n d r e s t l e s s n e s s quality that  Whilst Larkin  we must be a w a r e o f d e a t h , is  in  d e a t h imposes on l i f e .  i s on death I t s e l f .  death i t s e l f  totally  still  in this  the In  asserts  poem he  an unresolved problem.  164 We c a n o n l y c o n c e i v e so d e a t h with. it  is  seems t h e  it  i n t e r m s o f what we know a n d  r e v e r s e of  The c o m i n g o f d e a t h "one  never  The r e s o l u t i o n "Silken it "When i t fort"  of  l i k e the  seen before/That  of chaos i t  seems a t  is  is  l i f e a n d what we a r e onset of  lights  evening,  no l a m p s "  seems t o o f f e r when  a distance"  familiar  (LD. p. 21),  (LD. p.  I n ending the  i t a new c h a o s t h r o u g h  its  chaos of  21).  distant,  is  illusory;  drawn up over knees and b r e a s t / I t b r i n g s  (LD. p. 21).  but  life  no c o m -  i t brings  with  unfamiliarity:  Where h a s t h e t r e e g o n e , t h a t l o c k e d E a r t h t o the sky? What i s u n d e r my h a n d s , That I cannot f e e l ? What l o a d s my hands down? The d e s c r i p t i o n h e r e o f  the  any p o i n t of r e f e r e n c e i s speeches towards similarity something the  lies  the  writers'  the  chorus *  sense t h a t the  The  perception  u n k n o w n a n d h o r r i f y i n g c a n o n l y be r e a c h e d  the  i n a b i l i t y of  attributed  described  we i m p l y t h a t  the  creates a physical b r a i n to  future  Please".  horror  and  is  In " T r i p l e Time" the  not  sense sterile  stated e x p l i c i t l y  terms and i n our r e j e c t i o n of too  t o be  of  through  t r a n s l a t e the  The n e g a t i v e  to death here are  i n negative the  This  normal responses.  " T r i p l e T i m e " and " N e x t is  of  without  end o f M u r d e r i n t h e C a t h e d r a l .  i n the  i m p r e s s i o n to the qualities  21)  senses f i n d i n g themselves  very reminiscent  normal sensory organs.  because of  (LD. p.  in  present this.  looked to with  great  165  expectancy saw"  since  the  (LD. p . 35)-  present  For the  is  "the  future  furthest  childhood  same r e a s o n o u r v i e w o f t h e  past  s h o u l d be m o d i f i e d , f o r what we d i s r e g a r d a s u n i m p o r t a n t the  present  w i l l become " A v a l l e y c r o p p e d b y f a t  chances/That Because of  we i n s e n s a t e l y  forbore  our I n a b i l i t y t o see  to f l e e c e "  the  present  we s h a l l a l w a y s make t h e w r o n g c h o i c e s Departures". reach the Threadbare "Next  It  is  the wrong c h o i c e s  s t e r i l i t y of our w i n t e r : perspectives,  Please"  seasonal  L a r k i n uses the  l o o k i n g out to sea a t  promises" for,  on the  turns its  shown i n  image o f t h e  Distance  "Arrivals,  we s h a l l b l a m e when we we b l a m e o u r (LD. p . 35).  present  time but  it  In  to  focusing of  l e n d s glamour as does  time,  we f i n d t h a t  we h a v e  " t i n y , c l e a r , / S p a r k l i n g armada o f  promises"  o u t t o be c r u d e , v u l g a r , u n e n t i c i n g a n d t o t a l l y  promise;  last/  p e r s o n on l a n d  p a y i n g no a t t e n t i o n  when what we h a v e h o p e d f o r a r r i v e s , The  (LD. p. 35).  " t i n y , c l e a r , / S p a r k l i n g armada  (LD. p. 20).  been d e c e i v e d .  is  decrease"  what a p p r o a c h e s ,  neglected  clearsightedly,  "On t h i s  what g o e s o n w h e r e he i s o r i n t h e a l l attention  as  in  unlike  is  Each rope  Leaning w i t h brasswork p r i n k e d , distinct,  F l a g g e d , and the f i g u r e h e a d w i t h g o l d e n A r c h i n g our way. ( L D . p . 20) Even t h i s  parody of our e x p e c t a t i o n s  No s o o n e r  present  than i t  turns  to  tits  "never anchors" past"  for  (LD. p. 20).  "it's/  Hope f o r  166 a n y t h i n g from l i f e  i s mistaken f o r what w i l l  eventually  anchor f o r each one i s "a b l a c k - / S a i l e d u n f a m i l i a r " (LD. p i f o r which we have not been l o o k i n g i  Instead of u n l o a d i n g " a l l  good Into our l i v e s " , t h i s s h i p i s huge and b i r d l e s s s i l e n c e . bre a k" ( L D . p . 20). sterility; makes.  it  20),  "Towing a t her back/A  I n her wake/No waters breed or  The poem concludes w i t h an image of  total  i s one of the few d i r e c t statements t h a t L a r k i n  He i s c e r t a i n of only two t h i n g s : t h a t f o r each of us  the end i s death and that death Is t o t a l a n n i h i l a t i o n . John H o l l o w a y ' s review of The whitsun Weddings i n the Spectator  2  captures  the d i f f e r e n c e between The Less Deceived  and The whitsun Weddings through i t s t i t l e , Deceived",  "Still  Less  s i n c e the ideas which are e s t a b l i s h e d i n the  e a r l i e r volume of poetry are developed s t i l l l a s t volumei no new t h e o r y ,  W i t h i n the review the c r i t i c only new poems," whereas i t  f u r t h e r i n the  says,  "There i s  seems to me that  the process of maturing which L a r k i n undergoes i n the time between the p u b l i c a t i o n of the two volumes does r e s u l t m o d i f i c a t i o n s and a new emphasis i n h i s t h e o r y . group themselves  i n some  The poems  i n a s i m i l a r manner to those i n The Less  Deceived except that t h e r e are many more poems i n t h i s volume which c o u l d be d e s c r i b e d as s o c i a l poems.  I  suggested  e a r l i e r t h a t the s o c i a l poems In The Less Deceived were p o s s i b l e because of L a r k i n * s i n c r e a s e d s e l f - a w a r e n e s s : 2  the  increased  i.  John Holloway, " S t i l l Less D e c e i v e d , " The S p e c t a t o r , February 28, 1 9 6 4 , 288.  167 number o f s o c i a l poems i n The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s i s b y poems o f s e l f - e x a m i n a t i o n w h i c h a r e much more than t h e i r counterparts  i n the  earlier  volume.  positive Larkin  t o h i s own d e v e l o p m e n t by p r o d u c i n g a s e q u e l t o entitled  "Toads R e v i s i t e d " .  m a t i c a l l y what i t finds  that  is  In this  he h a d i m a g i n e d i n t h e  poem b u t  Palsied old step-takers, Hare-eyes c l e r k s w i t h the  s t u p i d or weak"  t o go b u t  "dodging the  (WW. p .  18)  changed t o o ,  leisure  them b u t  exposes,  i n d o o r s , / N o f r i e n d s b u t empty c h a i r s — "  "Nowhere  (WW. p .  F o r t h i s r e a s o n he v a l u e s h i s own w o r k - o r d e r e d l i f e . ironic  tone,  a s he d e s c r i b e s  shows h i s a w a r e n e s s  that  the  he,  His  of the  i s no more  i d l e r s he h a s  described,  l i k e most men, needs a sense o f o r d e r and a sense of  filling lines  some f u n c t i o n , b o t h o f w h i c h w o r k g i v e s .  of the  18).  Importance to him of work,  a l t h o u g h t h e work i t s e l f  meaningful than the a c t i v i t i e s  for  toad work/By being  He no l o n g e r e n v i e s  such enforced  those  jitters,  of s u c h people has  (WW. p . 1 8 ) .  t h i n k s what e m p t i n e s s  " t o a d w o r k " and  instead  Waxed-fleshed outpatients S t i l l vague from a c c i d e n t s , And c h a r a c t e r s i n l o n g c o a t s Deep i n t h e l i t t e r - b a s k e t s — .  now he t h i n k s o f them a s  prag-  e n j o y i n g such l e i s u r e are not  earlier  H i s own v a l u e j u d g e m e n t  points  "Toads"  poem he e x a m i n e s  l i k e t o be w i t h o u t t h e  t h o s e who a r e  accompanied  The  ful-  final  poem, " G i v e me y o u r a r m , o l d t o a d ; / H e l p me down  168  C e m e t r y R o a d " (WW. p . 1 9 ) , I n d i c a t e sight  of the  o n l y p o s s i b l e end o f l i f e , b u t t h a t  c h o s e n a way o f m a k i n g p r o g r e s s terrible the  and m e a n i n g l e s s .  poem i s  towards t h a t  lost  he  has  end seem  The c h a n g e d a t t i t u d e w h i c h  p r i m a r i l y towards h i m s e l f .  such s t r i n g e n t failure  t h a t he h a s n o t  demands u p o n h i m s e l f ,  condemning h i m s e l f  he i s  less  suggested  isolated in his failures is  the  external circumstances  a clear  p i c t u r e of an e x i s t e n c e  room w i t h o u t a n y c o m f o r t s homeless  a n d images h i s  Fall  himself the  I n " M r . B l e a n e y " we l e a r n  of-Mr. Bleaney*s  life,  narrow and d e p r i v e d .  suggests  that  t h a n he h a s p r e v i o u s l y  I n e a c h poem a n o t h e r man i s  s t a r t i n g p o i n t of h i s e x p l o r a t i o n .  clarity  His feeling  shown i n two poems i n w h i c h he e x a m i n e s  i n r e l a t i o n to others.  all  to man.  He  need  w i t h o u t s e l f - r e c r i m i n a t i o n , w h i l s t l o s i n g none o f t h e external  for  position.  i s a c k n o w l e d g i n g a need i n h i m s e l f and m e e t i n g t h a t  of t h i n g s  dominates  He i s no l o n g e r m a k i n g  or f e e l i n g the need t o r a t i o n a l i z e h i s  of h i s awareness  less  someone who I s  forming His  essentially  life:  F l o w e r e d c u r t a i n s , t h i n and f r a y e d , to w i t h i n f i v e inches of the s i l l ,  Whose window shows a s t r i p o f b u i l d i n g l a n d , Tussocky, l i t t e r e d . " M r . Bleaney took My b i t o f g a r d e n p r o p e r l y i n h a n d . " B e d , u p r i g h t c h a i r , s i x t y - w a t t b u l b , no h o o k B e h i n d t h e d o o r , no room f o r b o o k s o r b a g s — .  (WW. p .  10)  169 The Image i s d e v e l o p e d f u r t h e r by t h e r o u t i n e d e s i g n e d t o shut out awareness and a l i e n a t i o n . w i t h the  The p o e t  external details  elaborately  ordered  of e s s e n t i a l  isolation  t a k e s h i s room a n d becomes f a m i l i a r of M r . Bleaney*s  life.  Taking  the  room seems t o h i m l i k e a n i n d e n t i f i c a t i o n b e t w e e n h i s own way of l i f e and t h a t i n g to the  of M r . B l e a n e y .  He e x a m i n e s h i m s e l f  respond-  situation:  B u t i f he s t o o d a n d w a t c h e d t h e f r i g i d w i n d T o u s l i n g t h e c l o u d s , l a y on the f u s t y bed T e l l i n g h i m s e l f t h a t t h i s was home, a n d g r i n n e d , And s h i v e r e d . (WW. p . 10) He r e a l i z e s  that  his  fear  is  that  the  comfortless  room i n  t o t a l l y u n b e a u t i f u l s u r r o u n d i n g s Images h i s way o f l i f e a s much a s he f e e l s  i t must r e f l e c t  " d r e a d / T h a t how we l i v e m e a s u r e s  Mr. Bleaney's;  just  he h a s  a  o u r own n a t u r e "  (WW.  p. 10).  He d o e s n o t know w h e t h e r M r . B l e a n e y s h a r e d t h i s  fear  and  he d o e s n o t know h i m s e l f how v a l i d a f e a r and S o n " the life  same p r o b l e m s a n d q u e s t i o n s  indicates  are r a i s e d , t h i s  "I  is.  In  "Dockery  a b o u t what a way o f  time from a sense of  between h i m s e l f and h i s contemporary. college  it  contrast  Revisiting his  he f i n d s h i m s e l f t o t a l l y d i v o r c e d f r o m h i s y o u t h ,  t r y t h e d o o r o f w h e r e I u s e d t o l i v e : / L o c k e d " (WW.  Dockery, present expected that  old  on the  p . 37)•  o t h e r h a n d , m a i n t a i n s a l i n k between past  through h i s son's difference  leads  presence  i n the c o l l e g e .  to an awareness  The u n -  on L a r k i n ' s  what we know o f a n y o n e o u t s i d e o u r s e l v e s  and  is very  part little  170  and t h a t  even our s e l f - a w a r e n e s s  the r a i l w a y l i n e s  crystalizes  is  the  The image  experience:  J o i n i n g and p a r t i n g l i n e s r e f l e c t (WW. p . 3 7 ) »  limited.  "the  ranged/  a s t r o n g / U n h i n d e r e d moon"  L i v e s w h i c h seem t o r u n p a r a l l e l a t  g r a d u a l l y d i v e r g e and proceed to d i f f e r e n t  journey are a l s o  the  outset  destinations.  Each d e s t i n a t i o n i s , however, u l t i m a t e l y the c o n d i t i o n s governing the  of  same a n d  the  common:  L i f e Is f i r s t boredom, then f e a r . W h e t h e r o r n o t we u s e i t , i t g o e s , A n d l e a v e s what s o m e t h i n g h i d d e n f r o m u s c h o s e , A n d a g e , a n d t h e n t h e o n l y end o f a g e . (WW. p . 38) It  is  the "something h i d d e n from u s " which causes the  differences little  i n ways o f  r e l a t i o n to  (WW. p . 3 8 ) . itself  It  life,  " i n n a t e a s s u m p t i o n s " w h i c h have  "what/We t h i n k t r u e s t ,  o r m o s t want t o d o "  i s n o t u n t i l a way o f l i f e h a s  and hardened " i n t o a l l we've g o t " ,  aware t h a t  a c h o i c e has been made.  established  t h a t we a r e  The p o i n t t h a t  m a k i n g i s v e r y s i m i l a r t o t h e one made i n " P l a c e s , but h i s a t t i t u d e  t o w a r d s what he i s  b u t he i s  e x p r e s s i n g compassion f o r the  man i s w i t h o u t a n y c l e a r merges  desires  choices  and b e l i e f s  is  l e s s concerned to  it  fits  fully  Larkin  and t h a t  is  Loved Ones",  saying is d i f f e r e n t .  i s no l o n g e r m o c k i n g m a n ' s r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f h i s failures,  seeming  He  life's fact  that  a way o f l i f e  sub-  and h u r r i e s us towards d e a t h .  He  j u s t i f y h i s own i s o l a t i o n t h a n t o see how  i n t o an o v e r a l l p a t t e r n and l i n k s him w i t h  others.  The poem c o u l d be s e e n a s a w o r k i n g o u t o f t h e r e a l i z a t i o n o f  171  Katherine  i n A G i r l i n W i n t e r when she d e s c r i b e s h e r r e l a t i o n -  s h i p w i t h R o b i n as based on b e i n g h i s f e l l o w t r a v e l l e r t o g i v e and r e c e i v e l i m i t e d a s s i s t a n c e .  able  I n t h e poem L a r k i n  i s c l e a r l y r e c o g n i s i n g h i s I s o l a t i o n but a l s o t h a t o f o t h e r s , and he i s v e r y much aware o f t h e i r m u t u a l j o u r n e y .  H i s attempt  t o u n d e r s t a n d Dockery and see what he has i n common w i t h him i s the counterpart ance t o R o b i n . and  to Katherine's  d e s i r e t o g i v e some a s s i s t -  The w i l l i n g n e s s t o a c c e p t l i f e ' s l i m i t a t i o n s  t o t r y t o make something w i t h i n them r a t h e r t h a n t o s i m p l y  p r o t e s t a g a i n s t them i s e x p r e s s e d i n a l l t h e poems o f s e l f e x a m i n a t i o n and i n ?The Importance o f E l s e w h e r e " .  The two  p o s i t i o n s d e s c r i b e d w i t h i n t h e poem a r e t o some e x t e n t p a r a l l e l t o t h e r e l a t i v e p o s i t i o n s h e l d by L a r k i n i n t h e l a s t two volumes o f p o e t r y .  I n The Less D e c e i v e d he i s concerned  t o p o i n t t o h i s d i f f e r e n c e s , t o h i s sense o f b e i n g a n o u t s i d e r , a s , f o r example, i n "Reasons f o r A t t e n d a n c e " , and t o r a t i o n a l i z e h i s p o s i t i o n by p o i n t i n g t o h i s g r e a t e r awareness of t h e u l t i m a t e m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s o f l i f e .  His position i n  I r e l a n d i s t h a t o f someone who i s an o u t s i d e r , b u t whose v a l u e s cannot be t o o c l o s e l y c h a l l e n g e d forelgnness.  because o f h i s  He appears t o be d i f f e r e n t from a c c i d e n t o f  circumstances rather than perverse  choice:  L o n e l y i n I r e l a n d , s i n c e i t was not home, Strangeness made sense. The s a l t r e b u f f o f speech, I n s i s t i n g so on d i f f e r e n c e , made me welcome: Once t h a t was r e c o g n i s e d , we were i n t o u c h .  172  T h e i r draughty s t r e e t s , end-on to h i l l s , the f a i n t A r c h a i c s m e l l of d o c k l a n d , l i k e a s t a b l e , The h e r r i n g - h a w k e r ' s c r y , d w i n d l i n g , went To p r o v e me s e p a r a t e , n o t u n w o r k a b l e . (WW. p . Jh) His  p o s i t i o n i n E n g l a n d i s much more d i f f i c u l t s i n c e  he  not  f o r e i g n a n d h a s no a c c e p t a b l e r e a s o n  alien:  for  seeming  L i v i n g i n E n g l a n d h a s no s u c h e x c u s e : T h e s e a r e my c u s t o m s a n d e s t a b l i s h m e n t s I t w o u l d be much more s e r i o u s t o r e f u s e . H e r e no e l s e w h e r e u n d e r w r i t e s my e x i s t e n c e . S i m i l a r l y having asserted that death  i s a n n i h i l a t i o n , he h a s  t o make s o m e t h i n g  p o s i t i v e of  L a r k i n i s b e i n g p o s i t i v e : he to others rather increased life  social  (WW. p .  i s a l l we h a v e a n d  no j u s t i f i c a t i o n life.  In this  is asserting  than his differences  number o f  strong  life  his  f o r not  i n the  3^)  that trying  volume of  poetry  similarities  f r o m them a n d  poems s u g g e s t s a c o n c e r n  enough t o b e l i e v e  is  p o s s i b i l i t y of  the with improve-  ment . I n b o t h " C h u r c h G o i n g " a n d " A n A r u n d e l Tomb" expresses a b e l i e f g i v e n to the clearly  i n the v a l u e of  i n d i v i d u a l and t o the  defined social  indicates  t h a t he t h i n k s  have been d e s t r o y e d . from the regretted  structure.  old l i f e is  the  the  society  stability  a s a w h o l e by a  I n t h e s e two poems f o r order are  of  he  being  "MCMXIV" m a r k s t h e moment o f t h e  t o t h e new, loss  forces  t r a d i t i o n and  Larkin  or change  s h o w i n g t h a t what i s most t o  Innocence.  He d e s c r i b e s  t h e men  be  173  queuing up t o v o l u n t e e r t o f i g h t , and r e v e a l s t h o s e q u a l i t i e s i n them which he no l o n g e r sees around him.  They seem t o  b e l o n g t o t h e i r environment; t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s a r e e s t a b l i s h e d w i t h i n a c l e a r r o u t i n e ; they s t a n d w a i t i n g f o r e n l i s t m e n t As i f they were s t r e t c h e d o u t s i d e The O v a l or V i l l a P a r k , G r i n n i n g as i f i t were a l l An August Bank H o l i d a y l a r k . (WW.  p.  28)  They have a d i g n i t y which he suggests by the use of  "crowns"  and " a r c h a i c " , "The crowns of h a t s , the sun/On moustached a r c h a i c f a c e s " (WW.  p. 2 8 ) .  The r e g a l imagery i s p i c k e d up  l a t e r i n the poem when he speaks of the c o i n a g e and of the children: The f a r t h i n g s and s o v e r e i g n s , And d a r k - c l o t h e d c h i l d r e n a t p l a y C a l l e d a f t e r k i n g s and queens. (WW.  p.  28)  He s u g g e s t s t h r o u g h t h i s the s t r u c t u r e d q u a l i t y of s o c i e t y when the f a c t of a monarch was m e a n i n g f u l and gave t o e v e r y one e l s e a sense of t h e i r own p o s i t i o n . s e r v a n t s emphasises  t h i s p o i n t : "The  The mention o f the  differently-dressed  s e r v a n t s / W i t h t i n y rooms i n huge houses" (WW.  p. 2 8 ) .  The  sense o f an unbroken t r a d i t i o n i s suggested by "the b l e a c h e d / E s t a b l i s h e d names on the s u n b l l n d s " , and The place-names a l l hazed over W i t h f l o w e r i n g g r a s s e s , and f i e l d s Shadowing Domesday l i n e s Under wheat's r e s t l e s s s i l e n c e . (WW.  p. 28)  174 The i d e a o f  Innocence  i s s u g g e s t e d . i n the s i m p l i c i t y  t h e i r b e h a v i o u r and I n the warmth.  The l a s t  completeness  sense of s u n s h i n e , l e i s u r e and  s t a n z a i n d i c a t e s the suddenness and the  of the break from t h i s  innocence:  Never such i n n o c e n c e , Never b e f o r e or s i n c e , As changed I t s e l f t o past Without a w o r d — . (WW. p . He s u g g e s t s  that  the l o s s  28)  of innocence i s comparable w i t h  e x p u l s i o n from E d e n : "the men/Leaving t h e i r gardens but that it  it  is a f a l l  was u n n e c e s s a r y  God s i n c e  innocence.  because  o n t h i s o c c a s i o n : t h e r e was no e d i c t  i t took place  of  "Without a word". the world a f t e r  the  What m a r k s t h i s w o r l d most c l e a r l y i s  of s i m p l i c i t y and the b e w i l d e r m e n t about what l i f e r e a l l y i s .  the  tidy",  i n some r e s p e c t s more t e r r i b l e  " E s s e n t i a l Beauty" describes of  of  loss  its  lack  i d e n t i t y and about  M a t e r i a l i s m i s the d o m i n a t i n g v a l u e as  the advertisements dominating l i f e  indicate:  I n f r a m e s a s l a r g e 'as rooms t h a t f a c e a l l ways A n d b l o c k t h e end o f s t r e e t s w i t h g i a n t l o a v e s , S c r e e n graves w i t h c u s t a r d , cover slums w i t h p r a i s e Of m o t o r - o i l a n d c u t s o f s a l m o n , s h i n e P e r p e t u a l l y these s h a r p l y - p i c t u r e d groves Of how l i f e s h o u l d b e . (WW. p . 42) They s u g g e s t what seems t o be t h e fact  they represent  i d e a l way o f l i f e b u t  something u t t e r l y f a l s e ;  i d e a l beauty i n the P l a t o n i c sense,  that  they are  i s the  in  not  potential  175 p e r f e c t i o n o f what we o b s e r v e , s h i p with r e a l i t y : they s t r e e t s and s q u a r e s "  since  "reflect  none o f t h e r a i n e d - o n  (WW. p . 4 2 ) ,  and c o n s e q u e n t l y can  u s n o t h i n g a b o u t t h e w o r l d we l i v e beauty  i n some  t h e y h a v e no r e l a t i o n -  in.  They ape  teach  platonic  respects:  they r i s e S e r e n e l y to p r o c l a i m pure c r u s t , pure foam, Pure c o l d n e s s t o our l i v e I m p e r f e c t eyes T h a t s t a r e b e y o n d t h i s w o r l d , where n o t h i n g ' s made A s new o r w a s h e d q u i t e c l e a n , s e e k i n g t h e home A l l such i n h a b i t . (WW. p . 4 2 ) P e r c e p t i o n o f them d o e s n o t l e a d t o wisdom b u t r a t h e r bewilderment,  to  i l l u s i o n and a s p i r a t i o n towards something  lacking real value: T h e r e , d a r k r a f t e r e d pubs A r e f i l l e d w i t h w h i t e - c l o t h e d ones f r o m t e n n i s A n d t h e boy p u k i n g h i s h e a r t o u t i n t h e G e n t s J u s t m i s s e d t h e m , as t h e p e n s i o n e r p a i d A h a l f p e n n y more f o r G r a n n y G r a v e c l o t h e s ' T e a To t a s t e o l d a g e . (WW. p . 42) There restrains  i s an anger  and r e v e a l s .  in this  poem w h i c h t h e  L i n e s such as  clubs,  irony at  "Screen graves  with  custard,  c o v e r slums w i t h p r a i s e / O f motor o i l and c u t s  salmon",  i n d i c a t e the h o r r o r to which the  rise.  We a r e  s i t u a t i o n gives  I t s e l f about the  b y s u b s t i t u t i n g f o r them t h e v a l u e s o f t h e There  of  l i v i n g a world which i s not simply l a c k i n g i n  t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s but which d e c e i v e s  world.  once  is a strong contrast  lack  advertisement  between the w o r l d d e p i c t e d  176 In t h i s poem and that In "MCMXIV".  D e s c r i p t i o n of the  world i s e n t i r e l y m i s s i n g i n " E s s e n t i a l B e a u t y " , advertisements  "Dominate o u t d o o r s " .  natural  since  the  The " r a i n e d - o n s t r e e t s  and  squares" c o n t r a s t w i t h the s u g g e s t i o n of summer i n "MCMXIV"  and  i n s t e a d of men and c h i l d r e n t h e r e a r e  "pensioners",  " d y i n g smokers", and "the boy puking h i s h e a r t out i n the Gents".  "Sunny P r e s t a t y n "  i s a l e s s angry poem but i t  the ideas of " E s s e n t i a l B e a u t y " .  A g a i n an advertisement  used as a standard f o r our ideas of b e a u t y . supposed to r e p r e s e n t  is  The g i r l who i s  every man's i d e a l i s  K n e e l i n g up on the sand In tautened white s a t i n . Behind h e r , a hunk of c o a s t , a H o t e l w i t h palms Seemed to expand from her t h i g h s and Spread b r e a s t - l i f t i n g arms. (WW. p . Her  echoes  35)  obvious sexual charms i n v i t e the response they  get:  A couple of weeks, and her f a c e Was s n a g g l e - t o o t h e d and b o s s - e y e d ; Huge t i t s and a f i s s u r e d c r o t c h Were scored w e l l i n , and the space Between her legs h e l d scrawls That set her f a i r l y a s t r i d e A tuberous cock and b a l l s Autographed T i t c h Thomas, while Someone had used a k h i f e Or something to s t a b r i g h t through The moustached l i p s of her s m i l e . (WW. p .  35)  177  The i r o n y of the next l i n e , "She was too good f o r t h i s seems to suggest that i n part L a r k i n approves i v e response  to the p o s t e r .  r e c o g n i t i o n of the  The d e s t r u c t i o n  of the  life",  destruct-  i s more of a  I r r e l e v a n c e of such an advertisement;  it  i s an attempt to make the p o s t e r f i t l i f e r a t h e r than an attempt to make l i f e f i t the poster as The poem concludes w i t h a f u r t h e r does seem a c c e p t a b l e , s i n c e says,  "Fight  it  in "Essential  Beauty".  i r o n y ; the poster which  i s not m u t i l a t e d ,  i s one which  Cancer".  A s s o c i a t e d with these poems, because of a concern w i t h illusion,  are  " N a t u r a l l y the Foundation w i l l Bear your Expenses"  and "A S t u d y , o f Reading H a b i t s " . a way of l i f e which d e l i b e r a t e l y The speaker  The former a g a i n obscures  its real  indicates issues.  of the poem i s not only H u r r y i n g to c a t c h my Comet One dark November day, Which soon would snatch me from i t To the sunshine of Bombay, (WW. p . 13)  he i s a l s o  seeking to escape what the  "dark November day"  r e p r e s e n t s i n a world of i l l u s i o n and s u p e r f i c i a l v a l u e s . scorns the r i t u a l of Remembrance Day as c h i l d i s h : Yet not t i l l I was a i r b o r n e D i d I r e c a l l the d a t e — That day when Queen and M i n i s t e r And Band of Guards and a l l S t i l l act t h e i r solemn-sinister Wreath-rubbish i n W h i t e h a l l . I t used to make me throw u p , These mawkish nursery games: 0 when w i l l England grow up? (WW. p . 13)  He  178  He shows no r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e  i m m a t u r i t y o f h i s own p o s i t i o n ,  f o c u s e d as he i s e n t i r e l y on h i m s e l f and I m a g i n i n g t h a t rest  o f t h e w o r l d h a s t h e same f o c u s , a n d a t t e m p t i n g  escape the f a c t s  of time and d e a t h .  of d e c e p t i o n which the speaker  persona of t h i s  to  to the  poem d i s p l a y s ,  state  the  i n "A Study of Reading H a b i t s " i n d i c a t e s h i s sense  total disillusionment. participating heroes,  In contrast  the  of  A f t e r a l i f e spent v i c a r i o u s l y  i n the a c t i v i t i e s of the f i c t i o n a l , v i c t o r i o u s  he r e c o g n i s e s  his  i d e n t i t y w i t h the o p p o s i t e number:  t h e dude Who l e t s t h e g i r l down b e f o r e The h e r o a r r i v e s , t h e c h a p Who's y e l l o w and keeps t h e s t o r e , Seem f a r t o o f a m i l i a r . (WW. p . 31) He condemns t h e  i l l u s i o n because  of  its  f a i l u r e , unaware  i n d o i n g s o he i s a l s o c o n d e m n i n g l i f e . stewed:/Books are a l o a d of c r a p " ,  H i s comment  that  "Get  I s a comment o n t h e  quality  o f h i s own l i f e . "Here",  "The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s " , and " F a i t h H e a l i n g "  f o r m a g r o u p w i t h i n t h e s o c i a l poems: t h e y r e p r e s e n t attempt his  t o observe w i t h o u t the t o t a l detachment  earlier  cated,  poems.  expresses  " F a i t h H e a l i n g " as  Larkin's  o f some  I have a l r e a d y  a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h o s e who f e e l  indi-  loveless  and respond e x t r a v a g a n t l y and w i t h o u t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t o w a r m t h w h i c h p r o v e s t o be f a l s e . very d i f f e r e n t  from the  of  a  L a r k i n ' s own p o s i t i o n i s  one he d e s c r i b e s ,  but h i s c r i t i c i s m  179  is directed against possible  rather  a way o f  than against  whom he f e e l s c o m p a s s i o n . are rather criticize  different o r change  yet a c c e p t them. i s not  l i f e w h i c h makes the  such misery  i n d i v i d u a l woman, t o w a r d s  " H e r e " a n d "The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s "  because they are an attempt others,  b u t t o see  them a s  not  to  they are  The d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e r e s i d e n t s  of  and  Hull  flattering,  r e s i d e n t s f r o m r a w e s t a t e s , b r o u g h t down The d e a d s t r a i g h t m i l e s b y s t e a l i n g f l a t - f a c e d t r o l l e y s , Push t h r o u g h p l a t e - g l a s s s w i n g d o o r s t o t h e i r d e s i r e s — Cheap s u i t s , r e d k i t c h e n - w a r e , s h a r p s h o e s , i c e d l o l l i e s , E l e c t r i c m i x t u r e s , t o a s t e r s , w a s h e r s , d r i e r s — . (WW. p . 9 ) Yet,  despite  his distaste  for their desires,  them a s h a v i n g a s t r e n g t h a n d c o n s i s t e n c y from the  i s o l a t e d context  i n which they  he does  which r i s e s  depict partly  live:  A c u t - p r i c e crowd, urban yet simple, d w e l l i n g Where o n l y s a l e s m e n a n d r e l a t i o n s come W i t h i n a t e r m i n a t e and f i s h y - s m e l l i n g P a s t o r a l of ships up s t r e e t s . (WW. p . 9 ) Since is  the  the  poem a s a w h o l e seems t o be a n image f o r  journey  theme e n d i n g a t  existence:/Facing —and the  the  tone of the  little  Weddings" i s the  sea,  sun, u n t a l k a t i v e , poem i s  the a c c e p t a n c e embraces a l s o Larkin feels  the  "Here i s  unfenced  out of reach  (WW. p .  one o f a c c e p t a n c e o f what the  e x i s t e n c e of  poem o f t h e v o l u m e a n d  9)  exists,  p e o p l e w i t h whom  i n common b e y o n d m o r t a l i t y .  title  life—it  "The W h i t s u n  crystallizes  180 most o f  Its  aspects.  The s e t t i n g ,  W h i t s u n t i d e , suggests  f e e l i n g of an almost v i s i o n a r y p e r c e p t i o n sending l i f e i n another  d i r e c t i o n , which i s the experience  t h r o u g h t h e poem. of  The c o - o r d i n a t i n g image i s t h e  " H e r e " , the r a i l w a y journey,  perhaps s i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t of H u l l to London. c i t y and the ment: the  though on t h i s  "town,  stations,  and a t  is a strong contrast  secret  the  "the  had never known/Success  e s t a b l i s h e d by the the g i r l s r e g a r d as  with  the  (WW. p . 2 1 ) .  There  view of the weddings,  so huge a n d w h o l l y  farcical"  o f t h e women, " T h e women s h a r e d / T h e  l i k e a h a p p y f u n e r a l " (WW. p . 2 2 ) .  i s echoed i n the  with  sun destroys/The  between the f a t h e r ' s  and those  contrast  f i r s t L a r k l n ' s p e r c e p t i o n of  of what's happening i n the shade"  (WW. p . 2 2 ) ,  isolation  "acres of dismantled  journey contrasts  p e o p l e i s d i m i s h e d i n p r o p o r t i o n as  "fathers  that  c o u n t r y , w i t h g l i m p s e s of l i f e i n each e n v i r o n -  The " t a l l h e a t " o f t h e  interest  same a s  i s made t h r o u g h o u t b e t w e e n  new a n d n o n d e s c r i p t " , w i t h i t s  shade o f t h e  expresses  i s a j o u r n e y away f r o m t h e  A contrast  off  occasion,  the "wide f a r m s " and " s h o r t s h a d o w e d c a t t l e "  cars".  here  Larkin  the  The d i s c r e p a n c y  j u x t a p o s i t i o n of the r e l i g i o u s imagery  w h i t s u n s e t t i n g a n d by t h e w e d d i n g s w h i c h "a r e l i g i o u s wounding", with the popular  concept  o f W h i t s u n t i d e a s a n o c c a s i o n f o r t h e d i s p l a y o f new  clothes  rather  t h a n p e r c e p t i o n s and the u n c l e s '  the wedding as a time t o shout  "smut".  concept  The t r a i n i s t h e  of link  181 between a l l these d i s c o r d a n t  elements:  Free at l a s t , And loaded w i t h the sum of a l l they saw, We h u r r i e d towards London, s h u f f l i n g gouts of steam. (WW. p . 22) D e s p i t e the ignorance of those who p a r t i c i p a t e  i n what  f o r L a r k i n becomes a s i g n i f i c a n t j o u r n e y — " a n d none/Thought of the others all  they would never meet/Or how t h e i r  l i v e s would  c o n t a i n t h i s h o u r " (WW. p . 2 3 ) — i t a q u i r e s a potency f o r  him because  i t combines so many d i s p a r a t e  c l u s i o n of the penultimate stanza v i s i o n which t h i s e f f e c t s ,  elements.  The c o n -  i n d i c a t e s the change i n  f o r the c o n t r a s t s are now l e s s  important than the common elements; he d e s c r i b e s London i n terms  of the c o u n t r y :  sun,/Its  "I thought of London spread out i n the  postal d i s t r i c t s  (WW. p . 2 3 ) .  packed l i k e squares of wheat"  The image o f - t h e l a s t  stanza r e v e a l s h i s  sense  of a new v i s i o n and through i t a p o t e n t i a l i t y newly c r e a t e d f o r s e e i n g and a c c e p t i n g a sense of order i n what had always seemed meaningless  chaos:  and i t was n e a r l y done, t h i s f r a i l T r a v e l l i n g c o i n c i d e n c e ; and what i t h e l d Stood ready to be l o o s e d w i t h a l l the power That b e i n g changed can g i v e . We slowed a g a i n , And as the t i g h t e n e d brakes took h o l d , there s w e l l e d A sense of f a l l i n g , l i k e an arrow shower Sent out of s i g h t , somewhere becoming r a i n . (WW. p . 23)  182  Like  " H e r e " , the  awareness  total  of d i s c o r d a n t  i m p r e s s i o n the elements  poem c r e a t e s  is  i n l i f e and of a s p e c t s and  people w h i c h a r e u g l y and d i s p l e a s i n g ; but s t r o n g e r r e v u l s i o n and b i t t e r n e s s a c c e p t what e x i s t s ,  created  o f a l i f e b e t t e r t h a n what e x i s t s ,  but  i n the  everyone  is  have,  i s b e t t e r to t r y to c r e a t e from t h i s  it  than to refuse  same p o s i t i o n ; a n d , s i n c e  any  than  by t h e s e i s a d e s i r e  and t o f i n d meaning, not  i n the  an  i n an  to  illusion  fact life  that i s a l l we  common  basis  commitment.  B o t h " H e r e " a n d "The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s " make a n comment  on d e a t h :  b o t h make u s e  of  l e d u s t o e x p e c t t o be a s s o c i a t e d  with death. for  sea  c l u s i o n of the  l i f e and  image r e i n f o r c e s  journey being death,  the  since  poems f o c u s e s on d e a t h , b u t r a t h e r it.  I n "Here" the  some e x t e n t c r e a t e d ment  i n which the  of  i n "Here" there are Immediately  to  death.  con-  Yet neither  of  o n l i f e a n d what c a n  p o s i t i v e emphasis  takes place.  on p h y s i c a l surroundings i n h i s but  increasing  once a g a i n i t  through the d e s c r i p t i o n s  journey  has  journey  sense of the  a n image w i t h a c c u m u l a t e d a s s o c i a t i o n s .  made o f  The  the d e s t i n a t i o n i s always a stage nearer  I n "Here" the  oblique  images w h i c h L a r k i n  image i s a l w a y s u s e d a s a m e t a p h o r maturity;  the  p o e t r y as  on l i f e of the  is  the be to  environ-  Larkin rarely o b j e c t s of  is  focuses  beauty,  l i n e s which r e c r e a t e an impression  perceived beauty:  "And the widening r i v e r ' s  183 slow presence,/The  piled gold clouds,  m a r k e d m u d " (WW. p . 9).  It  i s a beauty  p a r t i c u l a r l y noted f o r beauty. he c o n v e y s h i s creative side  impression that  and f r u i t f u l  j u s t before the  the  shining  i n a setting  S i m i l a r l y i n the silence  gullnot  last  stanza  and i s o l a t i o n can  through h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the end o f  be  country-  land:  "Here s i l e n c e  stands  Like heat. Here leaves u n n o t i c e d t h i c k e n , H i d d e n weeds f l o w e r , n e g l e c t e d w a t e r s q u i c k e n , Luminously-peopled a i r ascends; And p a s t the p o p p i e s b l u i s h n e u t r a l d i s t a n c e Ends the l a n d suddenly beyond a beach Of s h a p e s a n d s h i n g l e . (WW. p . 9) In  "The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s " t h e  detailed descriptions is  Ironic  treatment  What he  he u s e s  than to destroy.  from the  journey's  also a beginning.  The  The a s s e r t i o n  of  describes  to  under-  life  comes  end n o t b e i n g s i m p l y a c o n c l u s i o n  i n changed c i r c u m s t a n c e s  a sense of  some new d i r e c t i o n .  and the  However, t r a c e s of the v i o l e n c e  poet h i m s e l f  anger here i s d i r e c t e d against pet  has  o f a poem l i k e  " M y x o m a t o s i s " r e m a i n i n " T a k e One Home F o r t h e K i d d i e s " .  i n the  but  " f r e s h c o u p l e s " a r e r e a d y t o embark o n  a new l i f e  The a n i m a l s  the  elsewhere,  o c c a s i o n he i s m o t i v a t e d by a d e s i r e  stand rather also  o n l i f e comes f r o m  o f what L a r k i n s e e s .  open t o the k i n d of  but on t h i s  emphasis  the a r b i t r a r y c r u e l t y of  shop c r y s t a l l i z e t h i s  view  since,  The life.  184 On s h a l l o w s t r a w , i n s h a d e l e s s g l a s s , H u d d l e d by empty h o w l s , t h e y s l e e p : No d a r k , no dam, no e a r t h , no g r a s s — . (WW. p . 26) B u t t h o u g h t h e y h a v e no c o n t r o l o v e r t h e i r seem l i k e " f l i e s  t o wanton b o y s " i n t h e i r  L a r k i n d o e s n o t seem t o t h i n k t h a t necessarily  m i r r o r our own.  o u r own l a c k o f r e s p e c t responsibility  their  He s u g g e s t s  for l i f e that  existence passive  and  suffering,  p o s i t i o n need that  perhaps  b e a r s some o f  It  is  the  f o r our c o n d i t i o n :  L i v i n g toys are something n o v e l , B u t i t s o o n w e a r s o f f somehow. F e t c h the shoebox, f e t c h the s h o v e l — Mam, w e ' r e p l a y i n g f u n e r a l s n o w . (WW. p .  26)  A s i m i l a r p o i n t i s m a d e , t h o u g h much l e s s a n g r i l y , i n " D a y s " , where L a r k i n s u g g e s t s shift  that  i n concentration  "Ignorance"  a l l that  from i t  expresses the b a s i c  is  a m b i g u i t y of our l i v e s . is  that  We a r e  abilities,  "our f l e s h / S u r r o u n d s us w i t h i t s  o f what we a r e Yes,  provided with certain  and y e t  is  We  we s h a l l d i e ;  instincts  and  own d e c i s i o n s "  we h a v e no i n t e l l e c t u a l a p p r e h e n s i o n  o r what we s h a l l it  death.  I n c l u d i n g why we m u s t d i e , we a r e  ignorant.  (WW. p . 3 9 ) ,  l i f e and any  s i m p l y a move t o w a r d s  know o n l y one c e r t a i n t h i n g a n d t h a t but of e v e r y t h i n g e l s e ,  we h a v e i s  become:  strange,  E v e n t o wear s u c h k n o w l e d g e — f o r o u r f l e s h S u r r o u n d s u s w i t h i t s own d e c i s i o n s —  185 And yet spend a l l our l i f e on i m p r e c i s i o n s , That when we s t a r t to d i e Have no i d e a why. (WW. p . 39) The poem i s not angry but q u e s t i o n i n g , and  compassionate  f o r man's l i m i t a t i o n s . "Ambulances" i s a c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h the nearest t h i n g we know to d e a t h .  Sudden s e r i o u s  i l l n e s s puts man  i n t o the p o s i t i o n of h a v i n g to accept the nearness  of h i s  death and a l l those who become aware of him are a l s o  faced  w i t h the f a c t of sometime f a c i n g a s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n . There i s an a i r of mystery which surrounds one about to d i e . The ambulances are  "Closed l i k e confessionals"  (WW. p . 3 3 ) :  our c u r i o s i t y to know what the c o n f r o n t a t i o n means i s not satisfied,  s i n c e "they thread/Loud noons of c i t i e s ,  back/None of the glances  giving  they a b s o r b " (WW. p . 3 3 ) . Our  normal everyday l i v e s are  suddenly g i v e n a new p e r s p e c t i v e  as we " s e e / A w i l d white f a c e that overtops/Red s t r e t c h e r b l a n k e t s momently/As i t  i s c a r r i e d i n and stowed" (WW. p . 3 3 ) .  We are made to r e a l i z e the u n i v e r s a l i t y of what i s I m p l i e d : And sense the s o l v i n g emptiness That l i e s j u s t under a l l we do, And f o r a second get i t whole, So permanent and blank and t r u e . (WW. p . 33) L a r k i n does not mock at  the t r i v i a l i t y of our l i v e s i n  c o n t r a s t w i t h death but i n s t e a d seems to have a sense of  the  186 uniqueness  of the  individual  life:  F o r b o r n e away i n d e a d e n e d a i r May go t h e s u d d e n s h u t o f l o s s Bound s o m e t h i n g n e a r l y a t a n e n d , A n d what c o h e r e d i n i t a c r o s s The y e a r s , t h e u n i q u e random b l e n d Of f a m i l i e s and f a s h i o n , t h e r e At  last  begin to loosen.  New t o t h i s v o l u m e , t o o , i n each person there  is  (WW. p .  33)  the e x p r e s s i o n of h i s sense  i s an awareness  of death which i n such  s i t u a t i o n s comes t o t h e s u r f a c e a n d " B r i n g s c l o s e r left  to come,/And d u l l s  t o d i s t a n c e a l l we a r e "  what  l i k e d e a t h poems i n The L e s s D e c e i v e d i n  it  to create awareness,  seems d i f f e r e n t a n d h a s a f f e c t e d  that  but L a r k i n ' s view of  people  h i s method.  not  He d o e s  f e e l the need t o use v i o l e n c e or i r o n y but r e c o g n i s e s t h e r e i s a c a p a c i t y f o r response  and awareness  c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n s make a p p a r e n t .  It  present  that  i n man w h i c h  i s by r e c r e a t i n g  a s i t u a t i o n t h a t he r e c r e a t e s t h e a w a r e n e s s articulate  emotions not n o r m a l l y e x p r e s s e d .  such  a n d makes He d o e s  not  h i m s e l f a s a n y more o f a n o u t s i d e r o r a n y more  i s o l a t e d than everyone e l s e . volume i n i t s  sense of the  The poem i s t y p i c a l o f  poet  the  f a c i n g m a n ' s common l o t a n d  g a i n i n g something from the a b i l i t y to share w i t h others see  is  (WW. p . 3 3 ) .  The poem i s attempts  that  himself i n  context.  and  CHAPTER V I CONCLUSION: L A R K I N ' S DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNIQUE FROM THE NORTH S H I P THROUGH THE NOVELS TO THE LESS DECEIVED AND THE WHITSUN WEDDINGS In his Ship,  i n t r o d u c t i o n to the  L a r k i n comments o n t h e  s e c o n d e d i t i o n o f The  l a c k of coherence  North  i n the volume  as a w h o l e : L o o k i n g b a c k , I f i n d i n t h e poems n o t one a b a n d o n e d s e l f b u t s e v e r a l — t h e e x - s c h o o l b o y , f o r whom A u d e n was t h e o n l y a l t e r n a t i v e to " o l d - f a s h i o n e d " p o e t r y ; the undergraduate, whose w o r k a f r i e n d a f f a b l y c h a r a c t e r i s e d a s " D y l a n T h o m a s , b u t y o u ' v e g o t a s e n t i m e n t a l i t y t h a t ' s a l l your o w n " ; a n d t h e immediate p o s t - O x f o r d s e l f , i s o l a t e d i n S h r o p s h i r e w i t h a complete Yeats s t o l e n from the l o c a l g i r l s ' s c h o o l . This s e a r c h f o r a s t y l e was m e r e l y one a s p e c t o f a g e n e r a l immaturity. ( N S . p . 8) It  i s the  i m m a t u r i t y and the u n s u c c e s s f u l s e a r c h  w h i c h marks t h i s volume o f f L a r k i n ' s work. view,  There  Weddings. indicates  there  i s no c o n s i s t e n c y  The f a c t  is  style  so d e c i s i v e l y f r o m t h e r e s t  no one poem p r o v i d i n g a f o c u s  o f t h e volume as  for a  i n mood o r p o i n t  f o r the c e n t r a l  of of  Issues  i n The L e s s D e c e i v e d a n d The W h i t s u n  t h a t most o f t h e  a l a c k of assurance  about  poems a r e  untitled  the c e n t r a l concern  i n d i v i d u a l poems, a n d i s a l s o  i n d i c a t i v e of the  economy i n t h e v o l u m e : i n t h e  late  lack  volumes the t i t l e s  v i d u a l poems n o t o n l y c r y s t a l l i z e t h e c o n c e r n s o f t e n p r o v i d e a n a d d e d i r o n i c comment.  of the  of of  indi-  poem b u t  F o r example the  "Church G o i n g " and "Wedding-Wind" a r e d e l i b e r a t e l y  of  titles  ambiguous  188 and r e f l e c t  the d u a l i t y and a m b i v a l e n c e on w h i c h t h e  are  "Reasons  built.  d e s c r i p t i v e of the  for Attendance" i s at  poem i t h e a d s a n d a l s o  comment o n t h e r a t i o n a l i z i n g e l e m e n t  once  poems  completely  provides an i r o n i c  w i t h i n the  poem.  I n The L e s s D e c e i v e d a n d The w h i t s u n W e d d i n g s e v e r y element  o f a poem i s c o n t r o l l e d t o w a r d s a s i g n i f i c a n t  whereas  i n The N o r t h S h i p t h e r e  i s n o t same c l o s e  s h i p b e t w e e n m e a n i n g a n d f o r m , so t h a t d e v i c e i s used but operates the  poem r a t h e r  "clash",  poetic  towards d i s p e r s i n g the meaning of I n poem " V I I "  the  self-consciously!  The h o r n s o f t h e m o r n i n g Are blowing, are s h i n i n g , The meadows a r e b r i g h t W i t h the c o l d e s t dew; The dawn r e a s s e m b l e s . L i k e the c l a s h of g o l d cymbals The s k y s p r e a d s i t s v a n s o u t The s u n h a n g s i n v i e w . (NS. p . The o n o m a t o p a e i c  relation-  o f t e n an obvious  than c o n t r i b u t i n g to i t .  poet uses sound v e r y  end,  q u a l i t y o f words s u c h as  and " c y m b a l s " i s d e l i g h t e d i n f o r  18)  "shining", its  "blowing",  own s a k e  and  f o r t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n made t o w a r d s t h e g e n e r a l l y r o u s i n g q u a l i t y of the  stanza which i s created  by the r h y t h m .  But the whole concept  s t a n z a c r e a t e s seems r a t h e r  by t h e war i m a g e r y a n d of morning which  an i n t e r e s t i n g c o n c e i t  the  than a  p o w e r f u l r e c r e a t i o n o f what t h e dawn a c t u a l l y  i s a n d how i t  affects  its  the  observer.  The image i s  there  for  own s a k e  189 rather are  than because It  carries  the meaning, and the  s i m p l y an e x t e n s i o n of the  further undercuts stanza,  for  it  the  image.  sincerity  The s e c o n d  of the  We h a v e t o t a k e t h i s since  this  first  stanza creates.  image o f t h e  (NS. p .  e v a l u a t i o n of the m o r n i n g on  i s not a t a l l the  from s u g g e s t i n g  the u n e a r t h l y  familiar battle  used as of the  trust,  sense of the morning which  The q u a l i t i e s  s t a n z a works i n the  I n the  first  18)  of b r i l l i a n c e are  but n o t h i n g to suggest the accompanying s i l e n c e ;  of  stanza  concludes, F o r n e v e r so b r i l l i a n t , N e i t h e r so s i l e n t N o r so u n e a r t h l y , h a s E a r t h grown b e f o r e .  first  sounds  qualities  of the  and  earth,  the there  far the  opposite d i r e c t i o n through i t s  use  imagery.  poem " W i n t e r " t h e  quite arbitrary poem s u p p o r t s  swans a n d t h e h o r s e s  symbols,  the  since  n o t h i n g i n the  f u n c t i o n they are  are rest  g i v e n i n the  lines,  F o r t h e l i n e o f a swan D i a g o n a l on water Is the c o l d of w i n t e r , And each horse l i k e a p a s s i o n Long s i n c e d e f e a t e d Lowers i t s h e a d . ( N S . p . 19) Similarly as  i n the  Images o f  such e x i s t s  poem " D a w n " t h e c o c k a n d t h e c l o u d s a r e  lovelessness only i n the  and c o l d , b u t t h e i r poem.  used  significance  T h e y do n o t h a v e  as  connotations  190  which b r i n g f u r t h e r meaning i n t o the Jill  was p u b l i s h e d i n 1946,  N o r t h S h i p , b u t many o f t h e obvious  i n the n o v e l .  a novel to focus  There  wind,  the  Is  c l o s e l y on the  problem does n o t a r i s e ; is relevant.  faults  but the  The c e n t r a l  journey theme,  images operate  poem.  just a year a f t e r  The  of the  less  of course  "a piece  less temptation  sound p a t t e r n s ,  of the n o v e l , . t h e consistently.  of v i r t u a l h i s t o r y " ! , and y e t  There a r e ,  to the c e n t r a l  issues  s k i l f u l l y handled. Elizabeth its  i n the  obviousness  a  less  of  important less  chapter  has a l r e a d y been mentioned but  i n sound f o r  its  f a i l u r e i n much t h e  own s a k e d e s t r o y s  The d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e  swan w h i c h  s e e s o n t h e c a n a l seems t o h a v e some s y m b o l i c f u n c t i o n , references to about J i l l . essentially directed.  it It  occur twice i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to John's  is rather  252.  John since emotions  the d e s c r i p t i o n o c c u r e d o n l y once  in  vaguely i t w o u l d be  ^-Susanne K . L a n g e r , F e e l i n g a n d F o r m (New Y o r k * 1953), P .  the  seems t o be s y m b o l i c o f s o m e t h i n g b e a u t i f u l  drab s u r r o u n d i n g s , but i t If  the  novels  issues  r a i s e d by t h e n o v e l w h i c h a r e  as a symbol c a u s e s i t s  o f poem " V I I " .  images  They form a  they have  images  this  The s y m b o l i s m o f t h e d o g b a r k i n g a t  last  same way; a s d e l i g h t tone  however, other  in  autumn,  part of the  cumulative e f f e c t which i l l u m i n a t e s the c e n t r a l the n o v e l .  so t h a t  problem of s i g n i f i c a n t  n a t u r a l p a r t of the n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e , as  poetry are  Scrlbner,  191 accepted gives  s i m p l y on t h e n a r r a t i v e  i t an emphasis,  the  l e v e l but  significance  its  repetition  of which i s not  fully  apparent. A Girl  i n W i n t e r , p u b l i s h e d i n 19^7,  is  e v e n more  t i g h t l y c o n t r o l l e d than J i l l  i n terms  completely absorbed  l e v e l of the n a r r a t i v e .  i n t o the  of s i g n i f i c a n t  t h e names o f some o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s a r e never o b t r u s i v e l y s o . s h i e l d image i s  Katherine  is  symbolic,  Mr. Anstey's  suggests the nastiness  which Katherine f i n d s  appears  t o be t h e  name s u g g e s t s ;  R o b i n has  associated  w i t h the b i r d ;  perienced,  jealous  superficial, of her  the  and  cheerful,  name  i n h i m ; Jane  unabashed  Miss Green i s  immature,  o f K a t h e r i n e and s i c k ;  h e r o p i n i o n s and a c t i o n s  the  f a c e and  p l a i n and s i m p l e g i r l  her  qualities inex-  Miss Feather  is  b e i n g d i r e c t e d by t h o s e  superiors. The i m a g e s w h i c h do n o t w o r k a r e  theme o r p l o t o f t h e n o v e l . fits  though  p i c k e d up i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of her  surface  Even  surnamed " L i n d " ,  i n her general withdrawn behaviour.  on the  images  The t e n n i s  i n t o t h e n a r r a t i v e b u t t h e way i t  aspects of the is rather  personalities  not e s s e n t i a l game,  for  i s used to  to  the  example, reveal  of J a n e , K a t h e r i n e and R o b i n  too neat and c o n s e q u e n t l y  not very c o n v i n c i n g .  The  d e s c r i p t i o n of the r e c o r d w h i c h Jane p l a y s and the  associations  it  it  has  i s developed too f a r .  importance  it  The d e v e l o p m e n t  does not have on t h e n a r r a t i v e  gives  an  l e v e l so t h a t  it  192  becomes a n i n t e r e s t i n g than an i n t e g r a l part  image t h e w r i t e r i s of the  exploring  rather  action:  The r e c o r d was o l d - f a s h i o n e d , a n d i t h a d a t i n n y q u a l i t y o n l y p a r t l y due t o t h e n e e d l e . The t u n e i t p l a y e d h a d b e e n p o p u l a r f o r p e r h a p s a week o r t w o , o r p e r h a p s f o r e v e n a s l o n g a s a m u s i c a l comedy h a d r u n i n L o n d o n , b u t was now q u i t e forgotten. The o r c h e s t r a t h a t p l a y e d i t d i d so i n what h a d b e e n t h e f a s h i o n o f t h e moment, w i t h l i t t l e empty t r i c k s o f s y n c o p a t i o n t h a t r e c a l l e d t h e outmoded d r e s s e s o f t h e g i r l s t h a t had danced to i t . I t was s t r a n g e t o t h i n k i t h a d o n c e sounded modern. Now i t was l i k e a n a w n i n g p r o p p e d i n t h e s u n , n e a r l y w h i t e , t h a t y e a r s ago h a d b e e n s t r i p e d b r i g h t r e d and y e l l o w . (AGW. p p . 1 1 8 - 9 ) Similarly  Larkin occasionally  i n m e t a p h o r i c a l terms narrative;  they are  night at  the  an a c t i o n or  thought  w h i c h do n o t b l e n d w e l l w i t h t h e  too o b v i o u s l y p o e t i c .  d e s c r i p t i o n of K a t h e r i n e * s first  describes  thoughts  A n example  p r i o r to  general is  his  s l e e p i n g on her  Fennels':  F i n a l l y , h e r m i n d g a v e one l a s t f l i c k e r o f s u r p r i s e , a s a s a i l g l e a m s f o r a moment b e f o r e g o i n g o v e r t h e h o r i z o n . (AGW. p . 91) The L e s s D e c e i v e d was n o t The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s i n 1964.  published u n t i l  The poems i n t h e s e v o l u m e s  a r e much more c l o s e l y w r o u g h t ; t h e and r e l e v a n c e  the  obvious f a u l t s  w h i c h c a n be shown i n t h e  e n t i r e l y absent from them. p o s i t i v e advances  t h e s e poems h a s  whenever sounds a r e  i n economy  e a r l y works  are  They c a n be e x a m i n e d i n t e r m s  i n technique  the d e l i g h t  1955 a n d  that  they  show.  i n sound r e g a r d l e s s  emphasised  it  of  i s because they  of  None o f structure: contribute  193  significantly  to the t o t a l  "Wires" is a very clear analysis  will  experience  of the  example of t h i s ,  indicate.  I n the  first  poem.  as a  The poem  detailed  l i n e the vowels i n  words " w i d e s t " and " p r a i r i e s " i n c o n j u n c t i o n c r e a t e a o f u n l i m i t e d space hut t h e words w h i c h c o n c l u d e t h e "electric of  fences",  negate that  t h e i r vowel sounds.  I n the  b e i n g d w e l t upon so t h a t balanced  to the  steers".  at  insistence  i n the  p u n c t u a t i o n of the  second  stanza.  The e f f e c t  commonsense  l o n g i n g s of  The e n d ' . o f  end o f t h e  of the  once of extended movement—the  and  of  on l o n g v o w e l s b e i n g p u l l e d  fourth l i n e . the  Invites  the c o n c l u s i o n  poem's d i r e c t i o n i s  syntactically until  sharpness  of a c o n s i s t e n t  In contrast  sounds s u g g e s t s t h e  The change  continues the  sense i s  sense  line,  s e c o n d l i n e no w o r d  old cattle.  t h i r d l i n e with Its  back by consonant  the  the  short  p r o g r e s s i o n of s o u n d s , w h i c h echoes the  attributed the  sense i n the  the  the  "young  emphasised this  by  line  second l i n e  of  sound i n t h e s e l i n e s  s t e e r s moving out  is  beyond  where t h e y n o r m a l l y a r e — a n d y e t  the r e p e t i t i o n of the word  "wires" indicates  t e r m i n a l q u a l i t y they  the  inevitable  "Muscle-shredding violence", cordant  q u a l i t y of the  s u r p r i s e of  pain.  sound w i t h the same way t h a t contrast.  through the harshness  sounds,  Indicates  The t h i r d l i n e o f t h i s  the  and d i s -  i n t e n s i t y and  stanza contrasts  second l i n e , b e i n g smooth and b a l a n c e d , the  second and t h i r d l i n e s  The f i n a l l i n e g i v e s  emphasis  have.  of the  first  t o the word  in  the in the  stanza "electric"  194 which occurs a l s o  i n the f i r s t  o f t h e v o w e l sounds i s not  " f e n c e s " but  there,  but i t s  or even the  in this  poem c a n n o t  images b u t  again with  sense of space  context  abruptness  the word f o l l o w i n g  "Widest" occurs  s h o r t v o w e l sounds o f  the meaning of the  The s h a r p  since  l i n e and the  effect  f o l l o w e d by the  increased  "limits".  echoing of the f i r s t  line.  its  expressed  i s changed s i n c e "senses".  As a  it  i n the t o t a l e f f e c t of both of  Poem " X X " i n The N o r t h S h i p i s  sound  is  result  be l o c a t e d s i m p l y i n t h e  combined w i t h the w o r k i n g out of the  is  idea  these,  patterns.  t h e o n l y poem i n  that  v o l u m e t o make u s e o f s o u n d i n a way w h i c h i s v e r y common t o the  later  poems.  l y undercut the "Reasons  The s o u n d i s u s e d i n t h i s statement  deliberate-  I n poems s u c h  I n t h e s e poems t h e succession  this device  i s used f o r  t o t a l meaning of the  ironic  purposes.  poem c a n n o t be f o u n d  o f s t a t e m e n t s o r images b u t c a n o n l y be  reached t h r o u g h an awareness  o f t h e way i n w h i c h t h e r h y t h m  c r e a t e s a t e n s i o n b e c a u s e o f t h e way i n w h i c h i t  contrasts  w i t h what i s b e i n g s a i d ; t h e m e a n i n g o f t h e s e poems l i e s much i n t h a t  t e n s i o n as  c o n t r i v e d and l i m i t e d as  they are not at  later  poems  t h e ones m e n t i o n e d  They a r e u s u a l l y drawn d i r e c t l y f r o m the because of t h i s  as  anywhere.  The images w h i c h L a r k i n u s e s i n h i s never as  as  f o r A t t e n d a n c e " and " N a t u r a l l y the F o u n d a t i o n w i l l  Bear Your Expenses"  i n the  the words make.  poem t o  are  earlier.  situation itself  a l l startling.  and  T h i s was r e g a r d e d  195 by some o f t h e Movement c r i t i c s Movement p o e t s .  In fact  It  a s b e i n g a f a u l t common t o  is consistent  l i f e a n d p o e t r y h e l d by t h e s e p o e t s . uses t r a d i t i o n a l forms, are not  commonplace  e x c i t i n g i n themselves  produce poetry which i s  but from the with i t s  b e c a u s e he i s  not  On o c c a s i o n t h e  and draw t o g e t h e r i d e a s i n a poem.  l i k e the  and images w h i c h  concerned  to  so  poem i s  saying i n  w h i c h have o c c u r e d  packed l i k e squares  of wheat"  sun,/Its  contrast function  earlier  i n "The w h i t s u n W e d d i n g s " i n i n the  that made,  images go b e y o n d t h i s  o r images  F o r example,  others,  f r o m how t h e poem i s  d e s c r i p t i o n of London, "spread out districts  Larkin, situations  c o m b i n a t i o n o f what t h e  form.  w i t h the v i e w of  c a r e f u l l y a n d t i g h t l y made,  any s u r p r i s e o r shock comes,  the  the  postal  (WW. p . 2 3 ) , t h e  s i m i l e d o e s more t h a n c r e a t e a v i s u a l a e r i a l p i c t u r e o f L o n d o n , it  a l s o r e f e r s back to the  together the  town and c o u n t r y  t o t a l meaning of the  harmony b e t w e e n a p p a r e n t  as  of the  f o u n d i n The N o r t h S h i p i s  as a n Image.  "At Grass"  i n " W i n t e r " , horses  an idea. the horses  I n the as  poem i n i t s  creation  of  incompatlbles.  A d i s t i n c t i v e feature rarely  images a n d d r a w s  last  two v o l u m e s , w h i c h  the use of  situation  i s a good example s i n c e  are  in this  t h e means by w h i c h L a r k i n  poem " W i n t e r " he makes  Itself poem,  explores  e x p l i c i t h i s view of  symbols: And each horse l i k e a p a s s i o n Long s i n c e d e f e a t e d Lowers i t s h e a d . ( N S . p . 19)  is  196 I n " A t G r a s s " the horses concept;  It  a r e not symbols o f any  i s the t o t a l i t y of t h e i r  when a p a t t e r n i s p e r c e p t i b l e v i s i o n of  life.  he d e s c r i b e s  that  with precision, since  i m p l i c a t i o n s of the  t r u e too of  is exactly  it  situation  i s through the  i s made t o  process  participate,  s i t u a t i o n become a p p a r e n t .  This  i s not necessary  i n t o a symbol of a process  is  t o make  of d i s c o v e r y  since  that.  The l a n g u a g e and i t  f o r m s a n image f o r L a r k i n ' s  "The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s " ; i t  the t r a i n journey it  l i v e s observed at a point  He d o e s n o t n e e d t o go b e y o n d t h e  of o b s e r v a t i o n i n which the reader that  particular  o f The N o r t h S h i p i s d i s t i n c t l y  i s m a t c h e d by a n a r t i f i c i a l a n d s o m e t i m e s  s y n t a x and a r h e t o r i c a l t o n e .  poetical  strained  Through these d e v i c e s  the  poet  seems t o be m a k i n g p o e t r y i n t o s o m e t h i n g e s o t e r i c  and b o r d e r -  i n g on the m y s t e r i o u s and vague.  in  s e c t i o n of the earlier and t h a t  that  quoted  he was i n f l u e n c e d b y one a s p e c t o f Y e a t s '  work  o f D y l a n Thomas w h i l s t he was w r i t i n g The N o r t h S h i p .  and A G i r l  i s no u s e  o f d i a l o g u e a n d no c o l l o q i a l i s m .  I n W i n t e r t h e v e r y f o r m demands a  use of n o r m a l v o c a b u l a r y and speech p a t t e r n s . p a r t the d i a l o g u e Is the  that  I n t r o d u c t i o n t o the volume w h i c h I have  I n the volume t h e r e In J i l l  L a r k i n mentions  temptations  greater  For the  v e r y w e l l h a n d l e d and c o n v i n c i n g . D e s p i t e  inherent  i n the  situation in J i l l  to  lapse  i n t o v o c a b u l a r y common o n l y t o t h e u n d e r g r a d u a t e d u r i n g war p e r i o d , t h e r e  most  i s no s e n s e now t h a t  the  language  is  the dated.  197 L a r k i n has  overcome t h e dangers  u l t i m a t e l y become a p i e c e  o f s o c i a l d o c u m e n t a t i o n i n a way  t h a t Amis and Wain have n o t . n a t u r a l and a p p r o p r i a t e i t i n t h e way t h a t of the  other  is  perhaps  common t o t h e  In A G i r l  f o r the  more t h a n s h e poetic  structure.  is  it  less  The w r i t e r  also.  foreign-  There  is deliberately the  action  foreign-  w o u l d be a w a r e  last  tightness  two b o o k s  is  not  i n t r o d u c t i o n t o New L i n e s I I ,  The  verse  Conquest  Wordsworth as c h a r a c t e r i z i n g the k i n d of p o e t i c  t h e Movement p o e t s  adhered t o .  d e s c r i p t i o n of the nature two v o l u m e s o f  of  colloquial. of the  theory  The q u o t a t i o n i s a v e r y  of L a f k i n ' s language  her  is  s i n c e we v i e w t h e  p o i n t of v i e w and her  The d i c t i o n o f t h e  is natural despite In his  time  f o r m a l i t y which informs  something which others  and on occasions  syntax too  quotes  is.  In Winter there  other characters  of the n o v e l from K a t h e r i n e ' s is  its  i n the work  less well handled.  some j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s ,  ness of speech  of  is  to c r e a t e a sense of K a t h e r i n e ' s  ness through her speech, Is  i s not a g g r e s s i v e l y  sometimes  l i t t l e attempt  speech  For though the d i a l o g u e  language of the d i a l o g u e i s  two w r i t e r s .  d i a l o g u e and i t makes  the  o f w r i t i n g what m i g h t  i n his  apt  last  poetry:  N o t o n l y t h e l a n g u a g e o f a l a r g e p o r t i o n o f e v e r y g o o d poem, e v e n o f t h e most e l e v a t e d c h a r a c t e r , must n e c e s s a r i l y , except w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o t h e m e t r e , i n no r e s p e c t d i f f e r f r o m t h a t o f g o o d p r o s e , b u t l i k e w i s e t h a t some o f t h e m o s t i n t e r e s t i n g p a r t s o f t h e b e s t poems w i l l be f o u n d t o be s t r i c t l y t h e l a n g u a g e o f p r o s e when p r o s e i s w e l l w r i t t e n . 2  2  New L l n e s - I I . p.  xxii.  198  Where o b v i o u s c o l l o q u l a l i s m s a r e u s e d , t h e y h a v e definite  purpose beyond the s i m p l e d e s i r e  popular audience. to  i n d i c a t e the  ment. the  Instead  I n "Next P l e a s e "  poverty of our e x p e c t a t i o n s  "figurehead with golden t i t s "  represents  to appeal to  the word " t i t s "  of an i d e a l i s e d symbol of  our d e s i r e s .  The r e s t  n e u t r a l d i c t i o n so t h a t  a  is  and t h e i r  used fulfil-  l o v e and f e r t i l i t y  adorns the of the  a  s h i p which  poem h a s a  the word g a i n s a n emphasis  very which  f o r c e s our awareness  o f t h e c h e a p n e s s o f what we l o o k  to.  I n "Sunny P r e s t a t y n "  the d e l i b e r a t e l y  recrea-  a t e s the d i s c r e p a n c y between the who o b s e r v e  i t and a l s o  v u l g a r language  p o s t e r and the  points to the  essential  i m a g i n a t i o n w h i c h prompts such p o s t e r s . Lady's  place  h i s use of level; is  ironic  it  increases the distance  intention also  i n "I  through the c o l l o q u i a l i s m , the q u a l i t y o f t h e y o u t h he d i d n o t the  language,  experiences; pressions  indicates  convey the  off  (LD. p.  context  on t h e  chaps"  since  girl's  by d a t i n g h i m . I remember"  poet r e c r e a t e s the experience,  where,  through  such  the c o l l o q u i a l  s i m p l i c i t y , even n a i v e t y ,  There  hearty  and a l s o ,  ephemeral q u a l i t y of  I n "Poetry of D e p a r t u r e s " ,  t h o s e who a d m i r e t h e cleared  the  remember,  of  "disquieting  the w r i t e r i n s l i g h t l y I r o n i c  s l a n g i s d e s i g n e d t o put h i m s e l f  instead  poverty  those  I n " L i n e s on a Young  Photograph Album" the mention of the  serves to  l i v e s of  ex-  of response  in  one who " c h u c k e d u p e v e r y t h i n g / A n d j u s t 34).  I n The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s  the  199  c o l l o q u i a l i s m s are functions.  The c o n c l u s i o n o f  "Get stewed.  the u t t e r  found that  same  "A Study of Reading H a b i t s " ,  Books a r e a l o a d o f c r a p "  i n h i s own t e r m s poem who h a s  f e w e r "but t h e y f u l f i l much t h e  (WW. p . 3 1 ) , c o n v e y s  f r u s t r a t i o n of the  persona of  i l l u s i o n has f a i l e d h i m , and  the  identifies  h i m c l o s e l y w i t h t h e k i n d o f l i t e r a t u r e he i s r e j e c t i n g . contrast  between these l i n e s and the t i t l e r e v e a l s  the  c r e p a n c y b e t w e e n t h e way i n w h i c h we w o u l d l i k e t o r e a d i n g and l i t e r a t u r e as whilst,  in fact,  it  is  The dis-  regard  p r i m a r i l y an I n t e l l e c t u a l  activity,  e q u a l l y a n e m o t i o n a l and even  escapist  one. F o r t h e most p a r t t h e and epigrammatic;  only three  poems i n The N o r t h S h i p a r e poems a r e  l o n g e r and n a r r a t i v e  form.  What i s b e i n g s a i d i n most o f t h e  slight  to warrant expansion.  L a r k i n w i t h the most of t h e  experience  poems i n t h e  descriptive rather s i m i l a r themes enough t o quote  poems i s  too  l o n g e r n a r r a t i v e form and  two v o l u m e s a r e n a r r a t i v e a n d  than epigrammatic.  illustrate this, in full,  other  in  The n o v e l s o b v i o u s l y p r o v i d e d  of the  last  short  Two poems d e a l i n g w i t h  poem " X X V I " , w h i c h i s  a n d " T r i p l e T i m e " i n The  Deceived. T h i s i s the f i r s t t h i n g I have u n d e r s t o o d : Time i s t h e echo of a n axe W i t h i n a wood. (NS. p . 39)  Less  short  200 In contrast  to the  epigrammatical statement  of t h i s  poem,  " T r i p l e Time" r e c r e a t e s L a r k i n ' s theory of time through a concrete poet's  image w h i c h a l l o w s t h e r e a d e r  moment o f a w a r e n e s s .  present  i n terms  The f i r s t  to p a r t i c i p a t e  in  stanza describes  of a p a r t i c u l a r t i m e and  the the  places  T h i s empty s t r e e t , t h i s s k y t o b l a n d n e s s s c o u r e d , T h i s a i r , a l i t t l e i n d i s t i n c t w i t h autumn L i k e a r e f l e c t i o n , c o n s t i t u t e the p r e s e n t — A time t r a d i t i o n a l l y soured, A t i m e unrecommended by e v e n t . ( L D . p . 35) The w o r d s " e m p t y " ,  "blandness",  sense of a yagueness focus  too c l o s e l y  pectations  w i l f u l nature stanza the  not simply the It  i s the  present  shows t h a t present  see  clearly.  what we v i e w a s  but a l s o  f u t u r e because the  the  the  the  I n the  f u t u r e and the  present  occasion  landscape of the  h e r e a n d g i v e n a new p e r s p e c t i v e . " l o n g houses" spective,  so t h a t  so l o n g t h a t  the  first  ex-  almost next  present  is  past.  Is  t h e f u t u r e f u r t h e s t c h i l d h o o d saw Between l o n g h o u s e s , under t r a v e l l i n g s k i e s , Heard i n contending b e l l s — A n a i r l a m b e n t w i t h a d u l t e n t e r p r i s e s . (LJD. p . The Images o f t h e  to  because of our l a c k of  The w o r d " s c o u r e d " i n d i c a t e s  of our r e f u s a l to  poet  the  which s p r i n g s from our d e s i r e not  on the  from i t .  " i n d i s t i n c t " , create  stanza are  The empty s t r e e t  35) p i c k e d up becomes  f e e l i n g o f l o o k i n g down a l o n g  d e t a i l s are  e n t i c i n g l y vague,  is  percreated.  201 T h i s i s the c h i l d ' s sense of a f u t u r e s t r e t c h i n g ahead of as yet i n d e f i n i t e p o s s i b i l i t i e s . d i f f e r e n t perspective excitement  is  The b l a n d sky from a  "travelling skies",  the c h i l d ' s own  f i n d s a r e f l e c t i o n i n h i s view of the  moving q u a l i t y of h i s environment.  full  restless  Instead of being " u n -  recommended by event" the f u t u r e seems f u l l of the p o t e n t i a l of "adult enterprises".  E v e r y t h i n g i n the p i c t u r e L s the  the o n l y d i f f e r e n c e being the p e r s p e c t i v e last it  same,  of the v i e w e r .  The  stanza i n d i c a t e s what the o c c a s i o n w i l l seem l i k e when  has i n e v i t a b l y become the  past:  A v a l l e y cropped by f a t n e g l e c t e d chances That we i n s e n s a t e l y f o r b o r e to f l e e c e . On t h i s we blame our l a s t Threadbare p e r s p e c t i v e s , seasonal d e c r e a s e . (LD. p . 35) Our view of the past has a d i s t o r t i n g q u a l i t y more extreme than our view of the present the  or the f u t u r e .  The change from  "empty s t r e e t " to the v a l l e y suggests a k i n d of romanticism  i n our view of the p a s t ,  perhaps because  of a sense t h a t ,  when we have ceased to look to the f u t u r e and can o n l y look back to the p a s t ,  i f we are to a t t r i b u t e  any meaning at  all  to l i f e then we must see the u n f u l f i l l e d p o t e n t i a l as being our r e s p o n s i b i l i t y r a t h e r than the r e s u l t of there b e i n g no potential.  The i d e a of p e r s p e c t i v e  i s Introduced i n t o  s t a n z a thus emphasising the p o i n t that our sense of is relative,  this  potential  not o n l y i n terms of whether we are l o o k i n g  at  202  the  present,  the  what p o r t i o n o f Through the  past  or the  f u t u r e , but a l s o  l i f e we c a n r e a s o n a b l y  s h i f t i n g perspective  assume  it  significance  of any p a r t i c u l a r t i m e s i n c e  is at  left  impossible to understand  once a n a b s t r a c t i o n  the a c t i o n of A G i r l  is  poem r e c r e a t e s  f e e l i n g that  This  i s almost  the  i n terms  it  to  us.  the the  changes i n  o f what i s w o r k e d o u t  I n W i n t e r and y e t  of  time.  through  i t works t h r o u g h  images  w h i c h g i v e i t an immediacy and c o n c r e t e n e s s and r e c r e a t e process  of u n d e r s t a n d i n g and r e a l i z a t i o n ;  North Ship simply presents  the  of  the  process  I n b o t h poems L a r k i n I s the  earlier  conclusion rather  to resolve  conclusion rather a stylistic of  poetry:  entitled  the  the t o t a l quality  concept.  attributed  "Obscurity i n Poetry"^  say d i f f i c u l t t h i n g s  S i n c e most o f t h e  i n a deceptively  experience  itself  t h e y do n o t  d e v i c e common t o t h e n o v e l s a n d t h e o t h e r L a r k i n ' s tendency  of  simple way.  poems i n The N o r t h S h i p p r e s e n t  than the  In  t o s u g g e s t t h i s by u s i n g a  The poem f r o m t h e The L e s s D e c e i v e d h a s  attempting to  reached.  dealing with a d i f f i c u l t concept.  the reader  to L a r k i n i n an a r t i c l e  the  than a  by w h i c h t h e c o n c l u s i o n was  poem he i s c o n t e n t  metaphor which leaves  poem f r o m The  poet's conclusions using  image a s a c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f t h e recreation  the  the  a have  volumes  t o u s e t h e c o n c l u s i o n o f a poem  or a n o v e l i n a p e c u l i a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t manner.  The n o v e l s  ^"Obscurity i n Poetry", J a n u a r y 16, 1959, 33.  Supplement,  The T i m e s L i t e r a r y  are  203  r e s o l v e d t h r o u g h images w h i c h t h r o w t h e r e a d e r h a c k the n o v e l , s i n c e perspective,  the f i n a l  Images p u t t h e a c t i o n i n t o a new  one w h i c h u n d e r c u t s t h e  c l u s i o n s reached  earlier.  In the  firmness  of any  r e a s s e s s m e n t o f what h a s gone b e f o r e .  draws t o g e t h e r  a l l the  final assertion,  examples  of  describes  "the  24  of  "Church Going"  drawing together  s i m i l a r l y draws the r e a d e r  e x p l o r e s and r e v e a l s  ideas.  despite  the  process  The  i n a s does  and e x p e r i e n c e s  his  a  i n the debate.  o f commonplace s i t u a t i o n s  deliberately  f i n a l stroke" "j*  creates a s i t u a t i o n i n which  i s made t o p a r t i c i p a t e  Yet,  conclusion  this.  of r e a s o n i n g or c h a l l e n g i n g i t  a t i o n a l tone  been  poem t o make a  " A n A r u n d e l Tomb" a n d t h a t  L a r k i n ' s method o f e i t h e r  the reader  of  have a l r e a d y  poems t h e  i m p l i c a t i o n s of the  what B e t j e m a n  the c o n c l u s i o n of are  In other  poems  complete  The c o n c l u s i o n s  f o r A t t e n d a n c e " and "Next P l e a s e "  mentioned i n t h i s c o n t e x t .  con-  same way many o f t h e  conclude w i t h a q u e s t i o n i n g tone which i n v o l v e s a  "Reasons  into  the  choice  through which L a r k i n  i l l u s i o n which L a r k i n s u c c e s s f u l l y  c r e a t e s o f p o e t r y based p r i m a r i l y on the  of g i v i n g p l e a s u r e ,  convers-  principle  i t has a t e n s i o n w h i c h becomes p a r t o f  emotional experience.  The c u m u l a t i v e i m p r e s s i o n g i v e n by  v o l u m e The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s i s t h e same a s t h e t o t a l ^ J o h n B e t j e m a n , "The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s " . The 19 M a r c h , 1964, 4 8 3 .  and  its the  experience  Listener.  204 o f e a c h poem.  The a m b i v a l e n c e  i n Larkin is his  o f random d i s o r d e r and m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s desire  i n l i f e and a  t o f i n d a meaning w i t h o u t l o s i n g any of h i s  One o r d e r he f i n d s i s lives  perception  fit,  but even t h i s  meaninglessness. himself,  i n the  large  strong  awareness.  p a t t e r n i n t o which a l l  p a t t e r n has  its  own q u a l i t y  of  The s e c o n d o r d e r i s one w h i c h he makes  for  s i n c e he c r e a t e s p o e t r y o u t o f t h e v e r y d i s o r d e r  which troubles h i m .  F . W. B a t e s o n  I n h i s r e v i e w o f The  Less  D e c e i v e d summarises t h i s a s p e c t of L a r k i n ' s work: The e m o t i o n a l c r i s e s , t h e s e n t i m e n t a l o u t p o u r s , a n d t h e a e s t h e t i c t i t i l l a t l o n s a r e a l l , one f e e l s , u n d e r c o n t r o l . They have n o t been d e n i e d o r r e p r e s s e d , t h e y a r e s t i l l t h e r e — b u t i n c l u d e d a n d c o - o r d i n a t e d i n a r a t i o n a l s y s t e m o f human v a l u e s and o b l i g a t i o n s . 5 The o r d e r  i s extended  commonplace e x p e r i e n c e life, exist,  i n t o e a c h poem f o r he makes  s i g n i f i c a n t by i t s  t h r o u g h t h i s he s u g g e s t s i f any t r i v i a l  that  i m p l i c a t i o n s about  a p a t t e r n of  patterns  and v o c a b u l a r y and  b y c a r e f u l o r d e r i n g , he c r e a t e s f r o m them a which out of c o n t e x t  l i f e must  i n c i d e n t c a n be r e l a t e d t o a w h o l e .  uses a p p a r e n t l y normal speech  the  He yet,  significance  t h e y w o u l d n o t h a v e so t h a t  positioning  g i v e s e m p h a s i s t o a p a r t i c u l a r w o r d a n d so p a r t i c u l a r m e a n i n g to an apparently f l a t  statement:  ^ F . W. B a t e s o n , "The L e s s D e c e i v e d " . E s s a y s J a n u a r y , 1957, p p . 74-70.  in Criticism.  205  T y p i c a l l y the l i n e from which these poets s t a r t (developed from M r . Empson), i s a p p a r e n t l y t r a n s p a r e n t but c o n c e a l s o t h e r meanings beneath i t s c o l l o q u i a l f l a t n e s s . " L a r k i n does  the  same t h i n g w i t h i n d i v i d u a l w o r d s o f t e n by  device of r e p e t i t i o n with cumulative meaning. in  "Wants"  i n three  For  (LJD. p . 2 2 ) , t h e w o r d " h o w e v e r " o c c u r s  the  example three  times  lines:  B e y o n d a l l t h i s t h e w i s h t o be a l o n e • However t h e s k y g r o w s d a r k w i t h i n v i t a t i o n - c a r d s H o w e v e r we f o l l o w t h e p r i n t e d d i r e c t i o n s o f s e x However t h e f a m i l y i s p h o t o g r a p h e d u n d e r t h e flagstaff— B e y o n d a l l t h i s , t h e w i s h t o be a l o n e . Here the word "however" r e l a t i n g t o the despite  the  fact  which hide t h i s last  l i n e i t has  do t h e  emphasis poet  f a c t from u s .  that  gives  the basic  emphasis r e f l e c t s  desire the  on our l i v e s and i n d i c a t e s  i n his attitude  poet  is  It  is,  i s t o be  constantly  to a large  extent,  the  a l l we  alone.  of  the  Paraphrased, though.,  complex i d e a appear t o  the meaning beyond the words  ^Anthony H a r t l e y , "Poets 2? A u g u s t , 195^. 261.  lost,  things  shifting  the ambivalence  saying is  of  despite  towards l i f e and d e a t h .  i n w h i c h he e x p r e s s e s t h i s  very simple.  means,  Put i n t o t h e c o n t e x t  the a d d i t i o n a l meaning t h a t  t h e c l a r i t y o f what t h e lines  line  o f o u r w i s h t o be a l o n e we do v a r i o u s  f a c t remains  The a l t e r n a t i n g  first  the be  p o s i t i o n i n g which  themselves.  o f t h e F i f t i e s , " The  Spectator.  206  I n t h e poem " T o a d s " t h e r e p e t i t i o n o f t h e w o r d similarly affects  "stuff"  t h e m e a n i n g o f e a r l i e r p a r t s o f t h e poem.  When t h e p o e t e x p r e s s e s h i s d e s i r e t o s h o u t " S t u f f y o u r p e n s i o n " t h e word has c o n n o t a t i o n s of the speech w h i c h would be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h  " f o l k s " who " l i v e u p l a n e s " .  In making  s u c h a n a s s e r t i o n he w o u l d be r e l a t i n g h i m s e l f t o t h e m . he s a y s  "that's  t h e s t u f f / T h a t dreams a r e made o n " he  there-  f o r e comments n o t o n l y o n t h e u n r e a l i t y o f h i s d e s i r e shout  " S t u f f y o u r p e n s i o n " b u t a l s o on the  When  to  l i v e s he h a s  been  envying. A f t e r The N o r t h S h i p L a r k i n ' s a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s f u n c t i o n o f a r t appears t o have undergone a change.  the He no  l o n g e r seems t o f e e l t h a t a r t a n d l i f e a r e s o u n r e l a t e d  that  a r t has a q u a l i t y of a b s t r a c t i o n and i s s u f f i c i e n t l y d i s t a n t t o be r e g a r d e d w i t h o u t r e a l e m o t i o n o r i n v o l v e m e n t . he e m p l o y s t e c h n i q u e s d e s i g n e d t o r e l a t e as  possible to l i f e .  p o e t r y as  Instead closely  H i s comments p r e f a c i n g h i s poems i n  E n r i g h t ' s a n t h o l o g y show h i s c h a n g e d a t t i t u d e : I w r i t e poems t o p r e s e r v e t h i n g s I h a v e s e e n / t h o u g h t / f e l t — m y p r i m e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s t o t h e e x p e r i e n c e i t s e l f , w h i c h I am t r y i n g t o p r e s e r v e f r o m o b l i v i o n f o r i t s own s a k e . 7  He i s  i n a sense combating m o r t a l i t y and m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s  process 7  of c r e a t i o n and c o n s e r v a t i o n i n h i s a r t .  Poets  of the  19q0's.  p.  77.  Like  by a  Yeats'  207 " g a y " poet of  I n " L a p i s L a z u l i " he i s a b l e  l i f e and y e t  get  o f t h e most t r i v i a l  T h e s e poems a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h l o n e l i n e s s o f man, the sadness memory, t h e s e n s e . . . t h a t l i f e ' s i g n o r a n c e a r e i n some o b s c u r e l y recorded.8 Larkin himself  supports t h i s  impulse to preserve I n the use  lies  at  the nature  the bottom of a l l  of t h e word " c e l e b r a t e " ,  lyrical"^  forms. 0  Richard K e l l  and t h i s  length.  says  is  that art".  "the 9  the reviewer  another  in  problem about  the d i f f i c u l t y  that  of  L a r k l n ' s "mode  i n the r e v i e w quoted  Langer i n F e e l i n g and Form d e f i n e s In broad  this  v i e w p o i n t w o u l d seem t o s u p p o r t  of the word " c e l e b r a t e "  Susanne  A  art:  p o i n t when he s a y s  of L a r k i n ' s p o e t r y and t h a t  defining his  and  t h e impermanence o f l i f e , t h e of age, the indulgence of m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s and man's m o v i n g way c e l e b r a t e d by b e i n g  The T i m e s L i t e r a r y S u p p l e m e n t r a i s e s  use  incident.  i n The T i m e s L i t e r a r y S u p p l e m e n t e x p r e s s e s  seeming paradox i n L a r k i n * s approach to h i s  is  tragedy  beyond the d e s p a i r a r i s i n g from t h i s  c r e a t e even on the b a s i s reviewer  to view the  the  the  above.  lyric  at  terms  The v i r t u a l h i s t o r y t h a t a l y r i c poem c r e a t e s i s t h e o c c u r r e n c e o f a l i v i n g t h o u g h t , t h e sweep o f a n e m o t i o n , t h e i n t e n s e e x p e r i e n c e of a mood. T h i s i s a genuine p i e c e of s u b j e c t i v e h i s t o r y , though u s u a l l y i t i s a s i n g l e e p i s o d e . 8"Undeceived Poet," M a r c h 12, 1964, 216. 9  Poets  of the  The T i m e s L i t e r a r y S u p p l e m e n t ,  1950*3, p .  77.  R i c h a r d K e l l , "Poetry Selection S u r v e y , I I , 2, 1965, 110. 1 0  1964," The  Critical  208 I t s d i f f e r e n c e s from other l i t e r a r y products a r e not r a d i c a l , and there i s no d e v i c e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f l y r i c composition that may not a l s o be met i n other forms. I t i s the frequency and importance o f c e r t a i n p r a c t i c e s , r a t h e r than t h e i r e x c l u s i v e use, t h a t make l y r i c poetry a s p e c i a l type.** The  p r a c t i c e s she r e f e r s t o a r e the use o f speech  i n the f i r s t  person, d i r e c t address and the use o f the present t e n s e . are a l l a s p e c t s which a r e b a s i c t o L a r k i n ' s p o e t r y . emotional element he says h i m s e l f i n "The Pleasure  These  Of t h e Principle"  t h a t the f i r s t stage i n w r i t i n g a poem i s , "When a man becomes obsessed w i t h an emotional concept compelled  t o such a degree that he i s  t o do something about i t ; "  The second  " c o n s t r u c t a v e r b a l d e v i c e t h a t w i l l reproduce concept  stage i s t o  this  emotional  i n anyone who cares t o read i t , anywhere, any t i m e . "  1  He thus acknowledges i n h i s own w r i t i n g elements b a s i c t o the l y r i c : t h e d e s i r e t o r e c r e a t e an emotional experience and t o a c h i e v e a u n i v e r s a l i t y i n tone. However, t h e r e a r e a l s o a s p e c t s o f h i s poetry which Langer sees as having l i t t l e o r no p l a c e i n the l y r i c  poem:  the l y r i c poet uses every q u a l i t y of language because he has n e i t h e r p l o t nor f i c t i t i o u s c h a r a c t e r s n o r , u s u a l l y , any i n t e l l e c t u a l argument t o g i v e h i s poem c o n t i n u i t y . I 3 The  i n t e l l e c t u a l argument i s as b a s i c t o the s t r u c t u r e of  L a r k i n ' s poetry as the emotional c o n t e n t !  I n d e f i n i n g the  ^ F e e l i n g and Form, p i 2 5 9 . P h i l i p L a r k i n , "The Pleasure P r i n c i p l e , " L i s t e n . I I , 3, 1957, 2 8 i 1 2  ^ F e e l i n g and Form, p: 2 5 9 .  209 dramatic Langer  suggests:  we do n o t u s u a l l y h a v e a n y i d e a o f t h e f u t u r e a s a t o t a l e x p e r i e n c e which i s coming because of our past and p r e s e n t a c t s ; s u c h a s e n s e o f d e s t i n y a r i s e s o n l y i n u n u s u a l moments under p e c u l i a r emotional s t r e s s . 1 ^ The s e n s e o f t h e  future f u l f i l l i n g a pattern established  present  is  and past  one o f t h e d i s t i n c t i v e f e a t u r e s  by  of L a r k i n ' s 1  p o e t r y as  is  the  " t e n s i o n between past and f u t u r e " .  h i m s e l f suggests elements  that  the  problem of r e c o n c i l i n g the  of the d r a m a t i c and the  lyric  t h e o r y o f p o e t r y w h i c h he d e s c r i b e s and t h e a t r i c a l  as  arises  two  from h i s  "emotional i n  basic  nature  In o p e r a t i o n . " l ^  Much o f B r o w n i n g ' s p o e t r y p r e s e n t s of d e f i n i t i o n . defines  Larkin  J  In his doctoral thesis  both the l y r i c  and the d r a m a t i c  s i m i l a r problems  on Browning J .  P . Hulcoop  forms i n o r d e r t o  a d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e h y b r i d mode i n w h i c h B r o w n i n g w r i t e s . d i s t i n g u i s h e s the  lyric  from t h e d r a m a t i c as  reach He  follows:  L y r i c a n d d r a m a t i c c a n be d e f i n e d as g e n r e s a n d d i s t i n g u i s h e d f r o m one a n o t h e r o n t h e b a s i s o f t h e a t t i t u d e s which each adopts towards the p r e s e n t a t i o n of c h a r a c t e r . I t i s not u s u a l l y the i n t e n t i o n of the author of the g e n u i n e l y r i c t o r e v e a l e i t h e r h i m s e l f or t h e s p e a k e r as ^„ a c h a r a c t e r ; t h e l y r i c poem r e v e a l s a mood o r s t a t e o f m i n d . • ^ F e e l i n g a n d F o r m , p . 308. 1 5  1 6  1 7  Poet"  ibid., "The  p.  308.  Pleasure  P r i n c i p l e , " p.  28.  J . F . Hulcoop, "Robert Browning, 'Maker of ( P h . D . , L o n d o n , I 9 6 0 ) , p . 508.  P l a y s ' and  210  However,  I n B r o w n i n g ' s p o e t r y , as  elements  which take  the  w i t h the dramatic w h i l s t not  of being d e f i n e d t o t a l l y  To d e s c r i b e  are  poem b e y o n d t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f  which have a s s o c i a t i o n s capable  i n L a r k i n ' s , there  i n terms  of the  lyric, being  dramatic.  t h i s h y b r i d form D r . Hulcoop uses the term  of-consciousness  lyric",  "stream-  i n which  t h e mood o r s t a t e o f m i n d becomes c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f a n i n d i v i d u a l speaker; there i s a r e a l attempt to suggest a c o n s i s t e n t l y operating viewpoint which would, i f r e l a t e d to a dramatic s i t u a t i o n , determine c h a r a c t e r i s t i c actions or r e a c t i o n s . I n f a c t , no s u c h s i t u a t i o n o c c u r s ; t h e poem r e m a i n s t h e c r y o f a n o c c a s i o n . ; . I n t h i s f o r m we e n c o u n t e r a c h a r a c t e r , s t i l l l y r i c a l l y r e v e a l e d t h r o u g h moods a n d s t a t e s o f m i n d , who i s i n v o l v e d I n a d r a m a t i c s i t u a t i o n o r s t o r y . 1 ° The a b o v e d e s c r i p t i o n i s more a p p l i c a b l e t o L a r k i n ' s w o r k i n The L e s s D e c e i v e d a n d The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s t h a n a n y more l i m i t e d d e f i n i t i o n . for Attendance" gives  To t a k e  just  one e x a m p l e ,  the reader a c l e a r  p i c t u r e of the  o f r e a c t i o n L a r k i n makes when p r e s e n t e d w i t h a situation;  he s u g g e s t s  representative  that  put i n t o the  p o s i t i o n where he h a s  1  8  J.  In the  so t h a t  p.  649.  the  He c o u l d be  t o make a c l e a r  choice  The p r o c e s s  poem i s a n i n n e r c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h  P. H u l c o o p ,  is  The s i t u a t i o n i n  potentially dramatic.  between r e m a i n i n g o u t s i d e and p a r t i c i p a t i n g . argument  particular  of h i s responses  sense of an i n d i v i d u a l .  w h i c h he f i n d s h i m s e l f i s  kind  h i s r e a c t i o n to the dancers  of a whole area  r e a d e r has a c l e a r  "Reasons  this  of  211 situation,  t h o u g h he i s n o t c a l l e d u p o n t o a c t  of h i s c h o i c e . but  it  carries  the nature  In the  present  tense  basis  throughout  i m p l i c a t i o n s of both past and f u t u r e ,  of the r e a c t i o n L a r k i n d e f i n e s  since  is  one i n a  The l i n e o f d e v e l o p m e n t I h a v e t r a c e d  from the  recurrent  to the  The poem i s  on t h e  pattern.  later  poems a l s o h a s  t o w a r d s new f o r m s :  its  place  novels  i n the w r i t e r ' s  movement  I n many r e s p e c t s L a r k i n ' s w o r k a p p e a r s  to  be v e r y c o n v e n t i o n a l a n d u n e x p e r i m e n t a l : he u s e s t r a d i t i o n a l stanzaic poetry  forms,  j u s t as  rhyme schemes a n d d i s c r e e t i n t h e n o v e l s he seems a t  imagery i n h i s  first  reading to  making s i m p l e and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d use of the n a r r a t i v e I n b o t h m e d i a , h o w e v e r , he w o r k s w i t h i n t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l form to achieve J u s t as h i s  poetry cannot  of e s t a b l i s h e d  be s a t i s f a c t o r i l y  of the are  Novel: Girl  The e l e m e n t  I have a l r e a d y  i n the  sense that  I have demonstrated  In Winter that  i s the  p e r c e p t i o n which each of the The e x t e r n a l  chapters  process central  w o r l d i n which each  of experience characters  lives  The  i n The  on J i l l  in  aspects  way.  the a c t u a l a c t i o n of the novels  what i s more i m p o r t a n t  terms  simple novel  shown t h o s e  Freedman d e f i n e s  i n the  it.  which they have  p o e t r y w h i c h c a n be d e f i n e d i n no o t h e r  lyrical  defined  defined i n  g e n r e so h i s n o v e l s go b e y o n d t h e  lyrical:  form.  something which transcends  f o r m t o become n o v e l - p o e m s . common i s t h e  closely  be  novels  Lyrical  and A is  slight;  and  undergoes.  is described less  to  212 c r e a t e f o r the r e a d e r a sense of the  " r e a l i t y " of the  lives  of the c h a r a c t e r s  than to create an e x t e r n a l r e f l e c t i o n  the  of each.  consciousness  The w o r k i n g t o w a r d s a r e s o l u t i o n  i n e a c h n o v e l i s done t h r o u g h I m a g e s , becomes  part of the  of  p a t t e r n of the  since  imagery.  even the  action  A l l these  aspects  o f t h e n o v e l s p u t them i n a s p e c i a l c a t e g o r y w h i c h F r e e d m a n labels  the  lyrical  novel:  Novels are u s u a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s t o r y t e l l i n g : the reader l o o k s f o r t h e c h a r a c t e r s w i t h whom he c a n i d e n t i f y , f o r a c t i o n i n w h i c h he may become e n g a g e d , o r f o r i d e a s a n d m o r a l c h o i c e s he may s e e d r a m a t i z e d . L y r i c a l p o e t r y o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , s u g g e s t s t h e e x p r e s s i o n o f f e e l i n g s o f themes i n m u s i c a l o r pictorial patterns. Combining f e a t u r e s of b o t h , the l y r i c a l n o v e l s h i f t s t h e r e a d e r ' s a t t e n t i o n f r o m men a n d e v e n t s t o a formal design: The u s u a l s c e n e r y o f f i c t i o n becomes a t e x t u r e of i m a g e r y , and c h a r a c t e r s appear as personae f o r the s e l f . L y r i c a l f i c t i o n , t h e n , i s n o t d e f i n e d e s s e n t i a l l y by a p o e t i c s t y l e o f p u r p l e p r o s e . . ; R a t h e r , a l y r i c a l n o v e l assumes a u n i q u e f o r m w h i c h t r a n s c e n d s t h e c a u s a l a n d t e m p o r a l movement of the n a r r a t i v e w i t h i n the framework of f i c t i o n . It is a h y b r i d genre t h a t uses the n o v e l t o approach the f u n c t i o n of a poem:18 The r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r s and t h e i r environment i s a l s o t y p i c a l  of the  of the  lyrical  novels  novel:  The h e r o a s a n a e s t h e t i c image o f n a t u r e l e a d s t o t h e t e c h n i q u e o f m i r r o r i n g . . . The " w o r l d " i s p a r t o f t h e h e r o ' s i n n e r w o r l d ; the h e r o , i n t u r n , m i r r o r s the e x t e r n a l w o r l d and a l l i t s multitudinous manifestations.19 1 fl  R a l p h F r e e d m a n , The L y r i c a l N o v e l P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1963), p . 1. 1 9  ibid.,  p.  21.  (Princeton:  213  I h a v e a l r e a d y m e n t i o n e d t h e way i n w h i c h L a r k i n concludes last  b o t h t h e n o v e l s a n d I n d i v i d u a l poems w i t h i n  two v o l u m e s w i t h i m a g e s  reader  back  or statements which t u r n  i n t o t h e n o v e l o r poem.  v e r y much a l y r i c  In this  w r i t e r by Freedman's  through h i s conclusions,  he i s  the the  r e s p e c t he  definition,  f o r c i n g the reader  is  since, to  see  the  n o v e l o r poem a s a w h o l e : C o n v e n t i o n a l l y the l y r i c , as d i s t i n c t from the e p i c and drama, i s seen e i t h e r as an instantaneous e x p r e s s i o n of a f e e l i n g or a s a s p a t i a l f o r m . The r e a d e r a p p r o a c h e s a l y r i c i n t h e way a n o n l o o k e r r e g a r d s a p i c t u r e : he s e e s c o m p l e x d e t a i l s i n j u x t a p o s i t i o n a n d e x p e r i e n c e s them a s a w h o l e . 2 0  There technique ment  i s a very clear  l i n e of development  i n L a r k i n ' s work w h i c h i s  In his  different  ideology.  from the  expressive  The N o r t h S h i p i s  later  work, but  m o s t o f what was t o f o l l o w !  It  in  the  of the  develop-  i n many r e s p e c t s  d o e s c o n t a i n i n embryo  Most of the  poems i n t h e  c o u l d be d e s c r i b e d a s  c o n v e n t i o n a l l y r i c s , though not  good o n e s .  they express  ones,  The i d e a s  so t h a t  content;  both are  c o n v e n t i o n a l and  very  poetic  form i s used to  express  stereotyped.  a greater s k i l l  a maturing of a personal i d e o l o g y ;  The  conventional  volume  t h e r e i s not a d i s c r e p a n c y between form and  The n o v e l s r e p r e s e n t  2 0  are  very  i n expression  i n them a l e s s  what i s new a n d i n d i v i d u a l ,  L y r i c a l Novel,  pi  6i  and  conventional though  214 the  lyric  element  of the  first  book i s r e t a i n e d .  The  D e c e i v e d a n d The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s a g a i n c o n t a i n t h e element,  but  fused with i t are  elements  learnt  at  the t i m e i  is  expressive  reminiscent  faults  reforming them,  i s as  t h e age  in his close  can produce.  i n t h e manner o f the  of L a r k i n ' s view of the  the relevance  society  society,  The d e v e l o p m e n t  be a t r u l y s a t i r i c  poet  The l y r i c  his  and  sense of a n age  new v a l u e s m u s t be e s t a b l i s h e d  express  of  of  particular  on a growing  of both h i m s e l f and h i s  in  element  f r o m The N o r t h S h i p t o  i n c r e a s i n g d e s i r e and a b i l i t y t o which r e f l e c t  in it,  of  poet  l a c k of confidence  o f h i s own p l a c e  therefore,  who  satire  and a n e x p r e s s i o n o f h i s sense  w h i t s u n Weddings i s b a s e d , w i t h i n the  Larkin,  of s o c i a l  being an I n d i v i d u a l responding emotionally to situations:  is  b u t who h a s no h o p e  of both i n u n i v e r s a l terms.  thus provides a balance,  poems,  Pope;  t o b e i n g a poet  He c a n n o t  world  responsible  of h i s  such as  Pope, because of h i s  coherence of h i s  which i s  elements  of the work of a poet  i s aware of t h e  as  The u n c o n v e n t i o n a l w e l d i n g  The r a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e  f o r the dramatic and n a r r a t i v e  lyric  the n a r r a t i v e and dramatic  In the n o v e l s .  o f t h e two f o r m s  Less  The awareness  environment, and h i s himself  in  without t r a d i t i o n s  i n b o t h l i f e and  art:  forms i n which  BIBLIOGRAPHY  PRIMARY MATERIAL a) N o v e l s Larkin, Philip. Jill. 1 s t ed., 1946^  London: F a b e r and F a b e r ,  . A G i r l i n Winter. 1 s t e d i , 1947. b) i  London: Faber and F a b e r , 1964,  Poetry The N o r t h S h i p .  "1st e d . ,  L o n d o n : F a b e r and F a b e r ,  1966,  1945.  Fantasy: University  21 ( F a n t a s y P o e t s S e r i e s ) . London: P r e s s f o r t h e F a n t a s y P r e s s , 195^•  . The L e s s D e c e i v e d .  "1962, 1 s t e d . ,  Hessle,  England: Marvell  Oxford Press,  1955.  The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s . .  1964,  London: F a b e r and F a b e r ,  " L o v e , " The C r i t i c a l Q u a r t e r l y .  VIII,  1964.  2 (Summer 1 9 6 6 ) ,  "173.  c) .  Selected C r i t i c a l "The  Autumn,  ..  Articles  Pleasure P r i n c i p l e , " 1957),  28-32.  " B e t j e m a n en B l o c . "  Listen.  Listen,  . " W h a t ' s Become o f W y s t a n ? " '104-5.  II,  3 (Summer/  V , 2 (Spring,  1959).  The S p e c t a t o r . J u l y  14-22.  15, i 9 6 0 ,  216 d) Movement A n t h o l o g i e s Conquest, Robert,  ed.  New L i n e s .  London: Macmillan,  195&.  . New L i n e s I I . London: Macmillan, 1963. E n r i g h t , D. J . , ed. Poets of the 1950*5: An Anthology of New E n g l i s h V e r s e . Tokyo: Kenkyusha L t d . , 1958. SECONDARY MATERIAL a) Books Bodkin, Maudi A r c h e t y p a l P a t t e r n s In Poetry. Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1934.  London:  Cox, C. B. and Dyson, A. E . Modern Poetry: S t u d i e s i n Practical Criticism: London: A r n o l d , 1963: F r a s e r , Gi S. The Modern W r i t e r and H i s World. Deutsch, 1964. . V i s i o n and R h e t o r i c : S t u d i e s i n Modern London: Deutsch, 1962. Freedman, R a l p h . The L y r i c a l N o v e l . U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1963. F r y e , Northrop. Mythology:  London:  Poetry.  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The M o d e r n P o e t s : A C r i t i c a l I n t r o d u c t i o n . New Y o r k : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1965. Stevens Wallace.  Opus P o s t h u m o u s .  London: Faber and  Faber,  1957.  T h w a i t e , Anthony. Contemporary E n g l i s h P o e t r y : An I n t r o d u c t i o n . L o n d o n : H e i n e m a n n L t d . , 1959* Van 0 * C o n n o r , W i l l i a m . The New U n i v e r s i t y W i t s a n d t h e E n d o f M o d e r n l s m i C a r b o n d a l e : I l l i n o i s U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1963; Woolf, V i r g i n i a . The Common R e a d e r . B r a c e a n d W o r l d , 1925: .  G r a n i t e and Rainbow.  New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t  L o n d o n : The H o g a r t h P r e s s ,  i960:  b) A r t i c l e s and R e v i e w s Anon.  " P o e t i c M o o d s ; " The T i m e s L i t e r a r y 16 D e c e m b e r , 1955, 762: . "Undeceived Poet." 12 M a r c h , 1964, 216.  The T i m e s L i t e r a r y  • "Obscurity i n Poetry." 16 J a n u a r y , 1959, 33. . "A G i r l I n W i n t e r . " 22 M a r c h , 1947, 125, . "The L e s s D e c e i v e d . " 1956, 809:  Patricia: Literature.  Bateson, vii,  F: 1,  W.  Supplement.  The T i m e s L i t e r a r y  The T i m e s L i t e r a r y  Supplement.  Supplement.  The L i s t finer, 15 N o v e m b e r ,  . "Solitary Sensibility." 81 ( C a n a d i a n e d . ) : Ball,  Supplement.  Time.  "The P h o t o g r a p h i c I l l , 2, 50-58.  19 F e b r u a r y ,  Art:"  "The L e s s D e c e i v e d . "  Review of  Essays  1965, English  in Criticism  76-80;  Bergonzl, Bernard. " A f t e r the Movement." 24 A u g u s t , 1961, 284-285.  The  Listener,  218 Betjeman, John. "The W h i t s u n W e d d i n g s . " 19 M a r c h , 1964, 4 8 3 . Bogan, Cox,  L.  "Verse."  The New Y o r k e r .  C; B. "Philip Larkin." ( S p r i n g 1 9 5 9 ) , 14-1?.  C r i s p i n , Edmund. 1964, 5 2 5 .  The  10 A p r i l ,  The C r i t i c a l  "An Oxford Group."  Listener. 1965, 193-194.  Quarterly. I,  The S p e c t a t o r .  Davie, Donald. "Remembering t h e Movement." Summer, 1959, 1 3 - 1 6 .  17 A p r i l ,  Prospect,  Deen, R. F . "Larkin's Poetry." 1964, 459.  a-ommonwegl  Drake, L . B.  Atlantic Monthly. July  1958,  "The New P o e t r y . "  f  December,  25  77-88.  Enright, D. J . "Down C e m e t r y R o a d . " 28 F e b r u a r y , 1964, 331-332. Featherstone, J . L . "Poetry 6 M a r c h , I 9 6 5 , 27-29. Fraser,  G. S;  The New S t a t e s m a n .  of Commonplaces."  " E n g l i s h Poetry  i " T h e New T o n e . " 79:  I n the  New R e p u b l i c ,  1950's."  The New S t a t e s m a n .  A u d i e n c e . 1961.  21 J a n u a r y ,  . et a l i " S y m p o s i u m o n P o e t r y s i n c e 1945:" M a g a z i n e . V I , 11 ( N o v e m b e r , 1959), H - 3 6 . Hainsworth, J . D. "A Poet L X I V , I53-I55.  of  our T i m e . "  Hartley, Anthony. "Natural Piety." 1956, 801-802. :  "Poets  1954,  of  the F i f t i e s . "  1964,  Hlbbert  The S p e c t a t o r ,  The S p e c t a t o r .  1956,  The L o n d o n Journal. 8 June,  27 A u g u s t ,  260-261.  Holloway, John: " S t i l l Less D e c e i v e d . " 28 F e b r u a r y , 1964, 288. Hugh-Jones,  1  Stephen, 533.  "Jill."  The  Spectator,  The New S t a t e s m a n ,  3 April,  219 Jones, A ; R. "The P o e t r y o f P h i l i p . L a r k i n : . A N o t e o n Transatlantic Culture." Western Humanities Review, S p r i n g , 1962, 1 4 3 - 1 5 2 . Kell,  Richard.  II,  2  "Poetry  (Summer,  Selection  1965),  1964."  The C r i t i c a l  Survey.  109-112.  K l i n g o p u l i s , G ; D . and L e a v i s , P . R . "The N o v e l a s D r a m a t i c Poem." S c r u t i n y . X I V , 3 a n d 4, 1947; X V , 3 , 1948; X V I I , l a n d 3 , 1950; X V I I , 4, 1 9 5 1 ; X V I I I , 1, 1 9 5 1 . 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