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Word Count: 1,144
Afternoons is a melancholy poem about the inevitability of change and the passing of youth The poem written by Philip Larkin forces the reader to reflect upon the lifestyle of a young woman with a husband and family Previously I thought this would be a very fulfilling lifestyle however Larkin has changed my opinion on this matter Although Larkins thoughts on this life are completely biased Larkin does make a valid point which is that these young women lead a quite monotonous lifestyle Larkin puts across many themes throughout the whole poem He effectively conveys the demands that children can have upon a parents life in particular the mother However he also reflects upon the changes that occur in peoples life as a result of having children Philip Larkin has efficiently brought to our attention the lack of freedom which has been brought about by adopting a new role This is his main theme throughout the poem He discusses this loss of freedom in great detail through his skilled techniques as a writer including his powerful use of imagery and word choiceIn the opening verse Larkin presents the idea of the dull repetitive and empty life of a typical housewife when this poem was written between the nineteen fifties and the nineteen sixties By setting such a scene so quickly Larkin forced the reader to contemplate the truth of this opinion Through word choice Larkin presented this idea to the reader when he saysIn the hollows of afternoons The word hollows meaning empty and creates the impression that the mothers lives are empty also Larkin believes that the life of a woman who marries and has a child will become empty will lack fulfillment and will be unhappy When Larkin wrote this I was shocked that he could have such a one sided opinion Having a family does mean that you have to become less selfish However I do not believe that Larkin is correct
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