Afternoons Essay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By lewisgreen08
Words 674
Pages 3
“Afternoons” by Philip Larkin is a poem that moves towards a general/ universal statement throughout the play. The poem is about the inevitability of change and the passing of time. In the poem the main characters are mothers who are now living after the peak of their lives where their only objective is to look after and satisfy their children and husbands. Larkin shows the reader this through the play by using various poetic techniques in each of the stanzas.

In stanza one Larkin talks about how the mothers are getting much older and have left their glory days behind them:

“summer is fading”.

This is metaphorically telling the reader that they are more than half way through their lives as the good years are now fading away and leaving them. They are now fading into autumn which shows that they are getting older. “Young mothers assemble” shows us that the older mothers have now been replaced by these “young mothers” who are still in the peak of their lives or as Larkin would say, their summer. The theme of the inevitability of change and the passing of time is made clear through this stanza, especially in the first line. Larkin shows this as he talks about the seasons being stages in life as there isn’t anything the mothers can do to stop it happening just like someone getting older. He also shows that there is change in the mother’s lives as they have been replaced by younger mothers.

In the second stanza Larkin talks about the memories that the mothers have had of the good old days and how that life is behind them now:

“And the albums, lettered”

This talks about the memories they have of their summer years in life as albums are things used to hold memories of things that happens in the past which creates a nostalgic feeling in this stanza. The quotation “Before them, the wind” continues the theme of the passing of time as the wind has the…...

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