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Analysis Of "Mr Bleaney" By Philip Larkin

996 words - 4 pages

Write a critical appreciation of the poem making comment on the poetic devices used to create an atmosphere of existential despair.The poem "Mr Bleaney" by Philip Larkin was written in 1955, when the Second World War was still in everybody's mind. It tells the story of a man (probably the poet himself) who rents a room and discovers by looking at the apartment the monotonous life of the person who used to live there Mr Bleaney. By the end of the poem, the man starts identifying himself to Bleaney and finally thinks that his life is not better than his. The atmosphere and the very unusual feeling given by the poem relate the emotions of the poet through an "every man" character: Mr Bleaney. ...view middle of the document...

The 'upright chair' and 'no hook behind the door' symbolises the fact that he does not care about the beauty and decorations of his room. The use of 'sixty watt' bulb reinforces the idea of a strange glow, reflecting the theme of loneliness and obscurity. The description of the flowered curtains as 'thin and frayed' in addition of the 'fusty bed' evokes the idea of decay and the unimportance of his life. The use of 'one hired box' to describe the room evokes the image of a coffin which emphasizes the feeling of loneliness and death. Larkin gives a description of Mr Bleaney as one of insignificance and he criticises his lack of efforts to decorate his room with offensive words like: 'tussocky, 'littered' and 'upright' suggesting the author does not approve the total depressed attitude of Mr Bleaney. Nonetheless, from the middle of the 3rd stanza it becomes more melancholic.In effect, by looking at Mr Bleaney's life, the protagonist has found a resemblance to his own life. When the man says "so it happens that I lie where Mr Bleaney lay" suggests that he understands he is not superior to of Mr Bleaney, as he too is only renting the room, and he has not made this place a more beautiful place to live than Mr Bleaney. This parallel between their lives is emphasized by the fact that they have both a repetitive lives, each year following the same pathway:" Christmas at his sister's in stoke" and the Frinton folk who put him up for summer holidays". This parallel between both lives reinforces the idea of Mr Bleaney being an "everyman character" as everybody has in a way a resemblance with him if we look carefully at our lives as...

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