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Larkin's poetry cynically portrays a society in which the

proletariat "are deluding themselves" rather than
presenting a hopeful picture of a society where "they [go]
beyond the limits which society sets for them" To what
extent do you agree with this statement? Make close
reference to FOUR Larkin poems.
“Larkin’s Poems portray a society where the proletariats are
deluding themselves which represents how trapped the
proletariats are in the society which Larkin represents.” The
entrapment that the proletariats suffer in society is shown in
many of Larkin’s poems. “The Large Cool Store” exposes how the
bourgeoisie keep the proletariats trapped through consumerism.
Consumerism supports capitalism. It is an unbreakable circle
which keeps the bourgeoisie rich and the proletariats poor.
“natureless in ecstasies” shows this as the more clothes you buy
the less connection you have with society and become alienated
and marginalized. The proletariats work then buy commodities.
This is a never-ending cycle until they die. This causes the
bourgeoisies to stay wealthy and to unintentionally keep them
selves poor. Proletariats possess a false copiousness a they are
powerless so have to conform to the society in which they live
with out question.
Similarly in the poem “Nothing to Be said” the isolation of
proletariat communities: are also shown. “For nations vague as
weed,” proletariat communities are isolated due to being the
lower class and the upper class the bourgeoisie are left to rule.
This poem also shows us how society delivers hope through
religion. Hope gives something for the proletariat to hold on to
even though they can never escape. “Of building, benediction”
Benediction occurs at the end of religious catholic service with a
short invocation for divine help, blessing and guidance. Karl Marx
shows his personal view on religion as he says, “Religion is the
opium of the people” meaning it is addictive and controlling
which represents the nature of a capitalist society. The poem
Nothing to Be said is about how we are all slowly dying and we
can not escape thus represents the society that we are all slowing
dying in metaphorical and literal language and we can not escape
the society.
In the poem “This Be The Verse” it also shows the entrapment of

society towards the proletariats and links to family. “They fuck
you up, your mum and dad.” This first line of the poem has two
meaning as your parents literally fuck you up or they fuck your
life up. The idea of when you are born your life is already
determined even by your name (nominative determinism) or your
social class is shown. “They fill you with the faults they had” if
born into a lower class proletariat family from the moment you
are born you have no to escape from the capitalist society, you
are born into a world where you are already dying. Larkin also
directly contradicts Karl Marx view. “It deepens like a costal
shelf.” Things are only going to get worst, the problem is only
going to worsen. Karl Marx believed that society would slowly
start to improve, as he believed capitalism was a flawed system
as he was strong believer in communism. Marx expected the
proletariats to have a civil revolt against the bourgeoisie and
create communism. But the opposite has happened and things
are only getting worst for proletariats whilst the bourgeoisie
The poem “Home is so Sad” also shows the failure of the
capitalist society, which shows its failure. “A joyous shot at how
things are supposed to be” this quote clearly shows that things
were not supposed to be like this but it is the very society that
didn’t mean to create an unfair system which created it through
the wealthy gaining power and controlling the weak in economic
terms. The personified language about the house which Larkin
uses throughout the poem also adds sensitivity to the poem as it
is linked to the life’s of the proletariats, “Instead bereft- Of
anyone to please, it withers so”. Bereft has two meanings, the
first meaning without and sense of loss and the second meaning:
the indication of no hope. The personified language used to
describe the house also portrays the life’s proletariats and that
there is no hope.
Through out Larkin’s poems, Larkin uses blunt and sharp style of
writing which gets straight to the point. And is very directive
typical of male authors. Larkin’s writing and poetry represents a
dystopian vision which is the opposite of a utopian vision where
things are only going to worsen and views the world in a negative
light. This is shown through many of Larkins poems and
reinforces the fact that Larkin’s poems portray a society where
the proletariats are deluding themselves which represents how

trapped they are within the society they live in. Larkin’s poems
show the entrapment, marginalization and alienation which the
proletariats socio economic circumstances have conformed them
to through the capitalist society in which the bourgeoisie control
and the proletariats suffer.