Larkin’s High Windows

What do you think about Larkin’s High Windows?


How far do you agree…

  1. “…essentially a pessimistic view of what the world has come to…”
  2. “…a critique of the changes society has undergone in his lifetime…”
  3. “…a persona which is more detached than part…”
  4. “…an outsider through choice or through protest…”
  5. “…an ironic sneering detachment from the world around him…”
  6. “…a thin veneer of cynicism barely disguises an essentially celebratory collection…”
  7. “…a lover of the past and all its baggage…”
  8. “…an inability to escape the past in general and his past in particular defines this collection…”
  9. “…his favourite subjects are failure and weakness…”
  10. “…darkness more so than light pervades this collection…”
  11. “…derogatory of everything but a very narrow notion of an ideal self…”
  12. “…failure taints every word and every note is essentially one of doom…”
  13. “…other people’s words are always parodied, never held up for approval…”

 

Jan ‘08

  1. A review of High Windows claimed that “Larkin is a poet who hates modern life.” How far do you agree with their view? In your answer, you should either refer to two or three poems in detail or range more widely through the whole collection.
  • Remind yourself of “The Old Fools”. How far do you agree with the view that, in terms of subject matter and style, this poem is the key to the whole collection?

June ‘07

  • Larkin once wrote to a friend “Gloomy old sod, aren’t I?” To what extent does High Windows confirm this view? In your answer, you should either refer to two or three poems in detail or range more widely through the whole collection.
  • Remind yourself of .The Building. (pages 24.26). How far do you agree with the view that, in terms of subject matter and style, this poem is the key to the whole collection?

‪Jan ‘07

  • How far do you agree with the view that “growing old is the main theme of this collection”? In your answer, you should either refer to two or three poems in detail or range more widely through the whole collection.
  • Remind yourself of “Going, Going” (pages 21.22).To what extent do you agree with the view that, in terms of subject matter and style, this poem is the key to the whole collection?

‪June ‘06

  • A recent study of 1950s writers included Larkin among the “Angry Young Men”. To what extent does High Windows suggest that Larkin was still angry in 1974? In your answer, you should either refer to two or three poems in detail or range more widely through the whole collection.
  • Remind yourself of the first poem in High Windows: “To the Sea”. How far do you agree with the view that, in terms of subject matter and style, this poem is an effective introduction to the whole collection?

‪Jan ‘06

  • When the paperback edition of High Windows was published, Larkin told a friend that “oath-larded depression will flood the land”. How far do you agree that High Windows is a flood of swearing and depression? In your answer, you should either refer to two or three poems in detail or range more widely through the whole collection.
  • Remind yourself of ‘The Trees’ (page 12). To what extent do you agree with the view that, in terms of subject matter and style, this poem is the key to the whole collection?

‪June ‘05

  • “It is no more than a poetic scrapbook: a random collection with no coherent theme.” How far do you agree with this view of High Windows? In your answer, you should either refer to two or three poems in detail or range more widely through the whole collection.
  • Remind yourself of ‘Sad Steps’ (page 32). To what extent do you feel that, in terms of subject matter and style, this poem is the key to the whole collection?

‪Jan ‘05

  • Another poet has written that Larkin is “fascinated by change”. How far do you feel that this view applies to the poems in High Windows? In your answer, you should either refer to two or three poems in detail or range more widely through the whole collection.
  • ‘Show Saturday’ (page 37) was a late addition to this collection. Larkin told a friend that “it will add bulk and roughage to High Windows.” To what extent do you feel that, in terms of subject matter and style, ‘Show Saturday’ was an important addition to this collection?
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