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Toads Revisited Analysis

Author: poem of Philip Larkin Type: poem Views: 8

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Walking around in the park
Should feel better than work:
The lake, the sunshine,
The grass to lie on,

Blurred playground noises
Beyond black-stockinged nurses -
Not a bad place to be.
Yet it doesn't suit me.

Being one of the men
You meet of an afternoon:
Palsied old step-takers,
Hare-eyed clerks with the jitters,

Waxed-fleshed out-patients
Still vague from accidents,
And characters in long coats
Deep in the litter-baskets -

All dodging the toad work
By being stupid or weak.
Think of being them!
Hearing the hours chime,

Watching the bread delivered,
The sun by clouds covered,
The children going home;
Think of being them,

Turning over their failures
By some bed of lobelias,
Nowhere to go but indoors,
Nor friends but empty chairs -

No, give me my in-tray,
My loaf-haired secretary,
My shall-I-keep-the-call-in-Sir:
What else can I answer,

When the lights come on at four
At the end of another year?
Give me your arm, old toad;
Help me down Cemetery Road.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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This poem, is based upon Larkin’s time in a flat overlooking Pearson Park and unlike 'Toads' is a somewhat more mature look at the idea of work. I believe that Larkin is suggesting that his job offers him no satisfaction or pleasure due to it's repetitive nature. However Larkin understands the inevitability of working and accepts that he will work until he retires and then dies and sees this as proof that he's living a relatively empty life.

| Posted on 2016-11-06 | by a guest

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the main message of the poem is that we have a distorted opinion of unemployment.The opening stanza suggests that not working is complete.However, the first word of the following stanza is 'blurred' which suggests that this notion is dellusional. Alternatively it is the idea of the narrator at work, thinking of the faint enticements of infinte spare time. The half rhyme between; 'noises and nurses' suggests the desire is whole but it is actually only half of what we dream of.

| Posted on 2014-02-11 | by a guest

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In my opinion, the reader must have read Toads in order to fully understand this follow up poem. He seems to have realised that without work whilst living off \"windfalls and tinned sardines\" you will not get through life happily however you will walk down \"cemetery road\" alone. This poem is a much more mature approach towards the ideas surrounding work and Larkin seems to have realised, without work what else will aid us to our final chapter, so to speak.

| Posted on 2013-05-09 | by a guest

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In the poem \'Toads\' Larkin is not sure about what the importance of job is in general. However, \'Toads revisited\' tells us the he actually realized that there is no satisfaction and contentment without having a job, and that you are empty and unfulfilled if you are not occupied with any sort of work.

| Posted on 2012-07-01 | by a guest

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To analyse toads revisited you have to read toads. then it can be understood that toads revisited is merely a stark contrast and a matured view of work compared to toads. Larkin shows how a life without work is a failure and he sees the unemployed as tramps, and stupid or weak. Toads revisited incoporates a pro work ideology.

| Posted on 2011-11-06 | by a guest

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I think that toads revisited is a really interesting poem. It deals with issues within society(such as unemployment- people \'walking around the park\'). Larkin built a career for himself working in a libary and he continued to move up the social scale.He uses a doggerel type rhyme,although, there is an underlying discontent. This poem deals with similar issues to \'Ambulances\'- showing how society reacts, it also shows that death will happen to everyone and we live to die.

| Posted on 2011-05-22 | by a guest

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There is a comparison between old people and stressed workers and the idea in the last stanza that once you no longer work (retirement) you just wait for death. This poem compared to toads is straightned and strustured showing the relief work brings to everday life and the purpose.

| Posted on 2011-05-22 | by a guest

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I completely disagree!
At first Larkin mocks those without jobs, \'all dodging the toad work\'. However, the lack of an exclamation mark the second time he says \'think of being them\' suggests he is actually thinking about it, perhaps feeling slightly envious, as he is stuck in an ordinary daily routine. His exasperation at this routine shows as he says things like \'What else can I answer?\'. He comes to terms with the fact that he will be stuck working until death, \'give me your arm old toad; help me down cemetary road\'.

| Posted on 2011-01-04 | by a guest

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his may only be an analysis of the writing. No requests for explanation or general short comments allowed. Due to Spam Posts are moderatedT before posted.

| Posted on 2010-03-09 | by a guest

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At the end, he embraces work as something to do until old age and death

| Posted on 2009-05-19 | by a guest

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he is looking back at toads, where he realises that work is his life and without work he would have no reason to live. he realises all the people that he wants to be like have empty lives and he was stupid to envy them.

| Posted on 2008-09-24 | by a guest

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