A poem which reflects on the subject of MARRIAGE is 'Afternoons' by Philip Larkin. The poem deals with Larkin's view on young mothers watching their kids playing in a playground and on this he concludes that marrying young and having children young, lead to the mothers losing their identity and destiny. The techniques used by the poet such as theme, imagery and tone deepened my understanding of the issue. The structure of the poem is simple; there are three stanzas with eight lines in each. However, unlike every other poem by Larkin this layout has no direct meaning. The lines are unrhymed. The first stanza deals with Larkin's rather cynical view of marriage and deals with the idea that the young mothers are isolated. Larkin's brilliant use of language emphasis the recurring theme of emptiness within the young mothers and how regimented their lives have become; 'In the hollows of afternoons' and 'young mothers assemble'. In the second stanza Larkin moves from the general view into the individual and describes the mother as belonging to a middle class background. more.

The children within the school are not mature enough to realise what 'courting' means. A grim humour is assumed when the reader realises these children still have a future wereas the young mothers do not.The tone of the poem has become increasingly more cynical. Larkin refers to how regimented the mothers lives are again when they are 'expected' to pick up their children from school. The women have changed immensely with the pressures and responsibilities that the child has brought, they are putting on weight and losing their looks, probably due to having the children. 'Their beauty has thickened'. The young mothers lives are now and entirelly centred upon the children and their daily routine. Something then is 'pushing them to the side of their life' this seems an inevitable fate. The reader then gets the idea of a force of nature or time making the children a more important factor...