Kingsley Amis was a prevalent and creative poet, novelist and critic, mostly considered amongst the utmost authors of the twentieth century about satire. On the other hand, Philip Larkin was also a well-known post-war writer in England, a nationwide favourite poet that was normally denoted as “England’s other poet Laureate.” Philip Larkin is persistently associated with the first novel of Kingsley Amis “Lucky Jim” as it is devoted to him. Larkin assisted in inspiring and in editing the book; many perceived him as the initial model for the main character of the novel. The connection between the two authors is more intricate as they both avoided remarking extensively on the topic thus suggesting the probability of an unsettled tension among them. As much their relationship was complex, the two authors had some similarities in the manner in which they approached issues in Britain and their attitudes in different issues like the class system and sexuality that makes them to be popular worldwide. In the first instance, the paper discourses the similarities between the two authors and then the differences in their works. As well, the paper compares the workings of these two authors with the works of other British writers.
In most instances, people often tend to confuse the workings of Amis and Larkin as works of the same author. In his novels, Larkin attempts to utilize satirical statements that are altogether, objects of fondness and reverence. He perceives women as treasures for a great love and reasonable care. These aspects are clarified in the works of Amis especially in the novel “Lucky Jim,” which ostensibly appears to describe an account of Larkin. Larkin’s “The Less Deceived” is written in the same notation, implying identical approach in the way the ideas are presented. From the onset, the two authors seem to give novelty accounts that surround their backgrounds outwardly construed as being similar. They grew and wrote poems and novels that suggest some interests in young girls. The two authors appear to share similar themes in their workings. In his poems, Larkin produced poetic works that mainly encompassed sexual intrigues. The compositions that were intended for a woman named Monica, with whom he had a stable relationship. In an identical mind-set, Amis describes events that surround a similar context in most of his poems and novels. For instance in the novels, “Take a girl like you” and “I want it now.”
Similarly, the diction of their works construes some resemblance to works done by a similar author. The two authors utilize unrefined language in their works. This aspect is creatively and is assimilated in the writings to the extent that it loses the idea of getting discourteous. On the other hand, the two authors illustrate aversion for the poor and the “niggers,” an aspect that is shared by Amis in his works. Larkin’s poem, “minginess of spirit,” is one that is set contrary to the writer’s ‘sun-comprehending.’ On the face of it, Amis arouses the value of an entirety from Larkin’s suppressed sexual actuality to the abhorrence of black people.
The two authors described England as being filled with girls with drink, full of jazz, several decent houses, decent jobs, an England full of books and freedom. In the poem “High windows” Larkin addresses the issue about sexual liberation. The poem begins talking about sex but ends up touching on religious issues. This shows an apparent association between the church and personal behaviour that is perceived the way of sexuality to a definite extent. The dissertation on sexuality is evidently changed during the time of revolution. In the poem, the writer is dissatisfied with the sexual revolution after the Second World War. Larkin is not happy with the introduction of family planning that led to a free supply of contraceptives. He has also opposed to legislation on matters dealing with abortion, divorce and homosexuality. This stance makes critics feel some form of constructiveness in their mind-set except obsession for women in particular. In one of his poems named “High Windows,” Larkin recounts,
“When I see a couple of kids
And guess he's fucking her and she's
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
I know this is paradise "(lines 1-4).
In the post-war Britain, morals were now being perceived as a personal choice without any influence from the church. The poet also equates himself to an “out-dated combine harvester.” This infers to a sense of guilty linked with the desire for sex and his unconscious faith. The title “high window” brings out the fact that you cannot get all what you want, because you do not know what it is. The freedom from religion could not serve as the ultimate solution, neither the “free love” in the 1960’s. Their poems, therefore, reflect a change in attitude towards sexuality in Great Britain moments after the end of Second World War. This is largely attributable to the pattern of life and period within which the two authors lived, during and after World War II, that seem to influence their mind-sets. As well, given that the two authors lived in the same setting and shared many aspects, it is likely that this is the reasoning behind identical styles of writings.
The two authors view the post-modern Britain to be more post-individual and post-liberal compared to the community based and religious Britain before the Second World War. This is where an individual’s success relies on the arrangements of success given by the media. Their poems criticize the culture due to its attitude of “lowered expectations,” Larkin is against the class system as he criticizes the impact of mobility due to swelling number of motorists whereas there was no improvement in the road network that these motorists used. In the poem, “Going, Going.” He says that England is under the mercies of “crooks and tarts” referring to the economists and politicians who govern the country.
“And that will be England gonethe shadows, the meadows, the lanesthe guildhalls, the carved choirs.”
This was the period that England was recuperating from the aftermath of their engagements in the warfare and had to define their perspectives for national growth and development.
In conclusion, when comparing Philip Larkin and Kingsley Amis with other writers like Richard Bradford and Andrew James, the two poets are better placed because they do not make assumptions. Bradford in his book “Odd couples” his work is less interesting when dealing with sexual adventures, and as well he has a problem with style and accuracy. On the other hand, these poets wrote clearly and pointed out the vices that they felt were not good in terms of sex and morality and as well the class system where the rich and the politicians governed the country.
Amis, Kingsley. Lucky Jim. New York: New York Review Books, 2012. Internet resource.
Moseley, Merritt. Understanding Kingsley Amis. Columbia, SC: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1993. Print.
Punter, David. Philip Larkin: Selected Poems. Beirut: York press, 1991. Print.Bottom of Form