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Mr Bleaney

Philip Larkin

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Added by: Anna Catling
The poem of Mr Bleaney is a strange one, but the strangest thing aout the way it is written is the way there are three voices in the poem, your own, the land lady, and the new tenant's. Larking shows a cynical view of the way someone lived their life, and how the loop begins again with the new tenant, who looks at mr Bleany's sad existance dispassionatley, in the hope that if he knows what happened to Mr B, he will avoid becoming like him.
Added by: Nev
It is almost as if life is going round in a circle
Mr Bleaney
Added by: charlie_chalk
I personally love this poem. Just the way you feel a judgement towards Mr Bleaneys "flowered curtains" which just like him don't reach where they're expected to. And the bit i really love, is the end. We don't know how fulfilled Mr Bleaney was, all the judgement is speculation that he wasn't as happy as society expects. I enjoy nearly all of Larkin's poems but to me this one really is clever, i almost feel guilty for thinking Mr Bleaney was unhappy when reminded we don't know and without wanting to sound like a total gay, i think thats amazing!
Mr. Bleaney
Added by: Muhammad Imran Liaqat
The name of the poem is itself symbolic because the word bleaney has been derived from ‘bleak’ meaning miserable.
This poem by Larkin is full of symbolism because in it Larkin has symbolized the shabby life style of people of his time. in the first stanza when the land lady gives the description of the room to the speaker she says
‘Flowered curtains, thin and frayed
Fall to within five inches of the sill
Whose window shows a strip of building land?
Tussocky, littered’
These lines symbolizes the poor circumstances of bleany’s life and the emptiness of Mr Bleany’s life and symbolizes that bleany was living a shabby and littered life and his life was full of hopelessness.
Now the speaker takes a look at the room and says
‘No room for books or bags’
This suggests there is no room for personal belongings.
The next symbolic lines are
‘The jabbering set he egged her on to buy’
This means that the set was useless for the speaker but it was very important for bleaney coz he was not able to afford it and he asked his landlady to buy him this set
The speaker says that he knows what kind of life Mr. Bleaney lived by observing the room and says
‘His preference for sauce to gravy’
It means that bleaney was living a ready made kind of life.
In the end Larkin conveys his thought by saying
‘That how we live measures our own nature’
Although the speaker doesn't want to lead a life as what Mr. Bleaney had ever done, he seems to identify himself with Mr. Bleaney in the last stanza, as he claims "I don't know
Added by: Chinaman Mark Two
I reckon that this poem is written about the sad and pathetic life that Mr.Bleaney has lead, and also about a new occupant that now fills Mr.Bleaney's shoes after Mr.Bleaney has gone.

The hired room is obviously hideous and very basic, eg, no lamp shade, thus the "60 watt-bulb", how inappropriate that in a man's room there are curtains with flowers on and the curtains don't really fit the window, reveal a five inch strip of the outside world. The "upright chair" and the plain and simple "bed" also suggests that this room is very plain and basic, as if there nothing else left to point out, and the "upright chair" gives us a feeling as if it's not comfortable.

All of this suggest, in Larkin's view, what the current occupant is worth. In other words, the occupant is an obsolete member of society.

The occupant obviously realises that this room is the best he can do, and the constant comparison between him and Mr.Bleaney enhances this idea.

The occupant "grins", this may suggest that he is try to reassure himself that this room is not really that bad, yet he knows that this room is terrible and this room is sybolic of how much he is worth to society, thus he "shivers".

The constant mention of habits regime and routine suggests that Mr.Bleaney was now very impulsive and very dull, "Christmas at his sister's house is Stoke" and "His preference for sauce to gravy".

The last stanza basically explains the main idea of this poem, and a lot could be read from this. Here Larkin shows us that what we posses and how we live shows our potential and usefulness towards society.

The last few words suggests his lack of confidence, "I don't know".

This poem shows us that the room itself is almost a being, the room is a direct representation of the ouccupant, be it Mr.Bleaney or the person described in the poem.

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