'Toads' and 'Toads Revisited' Comparison (Philip Larkin)

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Toads and Toads Revisited are poems in Philip Larkin’s collection that describes both the perks and burdens of a work life. Larkin’s view of work in ‘Toads’ is seen as a heavy load whereas in ‘Toads Revisited’, it is seen as something that keeps him occupied and helps him though life. ‘Toads Revisited’ was written after Larkin became a firmly established chief librarian of the Hull Library and he had no further to go because he had already reached the top position. His attitude to work had undergone subtle changes from eight years ago to Toads Revisited. In this poem, Larkin has managed to escape from the monotony of his desk, perhaps during lunch or break. He takes a walk around the park where he observes and sees more than he expects…show more content…
The word ‘starves’ between two underscores adds emphasis and that people go hungry but no one goes through starvation. Larkin also does not hide the idea that his hard work goes to pensioners. The idea of shouting ‘stuff your pension!’ is a rather disrespectful thought towards elderly people, enhanced by the exclamation marks. However, Larkin uses a quote from Shakespearean literature, ‘the stuff that dreams are made on’ from the Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1 spoken as part of Prospero’s ‘resignation speech’ refers to a scenario can only be fantasised and wished. "Stuff" refers to the materials that go into creating an illusion, not to the object of a wish. Regardless of his complains, Larkin understands and knows that something ‘toad-like’ exists in him as well and ‘squats’ within himself. Larkin’s play on the alliteration of ‘h’ suggests the sound of heaving and heaviness. The toad in him will never allow him to ‘blag’ his way through getting all the things he wants in life. He is never going to be able to shake off work because of this toad in him that drives him to continue doing mundane tasks every day. He knows he will be constantly discontent and dissatisfied with his life. With one toad sitting on his life and the other sitting inside him, Larkin states that the ‘spiritual’ truth of either truth is embodied by the other and that it is ‘hard to lose either, when you have both.’ In Larkin’s case, it was
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