In Larkin’s “The Winter Palace” and Lawrence’s “Beautiful Old Age” both personae express their interpretation of old age. Larkin’s persona appears to be experiencing old age and whilst expressing his sentiments towards his aging, he highlights the flaws in the reality of approaching death.In contrast to this, Lawrence’s persona seems appear to share hs expectation of what old age would evoke in his life. He perceives old age as wonderful, which is in stark variance with Larkin’s notion of selfdeprecation that comes from experiencing old age.
From the title, “The Winter Palace” , we can interpret that Larkin treats old age as a refuge as he disconnects from the world through it, causing his existence to become insular. It is also made obvious that persona is experiencing old age personally.
“I give that all the cold shoulder” Throughout the entire poem , “I” has been utilized , making the poem more personal. This causes the reader to feel as though he is taking a glimpse into the persona’s mind. In contrast to this, the persona in “Beautiful Old Age” displays that his opinions are merely an expectation of old age.
“It ought to be lovely to be old” the use of the word, “ought” shows the persona is simply envisioning old age to be wonderful. From the title, “Beautiful Old Age” it can be interpreted that persona is in fact looking forward to old age and sees it in a positive light. When comparing these two poems, it is realized that due to the juxtapositioning of “ Reality VS Expectations” , the poems vary largely on the opinions shared on old age.
Larkin utilizes structured rhymes in “The Winter Palace” to convey irony when comparing the form to the persona’s mind as the persona’s mind is
breaking down and hence is in a mess. The disintegration of the persona’s mind can be seen in the last couplet. “Then there will be nothing I know ...
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