Department Chair

Ralph L. Wahlstrom, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of English

Date of Award


Access Control

Campus-Only Access

Degree Name

English, M.A.


English Department


Karen Sands-O'Connor, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English

Department Home page

First Reader

Jennifer Ryan-Bryant, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English


Philip Larkin's work can largely be viewed as one man's attempt to reconcile his place in the world around him. This reconciliation proved quite difficult for Larkin and his struggle was reflected in his work. From his earliest novellas, written while he was still a student at Oxford, to his final poems, Larkin constantly questioned what was around him. He looked at much of the world with disdain and as a result became very much a loner. However, this "loner" or "outsider" status was something he struggled with very much. On the one hand he couldn't bear the strict suburban, social conventions that swept through post-war Britain; monogamy and family life both seemed completely unnatural to him. Yet on the other hand much of his work paints the picture of a very lonely man, one who wants to connect with what is around him but cannot.

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