Compare the Ways in Which Larkin and Abse Write About Men in ‘Mr Bleaney’ and ‘Cousin Sidney’

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Compare the ways in which Larkin and Abse write about men in ‘Mr Bleaney’ and ‘Cousin Sidney’ I am aiming to, in this essay; create a critical and detailed analysis of both poems, and to compare and contrast them by looking at the similarities they share, and also some differences, and to finally discuss how each poet successfully portrays the presentation of men. Larkin chooses to portray men in ‘Mr Bleaney’ through an ‘every man character’ who is Mr Bleaney. Larkin portrays the symbol of men in a very passive and monotonous way; instead of focusing on the stereotype of men being typically strong, powerful authority figures. Instantly, the title of the poem, ‘Mr Bleaney’ even sounds bland and dreary, already suggesting Mr Bleaney to be a dull character. The title almost seems to drag out the letters of the word, contrasting against the rest of the poem, which due to the rich enjambment, results in a more broken and muddled effect. In the first stanza, Mr Bleaney’s weakness is portrayed well with the phrase ‘they moved him’, suggesting his lack of power and need for aid, which differs from the common idea of masculinity. The line ‘thin and frayed’ uses an everyday object, as it refers to the curtains, to connote Mr Bleaney himself in an equally weak way. In the third stanza, the line ‘no room for books or bags’ could suggest Mr Bleaney’s lack of social skill or education, symbolising his limitations in life and portraying him as weak once again. In stanza’s four and five, the idea of cyclical routine helps to reflect his sedentary life, displayed with the line ‘I know his habits- What time he came down/His preference for sauce to gravy’ in stanza four. This seems to represent Mr Bleaney’s comfort in life and his fear for pushing his boundaries. The idea of his hope of change, however, is shown with the line ‘He kept on plugging at four away’s’, in stanza

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