Final Exam: A Comparative Paper
Adrienne Rich's "Living in Sin" seems very similar to "Home Is So Sad" by Philip Larkin during the first reading, but after a closer look, many differences become evident. In both poems the dramatic situation is set in a home, either a house or an apartment, but the idea each poem conveys is still somewhat different. Also, the poems differ in their form.
In Larkin's "Home Is So Sad" the house itself is personified. The first stanza describes the house staying exactly the way its residents left it "as if to win them back" (ln 3). The poem is about people growing up and changing. As they do, they leave behind what used to give them comfort, what they once called home. Upon returning to this place, they see that it is exactly the same but sadly, they are not. Though the house brings back memories that entice them to return to their old home, they have grown up and no longer belong there.
Now, withered from time, all that is left is the dusty pictures and old belongings that used to bring them joy.
The poem describes the way time changes people but not objects. When someone is again confronted with old memories or possessions, the realization that things will never be what they once were is there as well. The idea that the poem conveys is general and can apply to everyone, for we all grow up and we all change. Still, the tone of the poem is somewhat detached. It is as if the speaker is just observing but not truly affected by the picture his words paint.
In contrast, "Living in Sin," is emotional and specific. Though this poem also describes the studio apartment that a couple calls home, it...