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Going, Going by Philip Larkin - Summary


going going summary

Philip Larkin's “Going Going” was written in 1972 and describes about the loss of nature due to industrialization and its impact on human beings and the universe. ‘Going Going, Gone’ is the standard phrase used by an auctioneer when all bids have been made and the sale is completed. The title stops before “Gone” perhaps because the poet hopes human beings will stop to ponder over their actions before the destruction becomes complete.



The poem begins with optimism and ends in pessimism. Larkin begins by telling that the natural persistence of the countryside would maintain for the rest of his life. Soon the tone changes to melancholy and disappointment.  The peaceful and idyllic country side which Larkin believed would remain for ever is going away sooner than he had expected. He had often thought that the countryside would always be there to return to, beyond the stress and pollution of urban life. 


By the third stanza, there is a change in the poet’s initial belief. The poet gradually realizes how the environment has suffered drastically as a result of our taking advantage of it. There is an alarming expansion of industrial growth which affects countryside in a drastic way. also there is a deterioration of human values as people grow more selfish and self centered. Crimes increases and love suffers. As we reach the last line of the poem, the poet doubts if the vast ocean can withstand the impact of industrialisation and the debris that it creates.


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