Study Guide

Toads Stanza 8

By Philip Larkin

Stanza 8

Lines 29-32

And will never allow me to blarney
      My way to getting
The fame and the girl and the money
      All at one sitting.

  • This quatrain is devoted to what, specifically, that inner sense of obligation and duty (the inner-toad) prevents the speaker from achieving.
  • The inner-toad makes the speaker unable to "blarney" (persuade, sweet talk, charm) his way to the things he wants. What he wants are the big three: fame, love, and money.
  • Maybe this internal toad-like quality has something to do with a sense of honesty—his need to do and say the right thing?
  • It looks like this is all coming down to a "nice guys finish last"kind of ending: work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone, do the right thing, and your reward will be a life filled with, wait for it… hard work and little else.
  • Thanks for the cheery thoughts, Phil.

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