(Poem link: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/178055)
Larkin’s perspective here is a notably dark one – and no doubt lots of people feel this way about their parents and are pessimistic about overcoming faulty family dynamics. Ultimately, of course, we don’t get to choose our parents or our carers. How much choice we have in how we respond to our childhoods is a deeper question – a question that is hinted at in the film. Resilience is both constitutional and psychological – but it can also be learned. Anybody can become aware of old family dynamics and aim to shift them to make better choices than their parents did; after all, this is what dynamic psychotherapy is all about.