Church Going | Study Guide

Philip Larkin

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Course Hero, "Church Going Study Guide," December 1, 2019, accessed October 19, 2020,



Philip Larkin

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Perspective and Narrator

The poem "Church Going" is written mostly from the first-person point of view, although the final five lines shift into the third-person point of view as the speaker projects his inner self onto "someone."


"Church Going" is written in the present tense, with future tense used to speculate on possible future events.

About the Title

The title "Church Going" is a play on the word churchgoing. Its adjectival form describes going to church regularly, as in a churchgoing family, while its noun form describes the act of going to church. The speaker is not a churchgoer in the usual sense of going to Sunday services, but rather is a person who regularly visits churches when they are not in use. The title also suggests that church itself is going; that is, religious faith is declining and becoming a thing of the past.


This study guide for Philip Larkin's Church Going offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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