What is the main theme of the chapter "Next, Please" by Philip Larkin?

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Philip Larkin's poem, "Next, Please," tells a message about the uncertainty of the future; the speaker of the poem would likely agree with this mash-up of two old cliches: the only certainty in life is uncertainty, except for death (and taxes, as the saying goes). As well, the speaker warns of the foolishness of expecting anything at all to happen the way we want, hope, or believe it will, except perhaps the end of life itself.

The poet uses various literary devices to teach the reader this lesson about living in the moment. The most significant metaphor in the poem compares expectations about the future to a "sparkling armada" (line 6) that approaches but "never anchors" (line 14). Close reading of this metaphor reveals the speaker's attitude towards hopes and dreams that promise adventure and potential yet fail, over and over, to deliver. The only metaphorical ship that does arrive is "black-sailed" (lines 21-22) and "towing at her back/A huge and birdless silence" (lines 22-23); both the black color of the sails and the silence that follows the ship represent the inevitability of death.

These dark themes are all rendered in a rather cheerful, sing-song style rhyme scheme (AABB CCDD EEFF GGHH IIJJ), which enhances rather than distracts from the seriousness of the theme because it is just so incongruous.

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"Next, Please" by Philip Larkin is not actually a chapter but an individual short poem. Poems included in books of poetry are generally not referred to as "chapters".

Although "Next, Please" does use some of the ornate language and archaic diction that Larkin eschewed in his mature works, it is thematically quite similar. It has much of the same emotional tone and theme as Larkin's mature work, and emphasizes that life includes much unpleasantness, that pleasure is fleeting, that things' reality are never as good as we had imagined, and that after a generally tedious life, we die. 

The ship imagery of the poem stands as a metaphor for the things we anticipate coming to us in the future that will bring us forms of gratification. In reality, the future is much like the past and the present, and when it does arrive, it immediately becomes the past, rather than becoming something lasting. The only thing seeking us which will stay with us permanently is death:

Only one ship is seeking us, a black-

Sailed unfamiliar ...  In her wake

No waters breed or break.

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