Sweeney Among the Nightingales

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Leonardo Rubio
English 12
Period 6
Sweeney Among the Nightingales
This essay is written as a reader response to the poem written by T. S. Eliot, Sweeney Among the Nightingales. Unlike many other poems of his time, T. S. Eliot’s intention was to portray man as vulgar or mundane and having a pessimistic or cynical attitude. T. S. Eliot may have had a different view of life and people than other poets. He may not have viewed man as heroic or romantic, but more crude and reprehensible. It is difficult to say exactly what T. S. Eliot was trying to convey or express through his poetry, because he wrote many inferences, which left a lot of his writing open to interpretation. He may have written much of his work as an outlet to his political or social views.

The narrator presents this poem in third person. He sounds objective in reporting what he sees, but the language is somewhat difficult. This poem needs to be read several times and requires a lot of thought and some imagination. After reading this poem many times, it gets more understandable, but some parts remain difficult to understand. Some of the difficulty in understanding the poem may come from the referencing of other literary characters. Some of the other characters mentioned are from other great literary works, but are not familiar. This made it necessary to look up these characters and learn what the comparison is. The writer does a good job in showing or describing the character, but does not do a good job in describing the setting. The writer brings the character to life, by comparing him to animals like an ape, zebra, and a giraffe. He is also compared him to another literary character. From what is written, it sounds like the setting can be either a restaurant or a brothel. It makes more sense if it were a brothel, because one of the females goes to sit on Sweeney’s lap as he is sitting at a table, but she falls to the floor. You are left to assume she might have fallen...
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