T.S. Eliot's Poetry

Topics: T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Poetry Pages: 2 (555 words) Published: January 14, 2011
How does Eliot's poetry reflect the themes of self pity and isolation? T.S. Eliot's poetry reflects the themes of self pity and isolation through his varying personas in hit poetry. Isolation is a common theme throughout time as we deem it necessary to find similarities in others to distinguish ourselves and as a result individuals are excluded. Similarly self pity is evident throughout time but is the manifestation of isolation due to an individual's inability to maintain mental stability. Though written in different periods of T.S. Eliot's life the poems 'The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock', 'Portrait of a Lady' and 'Preludes' uses a variety of poetic devices to portray these thematic concerns. Through the portrayal of his numerous protagonists Eliot explores the effects of exclusion and its tendency for the individual to feel self pity. In the poem, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, Eliot's use of personification in the lines, "The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window panes" highlights the persona's inability to assimilate into society similar to a glass ceiling which heightens the persona's alienation. As he continues to feel ostracised from society he begins to procrastinate any meaning in life which is evident in the repetition of "There will be time, there will be time". Furthermore, the Prufrock's social paralysis can be seen as even the smallest actions of descending the stairs results in self-scrutiny enhanced by the quote "Disturb the universe?" This sense of isolation manifests throughout the poem resulting in Prufrock feeling self pity and self doubt. This notion is reinforced by the repeated rhetorical question of "Do I dare?" which highlight his self pity due to his insecurity. Similarly, in the poem Preludes, the persona feels excluded resulting in their desire to procrastinate any productivity. This is heightened by the repetition of the time diction "At four and five and six o'clock" further enhancing the protagonist's self pity....
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