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T.S Eliot's Preludes and The Love Song of J.Alfred. Prufrock, are examples of modernist poetry which illustrate the concerns of modernist poets.

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Introduction

Explain how the poetry you have studied reflects some of the major concerns of its context? In your answer refer closely to two poems by T.S. Eliot. T.S Eliot's Preludes and The Love Song of J.Alfred. Prufrock, are examples of modernist poetry which illustrate the concerns of modernist poets. The modern era, which lasted between 1885 to 1940 was concerned with challenging the traditional views of life. In terms of literature, Eliot was a leading figure in challenging the style and verse of traditional romantic poetry. Preludes portrays the hopeless and monotonous life of the working class in an urbanised, dirty, industrialised city. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock primarily represents Eliot's view on relationships, society and the human sub conscience. The modernist movement in poetry began in 1910, where significant figures such as Ezra Pound and Jules Laforgue's styles clashed with the romantic styles. This greatly influenced Eliot's style and impacted his way of writing. ...read more.

Middle

... Shall I wear white flannel trousers?" shows his constant worry of his appearance to impress the woman of his dreams. The final, most distinguishing modernist technique that Eliot uses is the concept of a free-verse. It encompasses lines of irregular and different lengths to satirize a situation, similar to the modernist music of Stravinsky and his unpredictable rhythm. In Prufrock it is used to satirical situation of the women discussing Michelangelo : "In the room, the women come and go ... Talking of Michelangelo". The monotonous, repetitive and routine life of the working class in London and it's smog is what Eliot closely refers to in many of his poems. In Preludes, Eliot uses the concept of time to separate each stanza as a part of the day, similarly with the passing of "midnight" and "half-past one" in his latter poem Rhapsody on a Windy Night. The working class woman, in Preludes feels trapped and mirrored by life's pretensions, "That time resumes...One thinks of all the hands ...That are raising dingy shades...In a thousand furnished rooms". ...read more.

Conclusion

Alfred Prufrock. Prufrock's wish for marriage represents the power of the subconscious. The opening sentence "Let us go then, you and I " is an example of Prufrock's inner self speaking to his outer self. As the poem flows, the attitude from "I will go" changes to a hesitant "I might go". This is a response to the idea of Prufrock approaching the woman he loves to ask her for her hand in marriage. Thus you can see how the Eliot reflects some of the major concerns of the context - modernism. The modernist movement broke away from the rules of romantic poetry in terms of structure. It also looked away from the beauty of nature and focused upon the "ugliness of urbanisation", the power of the subconscious and the social issues such as women and the working class society. Eliot's poems Preludes and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock are specimens of true modernist poetry which reflect the major concerns of the modernist time. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a solid essay that makes some strong and relevant points. At times the points and evidence could be further supported with more developed explanations. Further reference to structure should be made as is good practice whenever analysing poetry: it will always play an important part in how the message of the poem is conveyed to the reader.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 08/05/2013

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