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T. S. Eliot - Troubled Characters In A Disturbing World

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2010: 4

The poetry of T.S. Eliot often presents us with troubled characters in a disturbing world. 4

Write the response to this statement with reference to both style and the subject matter of Eliot’s poetry. 4

2010:

The poetry of T.S. Eliot often presents us with troubled characters in a disturbing world.

Write the response to this statement with reference to both style and the subject matter of Eliot’s poetry.

The first example of T.S. Eliot presenting us with a troubled character in a world arguably most disturbing for the character himself is ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’. In this poem, we read of a man who is striving to go against the grain of the values of the society he finds himself within, and yet he is indecisive about how to find the best way to ‘force the moment to its crisis’. ‘Prufrock’, this poem’s narrator, spends this text attempting to persuade an unknown audience, presumably a woman (‘Is it perfume from a dress/That makes me so digress?/Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl’), to sleep with him.

Aside from the judgement he perceives from those around him, ‘And I have known the eyes already, known them all—/The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,/And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,/When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall’, a force that seems to inhibit him from action and bolster his sense of reservation, this poem’s narrator is also troubled by the prospect of death and mortality. He realizes that h...

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