Modern Man in T. S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

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Modern Man in T. S. Eliot’s

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Thomas Stearns Eliot’s poetry has been of great influence in revealing to man his real identity during the last fifty years. To Eliot, the modern man is no longer the best creature ever created by God. He is neither a being supreme in everything. Nor is he the all-knowing, the most determined, and the sociable creature one might think of. How is this modern man depicted in his poetry is a question that would take time and meticulous effort to be answered. Nevertheless some characteristics of man are more evident in his poetry: Man suffers an impoverishment of emotional vitality. He lives according to the rules of the empty social conventions and those of a decadent culture. Man’s life is partly sordid and sensual. He is to some extent aware of his isolation and footlessness. He feels himself entangled in a corrupt, decaying, Ugly Society. All of these features, however, could be categorized into three major groups. Each group, in turn, would show a series of subsidiary relating problems which would make a whole entity. The duplicity of Man, lack of communication among Men, and Man’s isolation are three basic predicaments of Man, making him more and more alienated. Although, these motifs are common to Eliot’s poetry the writer here tries to trace them in his “Love Song” (The Waste Land and Other Poems 12).

The sense of duplicity within the modern man is a major motif in Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (12). In this poem the hero, Prufrock, is helplessly caught in an interminable quarrel between his own desire to live by himself and the obligation to submit to the social conventions. Eric Sigg in his book, The American T.S. Eliot,...

... middle of paper ...

... W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2000.

· Gordon, Lyndall. The Wasteland and the Other Poems, London: Faber and Faber, 1940.

· Harrison, G.B. Major British Writers New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc. 1957.

· Kenner, Hugh. The Invisible Poet: T.S. Eliot. London: Mathuen and Co., Ltd, 1985.

· Lawerence, Karen, Seifter, Besty, and Ratner, Lois. The Mc Graw-Hill Guide to English Literature. 2 Vol. 4, USA: McGraw – Hill, Inc., 1985.2:321.

· Scofield, Martin. T.S. Eliot: The Poems. London Faber and Faber, 1994.

· Sigg, Eric. The American T.S. Eliot. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

· Sullivan, Sheila. Reading in Literary Criticism: Critics on T.S. Eliot. New Delhi: George Allen and Unwin Publishers, 1995.

· Traversi, Derek. T.S. Eliot: The Longer Poems. New York: Harcourt Brance Jovanovich, 1976.

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