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A Letter To A Friend Preparing For Their Exam On Ts Eliot For Their Critical Study. The Letter Details My Feelings About His Issues And Concerns.

1240 words - 5 pages

Dear Erica,How are you? Don't stress too much on your English exam on you'll begin to grow a 'bald spot' (if you haven't realised, that phrase is from Prufrock). Well, let me assist you by revealing my feelings and analysis on TS Eliot's issues and concerns. Since I've only studied 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock', 'Portrait of a Lady', 'Rhapsody on a Windy Night' and 'Preludes', I'll be relating my explanation to those poems.The human conditions that Eliot represents are trivial, struggle, pessimism, depersonalisation, despair and desolation. His views of women are misogynistic and being involved in sordid activities.Eliot's poems deal with the psychological impasse of the sensitive person from whom life has been withheld. Both 'Prufrock' and 'Portrait of a Lady' depict self-conscious, philosophical characters who are unable to act and fear the chance of acting. As portrayed in 'Prufrock' the character is hesitant yet questions actions that are risky and difficult: "Do I dare/ Disturb the universe?" He is unable to act through the limitations of his inner self but is equally limited by the 'social' standards and public views of life.Prufrock struggles with the concept of asking the "overwhelming question". This may refer to one of the women in the room whom he is unable to ask to marry him. The male observer in 'Portrait of a Lady' also illustrates his inaction, apathy and numbness towards the older lady with whom he has a detached relationship. The imagery of the fog that is personified in 'Prufrock' suggests the vacillation of humans deciding to act. The fog merely lingers outside and eventually 'curled about the house, and fell asleep'. Both characters are confronted by the difficulty of action rather than its unpleasantness. 'Prufrock' and 'Portrait of a lady' conveys specifically emotional inaction while 'Preludes' illustrates physical inaction, as the woman in the third stanza struggles sluggishly to pull herself out of bed.The observers within Eliot's poetry are depersonalised, passionless and unemotional, although conforming to society's social standards. After the socially acceptable conventions of "the cups, the marmalade, the tea", "the porcelain" and "some talk of you and me", Prufrock is still unable to connect to the woman in any meaningful level. The man in 'Portrait of a Lady' doesn't respect the lady's heart poured emotions of her lonely and empty life and finds her voice annoying like 'cracked cornets, hammering a prelude of its own'. Despite this, the young man is entirely reasonable by social standards. This demonstrates Eliot's concern with the public and private self and the contradictions between them.In Eliot's early poems he suggests that mankind is self-masking, implying that mankind's public persona is false or empty. In 'Prufrock', Eliot displays the emptiness of the masks people create, in a sense that you have "to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet". The "masquerades" is put on as "time resumes" in...

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