Exploring The Use Of Memory In Beloved

1625 words - 7 pages

T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufock” may be accurately described as an amalgam of synergistic emotions—among them self-doubt, longing, fear, regret, and indecisiveness—which, through the alchemy of poetry, work in tandem to create and communicate an overwhelming sense of anxiety. These emotions serve as cataracts upon the lens through which the poem’s narrator views both himself and the city streets he travels. Overwhelmed by an “overwhelming question” (10) the narrator—perhaps more terrified by the sheer gravity of the “overwhelming question” (10) than the numerous other fears and self-doubts the narrator presents to the reader—never unequivocally specifies, the poem’s persona makes a journey through both city and mind to arrive at what might be described as a comparatively disproportionately fateful tea wherein the persona will summon (or find himself unable to summon) the “strength to force the moment to its crisis” (80). Through imagery, Eliot paints a rather grim picture of the frustrations of a middle-aged man at odds with his station in the world. Eliot also makes an extensive use of allusions to both contextualize the poem’s persona and depict a narrator who, despite possessing considerable intellect, views himself as ineffectual and “almost, at times, the Fool” (119). Decidedly pessimistic in tone, “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufock” ironically provides its reader not with a lovesong as its title might suggest but, rather, an intense and unfavorable inner analysis in which the poem’s persona demonstrates anything but self-love.
In its 131 lines, “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufock” manages to allude to a considerable array of literary works—among them Dante’s Inferno, Shakespearean plays, the bible, and Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress.” The mere presence of these allusions are indicative of the narrator’s nourished and honed intellect while also providing the reader with useful insight into the way the narrator views himself and his plight. The Italian epigraph which, according to Perrine’s Sound and Sense, is a “passage from Dante’s Inferno in which a man in Hell tells a visitor that he would never tell his story if there were a chance that it would get back to living ears” provides a pitch-perfect introduction to the poem: here is a man who, like the poem’s persona, is suffering from the pain of Hell—in the persona’s instance a personal hell—and wishes to recount his story without fear of it becoming manifest to the living. Line 92 echoes Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” a poem in which the persona sets out to convince his lover to act without hesitance or delay; in a more perfect world, the persona of “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufock” would “squeeze the universe into a ball” (92) and “roll it toward the overwhelming question” (93). In lines 94-95, the persona imagines himself as Lazarus, “ come from the dead, / Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all.” Here the persona, who has “seen his moment of greatness...

Find Another Essay On Exploring the Use of Memory in Beloved

Exploring Personal Choices in Toni Morrison's Beloved

1451 words - 6 pages Exploring Personal Choices in Toni Morrison's Beloved At the climax of her book Beloved, Toni Morrison uses strong imagery to examine the mind of a woman who is thinking of killing her own children. She writes, "Because the truth was simple, not a long-drawn-out record of flowered shifts, tree cages, selfishness, ankle ropes and wells. Simple: she was squatting in the garden and when she saw them coming and recognized schoolteacher's hat

Exploring the Theories and Use of Aromatherapy

831 words - 3 pages United States this has led many researchers in the field of conventional medicine to find scientific medication that can cure or reduce the effects of various diseases. Significantly, Americans showed growing interest in the use of aromatherapy starting in the 1990s despite the fact that aromatherapy is not part of the politically dominant medical health care system in America. With these facts, are Americans now ready to accept for the

Use of Violence in Beloved by Toni Morrison

836 words - 3 pages the tales of former slaves in the 19th century to the reader to use in their everyday life. Undoubtedly, a complex work such as Beloved has more than one meaning or lesson. Quite the opposite of “COPS”, Toni Morrison uses violence to support the book’s theme of a woman in search for herself and sense of personal value. Forgiving one’s self, coping with the past, and learning from mistakes are ubiquitous and timeless lessons to be learned for all

Exploring the Ways in Which Organisms Use ATP

951 words - 4 pages Exploring the Ways in Which Organisms Use ATP The major energy currency molecule of the cell, ATP, is evaluated in the context of creationism. This complex molecule is critical for all life from the simplest to the most complex. It is only one of millions of enormously intricate nanomachines that needs to have been designed in order for life to exist on earth. This molecule is an excellent example of irreducible

Love and Trauma: Exploring magical realism in Beloved

1091 words - 5 pages . Beloved appears to be frail and vulnerable in the beginning, but proves to be powerful and malicious and in the end. Not only does the use of magical realism enable the reader to immediately become familiarized with the spirit of Beloved, it also provides a framework for the paranormal activity occurs throughout the story. Morrison opens the story by describing 124, the home Sethe lives in with her daughter Denver, by stating, “124 was

Slavery, memory and women in Toni Morrison's beloved

849 words - 4 pages universal literary tree more specifically in American literature. Beloved has become a must on the American reading list despite of its complexity because of its effective subject and her artistic depiction. In 1873 slavery has been abolished in Cincinnati, Ohio for ten years, this is the setting in which Morrison places the characters for her influential moving novel .Morrison present Sethe (a black American African slave) the protagonist of the novel

Exploring Jesus' Use of Parables

2417 words - 10 pages , and this caused the parables to be a perfect mechanism for Jesus to use because parables work using metaphors in the same way that people’s thought processes do (McFague, 1982, p. 31). He offered relatable metaphors and analogies to reach the people (Snodgrass, 2012, p. 177). This can also be seen in another trait of Jesus’ parables: the need for parables to be seen in context (Snodgrass, 2012, p. 178). Some skeptics argue that because the parables

How does the David Williamson use conflict as a way of exploring ideas in his play, 'Brilliant Lies'?

720 words - 3 pages How does the author use conflict as a way of exploring ideas?"The play of conflicting interests in a framework of shared purposes is the drama of a free society. It is a robust exercise and a noisy one, not for the faint-hearted or the tidy-minded." A conflict is a clash of opposing principles, opinions or natures. All plays must have a central or series of conflicts to create dramatic tension in order to engage their audience. Playwrights use

Memory - Remembering to Forget A look at Toni Morrison's book 'Beloved' and the Memory aspect

2300 words - 9 pages memory may have stuck to her and made her reconstruct the events towards herself.While my memory is far from forgotten, my cousin's husband bringing up the incident made me rethink and reanalyze it in my head. It brought it to the surface again. In similar fashion, Sethe, the main character in the book "Beloved," by Toni Morrison, is reminded of a past event through the actions of a second party. Sethe is always living with the horrific memories of

The Importance of the Past in Toni Morrison's Beloved

2282 words - 9 pages chose to do with this memory of the past will shape our future. This lesson is one of the most important themes in Toni Morison's novel, Beloved. History was not only a significant theme in the novel, but the book was also very historical itself. I had learned and educated myself very thoroughly on the issue of slavery before I read this novel. Reading this novel I felt as if I were experiencing slavery first hand. Morrison creates her

Examining the Theme of Fear in "Cry the Beloved Country"

1382 words - 6 pages Discussion of Fear in Cry, the Beloved CountryCry the Beloved Country is a moving and profound work that deals with the social ills of South African society that led up to the institution of apartheid - the national policy of segregation and discrimination on the basis of race. While there are numerous themes that run throughout the work, the theme of fear is probably one of the most compelling. The fear that plagues South African society

Similar Essays

Use Of The Female Gothic In Beloved

3007 words - 12 pages Use of the Female Gothic in Beloved         Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved is a slave narrative, but it encompasses much more than slavery.  Unlike many slave narratives that focus on the male perception of slavery, Morrison's novel portrays slavery from a feminine point of view.  The main characters are Sethe, her daughter, Denver, and the mysterious Beloved.  In the beginning of the novel, Sethe and her daughter live alone in 124, a

The Use Of Memory Essay

1074 words - 4 pages The Use of Memory Memory is the vital tool in learning and thinking . We all use memory in our everyday lives. Think about the first time you ever tied your shoe laces or rode a bike; those are all forms of memory , long term or short. If you do not remember anything from the past , you would never learn; thus unable to process. Without memory you would simply be exposed to new and unfamiliar things . Life would be absent and bare

Memory In Toni Morrison's Beloved Essay

815 words - 3 pages Memory in Toni Morrison's Beloved     Memories are works of fiction, selective representations of experiences actual or imagined. They provide a framework for creating meaning in one's own life as well as in the lives of others. In Toni Morrison's novel Beloved, memory is a dangerous and debilitating faculty of human consciousness. Sethe endures the tyranny of the self imposed prison of memory. She expresses an insatiable obsession with

Use Of Title In Cry The Beloved Country By Alan Paton

1384 words - 6 pages Use of Title in Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, takes place in1946 near the small rural town of Ixopo in the smaller village of Ndotsheni. The main character is Stephen Kumalo, a native priest who sets out on a mission to find his family. He receives a letter from a fellow priest, Msimangu, telling him his younger sister is ill. Kumalo decides he must go to Johannesburg to help his sister. He