How Eliot's Poetry Reflect the Man and the Age in Which It Was Written

Eliot is a poet of the 20th Century
How does his poetry reflect the man and the age in which it was written?

The beginning of the 20th Century marked a time of change where there was a shift from rationalism to the acceptation of modernism. Influenced by the new knowledge particularly in the science department, such as Darwinism and the rapid development in advanced technology, the movement challenged religion and certainties were disturbed, resulting in industrialization and the move from rural to urban landscapes. Consequently, there was the occurrence of alienation, uncertainty and social and spiritual dislocation, which led to man being more introspective and solitude.

The two poems I have studied by T.S. Eliot are Preludes and Rhapsody on a Windy Night. They can both be interpreted as modernist writing as they both reject traditional forms of writing and explore the art of a rapidly transforming world of industrial development and urbanization. Within the two pieces, Eliot reflects the world he lived and wrote in with the utilization of various language techniques to reinforce his perception on the corruption of environment, alienation of individuals and their psyche.

T.S Eliot’s poem, “Rhapsody on a Windy Night” is set in the city and describes a lonely nightwalker on the streets of an urban landscape. He makes use of motifs on several occasions to emphasize the alienation and psyche of this strange man who is walking by himself in the early hours of the morning. The streetlamp mentioned several times throughout the poem can symbolize the only connection the character has with anything on the street. The light sourced from the lamp represents the only good in his world and the moments of potential hope that can only be found within its limits. This recurring symbol also focuses on the isolation of the individual in this space. The dark can be related to the mysterious, vague and the unknown. Where there is light, the association of clarity, security...