Speech: T.S Elliot (Modernism) and William Wordsworth (Romanticism)

To start this speech off with a question is hard as there are so many questions to ask. This ironically is what initiated the literary movements of William Wordsworth’s Romanticism and T.S Eliot’s Modernism, where we see their poems regarding questions and ideas of life implicated within their context. Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey demonstrates the negative impact of industrialisation compared to a balanced harmony between humanity and nature. The awareness of reality based on perception is revealed in Elliot’s, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Inspection of these texts will prove context forms ideas in text and the ways these ideas are expressed.

Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey displays the strength of passion through the persona’s connection to nature juxtaposed with negative impact of industrialisation. Wordsworth presents the Romantic theme of human activity existing harmoniously within the natural world.

This is most clearly demonstrated in “These plots of cottage ground… lose themselves /‘Mid groves and copses”, where we see human activity and the natural world symbolically represented. Wordsworth also personifies the human activity as the cottage grounds “lose themselves” within nature. Revealing a seamless connection between the pastoral and the natural world reflecting a harmonious balance.

The negative impact of industrialization is seen as the persona states “in lonely rooms … ‘mid the din/Of towns and cities” as it contrasts with the “sensations sweet” felt by the tranquil thought of nature. This brings the comparison of the impact the city has on us with the impact nature has on us. The emotive imagery of “lonely” is juxtaposed with “sensations sweet” as the persona explains that even in the “din” of the city we can feel our most isolated.

Wordsworth’s persona’s Romantic view presents a clear indication of how important context is in constructing ideas and language in text.

In Elliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock we are lured into...