T.S. Eliot Essay (29/30)

The value of Eliot’s work lies in the unique ways it challenges what is known. To what extent does your interpretation of Eliot align with this view? In your answer, make detailed reference to at least TWO poems.

T.S Eliot’s elaborate poetry provides a stark unique contrast to the traditionalist view of existence,challenging the pre-existing knowledge of what constitutes a modern society. Eliot’s avant-garde poetry, Preludes (1910) and The Lovesong of J.Alfred Prufrock (1910), breaks conceptual boundaries and social paradigms of the 20th century, thus challenging the preconceived knowledge of the essence of humanity. Eliot’s poetry highlights his bleak outlook on humanity, masked by the image of modernism and perceptions of reality. The development of ideas such as the degradation of society through industrialisation, and the alienation of individuals within society, highlight Eliot’s distorted perception of knowledge. Clearly, it is obvious that Eliot's uncomfortable predictions resonate through the modern world. Eliot utilises these ideas to develop and portray a modernist interpretation of the consequences of urbanisation to the reader.

T.S Eliot utilises tenebrous imagery of an industrial city, within the Preludes to portray the degradation of the cityscape to challenge the perceived knowledge of a modern world.
There is a blunt correlation between the negativity of Eliot’s imagery, and the theme of industrialisation within Preludes and his outlook on society. Eliot utilises dark and grimy imagery to develop the idea of a degrading city. This is highlighted in the imagery of “Vacant lots”, combined with the negative imagery of “lonely” and “broken”. These symbolise the emptiness present in the industrialised world. This is a stark juxtaposition of the Romantic elements of the poetry of approximately the same time period highlights the influence of modernism on Eliot’s writing. On the other hand, menial labour is the essence of industrialisation within...