Thomas Stearns Eliot Essay

1542 words - 6 pages

Thomas Stearns Eliot, better known as TS Eliot, was a Modernist poet famed for his work, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," published in 1911. Eliot had many influences to write this poem in his lifetime and took many of the main characters' experiences from his own. The main character, Prufrock, is in constant turmoil with his own emotions and fear of failing romantically with women. This poem addresses a man's lack of self-esteem through the themes of death, aging, and rejection with various literary devices.TS Eliot was born into a wealthy family in 1888 in St. Louis, Missouri. At the age of 18, Eliot attended Harvard and studied philosophy in graduate school. He received a Master's Degree in 1910. While in college, his interests included Sanskrit language, the Indic religion, French poetry, particularly that of Jules Laforgue, and social anthropology. Eliot began dissertation on philosopher FH Bradley, but quit to pursue a career in literature. His family convinced him to go back to Harvard and finish the dissertation. He conceded; however, he dropped the idea of finishing the dissertation after his ship back to Harvard was canceled. In 1915, he married Vivian Haigh-Wood. They lived in England, where Eliot worked as an elementary school teacher for two years. He disliked this job so much that in 1917, he took a job in the foreign department of Lloyd's Bank, where he worked for eight years."The Waste Land," published in 1921, was one of Eliot's most significant works. It had a fragmented style that included various themes and symbols. He won a Dial Award in 1922. Scofield Thayer created the Dial Award in June of 1921, granting $2,000 to an associate of the Dial Magazine to recognize their contributions to it. Other works of Eliot include "The Sacred Wood" (1920), "Sweeney Agnonistes" (1926), "Ash Wednesday" (1930), and "The Four Quartets" (1943).Eliot had his own style of writing. His poetry, particularly "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," started the Modernist movement. Spinks stated: Modernist poets were concerned with breaking away from established rules, traditions and conventions, and finding a distinctly contemporary mode of expression, through many experiments in form and style. The chief concern was language and how to use it, and with writing itself (2).Jules Laforgue greatly influenced this style. He was a French Symbolist poet, who revealed the feelings of the soul through the use of metaphors and symbols, and rebelled against the late-Romantic style, which stressed a fresh outlook of humans in relation to their surroundings, by using themes, imagery, and attitude in his poems.Eliot had a strong poetic voice.The world of TS Eliot's early poetry is a world of sterility, emptiness, and decay. It is an urban world of dingy streets and pollute driver smelling of death and corruption, in which a disturbed mind, in forging and eloquent, language of despair, mixing elegiac wistfulness with savage irony, juxtaposing the grand styles...

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