Modernism in Prufrock

Topics: Poetry, T. S. Eliot, Modernism Pages: 2 (739 words) Published: March 16, 2014
Modernism refers to the artistic and philosophical movement that occurred in the nineteenth century; the movement challenged past ideas and concepts. T.S Eliot is considered as one of the twentieth century’s major poets; his poem ‘the love song of j. Alfred Prufrock’ has gone down as one of the major works of the Modernist movement. ‘Prufrock’ is a dramatic monologue that follows a man striving for meaning in a suddenly industrial modern road, typical themes of modernism. The isolation and displacement Prufrock exemplifies throughout the poem reflects author Eliot’s own struggles in the new modern society. Eliot through his poems exposes the alienation and displacement that he and other individuals often experienced in modern society. In structure, Eliot has produced a prime example of modernist poetry, ‘Prufrock’ is written in free verse, this is used effectively to highlight the train of thought that the protagonist faces in his self-reflection. To convey a conversation style in the poem, Eliot uses pauses, asides and connectives as he recounts his experience. Fragmentation is used thoroughly throughout ‘Prufrock’, by using this technique; Eliot has mirrored his own fractured chaotic world. An example of this device is seen in stanza 11 and 12, Prufrock is rhetorically asking questions, emphasising his indecisiveness. The next stanza skips straight to a different train of thought as Prufrock contemplates and reflects on himself. As Eliot does not give many references to Prufrock’s character, through the use of fragmentation the audience can assume that the main protagonist is mentally unstable and feels isolated in the fast changing world. Eliot through his poems exposes alienation and displacement that he and other individuals often experienced in modern society. Eliot spent majority of his life studying literature, he uses Allusion and references the past in many ways throughout Prufrock. To revive the literary past, Eliot references famous poets to inspire...
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