ts eliot interpretation of wasteland essay research

T.S Eliot Interpretation Of Wasteland Essay, Research Paper

SURREALISM AND T.S. Eliot

Surrealism is a unsafe word to utilize about the poet, dramatist and critic T.S. Eliot, and surely with his first major work, “ The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock “ . Eliot wrote the verse form, after all, old ages before Andre Breton and his compatriots began specifying and practising “ surrealism ” proper. Andre Breton published his first “ Manifesto of Surrealism ” in 1924, seven old ages after Eliot ’ s publication of “ The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ” . It was this pronunciamento which defined the motion in philosophical and psychological footings. Furthermore, Eliot would subsequently demo indifference, incomprehension and at times hostility toward surrealism and its precursor Dada.

Eliot ’ s front-runners among his Gallic coevalss weren ’ t surrealists, but were instead the figures of St. John Perse and Paul Verlaine, among others. This does non intend Eliot had nil in common with surrealist poesy, but the facts that both Eliot and the Surrealists owed much to Charles Baudelaire ’ s can possibly outdo explain any similarity “ queerly redolent geographic expeditions of the symbolic suggestions of objects and images. ” Its unusual, sometimes galvanizing appositions frequently characterize surrealism, by which it tries to exceed logic and accustomed thought, to uncover deeper degrees of significance and of unconscious associations. Although bookmans might non sort Eliot as a Surrealist, the phantasmagoric landscape, defined as “ an effort to show the workings of the subconscious head by images without order, as in a dream ” is exemplified in “ The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. ”

“ Prufrock presents a symbolic landscape where the significance emerges from the common interaction of the images, and that significance is enlarged by reverberations, frequently heroic, ” of other authors.

The appositions mentioned earlier are apparent even at the verse form ’ s gap, which begins on a instead drab note, with a bloodcurdling transition from Dante ’ s Inferno. The chief character, Guido de Montefeltro, confesses his wickednesss to Dante, presuming that “ none has of all time returned alive from this deepness ” ; this “ depth ” being Hell. As the reader has ne’er experienced decease and the transition through the Underworld, he must trust on his ain imaginativeness ( and/or subconscious ) to put a proper mention onto this deep gap. Images of a landscape of fire and native sulfur come to mind as do images of the two characters sharing a surprisingly insouciant conversation amid the pandemonium and the fire.

The bloodcurdling subject continues as the reader explores the moisture, cold and hostile streets of the metropolis, a metropolis which seems to many readers to be on the brink of world, without of all time traversing the line. The eventide is “ spread out against the sky/ Like a patient etherized upon a table. ” Wi

th the premise that the etherised “patient” is asleep, though non of course and rather uncomfortably, the dream imagination and “corrupted” sense of world are once more apparent. Some critics believe that Prufrock’s inability to be a portion of society is personified by this “etherised patient.” Like a scene from an revelatory movie, the streets are dark, soiled and half-deserted, go forthing the reader to inquire why the universe is every bit is described by Prufrock.

The reader begins the verse form on a dark note but is all of a sudden thrown into a lyrical pair that presents a blazing apposition of emotions: “ In the room the adult females come and go/ Talking of Michelangelo. ” From darkened streets to a high-toned map, the reader must detect the glowering contrast between the two scenes. Which one represents the world of Prufrock ’ s life?

No Oklahoman than the reader witnesses some cleanliness and civility, does Prufrock take us

back to the horror and dream like ( incubus ) of the universe originally mentioned. The xanthous fog which, harmonizing to Eliot, is the mill fume from St. Louis that blew across the Mississippi, is referred as a type of animal, likely a cat. The fog “ rubs its dorsum upon the windowpanes, “ licks it ’ s lingua ” “ made a sudden spring and “ Curled one time about the house, and fell asleep. ” The image of the cat is frequently used in surrealist, symbolist and fantasy genres. In this verse form, the reader may retrieve the Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll ’ s The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland or Edgar A. Poe ’ s short narrative “ The Black Cat ” . In any instance, what would usually be a really existent landscape is darkened, bastardized and animated by Prufrock ’ s descriptions. This un-real dark landscape holds out ( with the exclusion of the Michelangelo ’ chorus ) until the terminal, when Prufrock dreams ( a dream within a dream? ) of “ mermaids vocalizing, each to each. ” Even though the Edenic, paradisiacal Marine landscape is Prufrock ’ s dream, he is still able to darken it by declining to yield to its pleasances and choses ( or feels compelled ) to return to the dark side: “ Till human voices wake us, and we drown. ” The mundane universe draws him back.

“ The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ” is non by and large described as a phantasmagoric verse form, but if the definition of surrealism combines dreams, the un- or sub-consciousness ’ and symbolic significance through objects and imagination, the landscape of the verse form may suit this categorization. The reader is taken on a journey through the head and the metropolis of a alone, acrimonious and ostracized adult male named J. Alfred Prufrock. His emotional and societal provinces are reflected through the landscape of the metropolis and the sky above: dark, empty and surrounding. Not all phantasmagoric plants are dark like this verse form, but the timeless, self-contradictory and juxtapositional are what makes “ The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ” phantasmagoric.

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