The representation of modern society in T.S. Eliot's poetry.'The poetry of T.S. Eliot presents us with a portrait of the modern world which is full of despair and isolation.' Do you agree or...

The representation of modern society in T.S. Eliot's poetry.

'The poetry of T.S. Eliot presents us with a portrait of the modern world which is full of despair and isolation.' Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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Michael Ugulini | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I agree with this statement for the most part because many of T.S. Eliot's poems do portray modern society in this way (full of despair and isolation). One example is the poem "The Wasteland", especially in the line in Section 1 entitled The Burial of the Dead:


     A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,

     I had not thought death had undone so many.

In addition, his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" alludes to isolation and despair in life with the line:

     And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes

     Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?...

A great example of isolation in the modern world is the poem "The Hollow Men", which highlights mans search for meaning in life and his regressing into an unfeeling and numb state as he/she tries to grasp with the realities of living in a morally bankrupt society used to pain, death, tragedy, war, and more. T.S. Eliot's poem "Preludes" is another example of verse that highlights the fact that life can at times be dreary and unsatisfying as he talks of the "night revealing the thousand sordid images."

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