T.S. Eliot: An Enigma

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Thomas Stearns Eliot was an American born British poet, publisher, essayist, playwright, literary critic and editor. He is considered as one of the major poets of the twentieth century.  

His poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” attracted widespread attention. The poem was seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist Movement, mainly because it makes use of the most common modernist technique called ‘Stream of Consciousness’.

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Personally, I love the poem ‘The Hollow Men’, which is commonly recognized to be concerned mostly with Europe post World War I. The characters in the poem undergo a journey of the spiritually dead, they have the awareness of their guilt and their status as broken and lost souls. This awareness of their gap between their ‘thoughts’ which has failed to result in any action, and the realization of their hollowness leads to the complete breakdown of everything.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper. 

-The Hollow Men, T.S Eliot

From the 1920s until the late nineteenth century had a strong influence on Anglo-American culture. He is well known for his experiments in diction, style, and shattering old orthodoxies in a series of critical essays. After the publication of Four Quartets, he was recognized as the greatest living poet and man of letters. In 1948, he was awarded both the Order of Merit and the Nobel prize for literature.

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