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Eliot Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, educated at Harvard and did graduate work in philosophy at the Sorbonne,and Merton College, Oxford. He settled in England, where he was for a time a schoolmaster and a bank clerk, and eventually literary editor for the publishing house Faber & Faber, of which he later became a director. Slide 3: Eliot has been one of the most daring innovators of twentieth-century poetry. He believed that poetry should aim at a representation of the complexities of modern civilization in language and that such representation necessarily leads to difficult poetry. Despite this difficulty his influence on modern poetic diction has been immense. Eliot's poetry from Prufrock (1917) to the Four Quartets (1943) reflects the development of a Christian writer: the early work, especially The Waste Land (1922), is essentially negative, the expression of that horror from which the search for a higher world arises. Slide 4: In Ash Wednesday (1930) and the Four Quartets this higher world becomes more. In his essays, especially the later ones, Eliot advocates a traditionalism in religion, society, and literature that seems at odds with his pioneer activity as a poet. Eliot saw tradition as a living organism comprising past and present in constant mutual interaction. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is a narrative poem, presenting a moment in the life of the title character. The work has characteristics of most love songs, such as repetition (or refrain), rhyme, and rhythm. It also focuses on the womanly love that eludes Prufrock. : “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is a narrative poem, presenting a moment in the life of the title character. The work has characteristics of most love songs, such as repetition (or refrain), rhyme, and rhythm. It also focuses on the womanly love that eludes Prufrock. Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) The poem is a is a modernistic poem in the form of a Dramatic Monologue. A dramatic monologue presents a moment in which a narrator/speaker discusses a topic and, in so doing, reveals his personal feelings to a listener. Only the narrator, talks–hence the term monologue. During his discourse, the speaker intentionally and unintentionally reveals information about himself. : The poem is a is a modernistic poem in the form of a Dramatic Monologue. A dramatic monologue presents a moment in which a narrator/speaker discusses a topic and, in so doing, reveals his personal feelings to a listener. Only the narrator, talks–hence the term monologue. During his discourse, the speaker intentionally and unintentionally reveals information about himself. Slide 7: The poem centers on a balding, insecure middle-aged man who expresses his thoughts about the dull, uneventful, mediocre life he leads as a result of his feelings of inadequacy and his fear of making decisions. Unable to seize opportunities or take risks (especially with women), he lives in a world that is the same today as it was yesterday and will be the same tomorrow as it is today. Slide 8: The poem takes place in the evening in a bleak section of a smoky city. This city is probably St. Louis, where Eliot (1888-1965) grew up. But it could also be London, to which Eliot moved in 1914. However, Eliot probably intended the setting to be any city anywhere. Slide 9: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 1 Let us go then, you and I, 2 When the evening is spread out against the sky 3 Like a patient etherized upon a table; Simile 4 Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, 5 The muttering retreats 6 Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels 7 And sawdust restaurants with oyster shell 8 Streets that follow like a tedious argument 9 Of insidious intent Personifications, Simile: 10 To lead you to an overwhelming question . 11 Oh, do not ask, "What is it?“ 12 Let us go and make our visit. 13 In the room the women come and go Slide 10: 14 Talking of Michelangelo Allusion 15 The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes 16 The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window panes 17 Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, 18 Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, 19 Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, 20 Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 21 And seeing that it was a soft October night, 22 Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. 23 And indeed there will be time 24 For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, 25 Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; Metaphor: Lines 15-22, Alliteration Lines 20-21: Slide 11: Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherised upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, 5 The muttering retreats Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent 10 To lead you to an overwhelming question Interpretation The speaker invites the listener to walk with him into the streets on an evening that resembles a patient, anesthetized with ether, lying on the table of a hospital operating room. (Until recent times, physicians used ether–a liquid obtained by combining sulfuric acid and ethyl alcohol–to render patients unconscious before an operation.) The imagery suggests that the evening is lifeless and listless. The speaker and the listener will walk through lonely streets–the business day has ended–past cheap hotels and restaurants with sawdust on the floors. (Sawdust was used to absorb spilled beverages and food, making it easy to sweep up at the end of the day.) The shabby establishments will remind the speaker of his own shortcomings, their images remaining in his mind as he walks on. They will then prod the listener to ask the speaker a question about the speaker's life–perhaps why he visits these seedy haunts, which are symbols of his life, and why he has not acted to better himself or to take a wife? Slide 12: Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit. In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo. The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, 15 The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 20 And seeing that it was a soft October night, Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. Interpretation At a social gathering in a room, women discuss the Renaissance artist Michelangelo. Comment: If the women are speaking of the great Michelango, how could the lowly Prufrock possibly be of interest to them? Or so Prufrock may think. Smoky haze spreads across the city. The haze is like a quiet, timid cat padding to and fro, rubbing its head on objects, licking its tongue, and curling up to sleep after allowing soot to fall upon it. The speaker resembles the cat as he looks into windows or into "the room," trying to decide whether to enter and become part of the activity. Eventually, he curls up in the safety and security of his own soft arms–alone, separate. Comment, Lines 17-19: Prufrock alludes to his inferiority as well as his inability to act decisively: He consigns himself to corners, as a timid person might at a dance; stands idly by doing nothing, as does a stagnant pool; and becomes the brunt of ridicule or condescension– the soot that falls on him. October night: YOUR REVISED POEM : YOUR REVISED POEM Written in the Style of the Author (Poet) "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is a modernistic poem that expresses the thoughts of the title character:Conversational Language Combined with the Stylized Language of Poetry Variations in Line Length and Meter. Shifts in the Train of Thought: Shifts From Abstract to Concrete (Universal to Particular) Shifts From Obvious Allusions or References to distorted Allusions or References: You do not have the permission to view this presentation. In order to view it, please contact the author of the presentation.