Famous People/Thomas Eliot  term paper 2663

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T.S. Eliot was a very influential pessimist, always and constantly thriving on

his hatred of little things and his love life. Eliot was born in St. Louis

Missouri - 1888 ad. His parents were both writers and loved the arts, most

effectively passing on the genes to their son. While growing up he learned many

things, his parents were extremely social and intellectual and they pushed him

to achieve the highest of statuses. He went to college at Harvard University and

then moved to London to go to Oxford. He then became a citizen of England in

1915. While in England Eliot held many jobs to keep the payments on his 5th

floor English apartment and his college tuition. Eliot quickly became popular

with Britain and was known as a great poet and a literal critic. Eliot is best

known for two of his works: The Waste Land (1922) and The Love Song of J. Alfred

Prufrock (1915). Actually the Love song is the beginning of the Waste Land. The

Waste Land is in 5 parts, so it is more of a story in poetical form. In the Love

Song, Eliot actually sounds a bit like a optimist, quite frankly though his own

“waste land”steps in half way through. This is his only poetic work I like.

But it will never be at the top of any of my lists. In this “song” , JAP (J.

Alfred Prufrock) is writing a letter to his honey, the girl he is in love with.

In this poem Eliot uses a lot of visual imagery, he is very good with his

adjectives and brings such a happy correlation of thought into a grim reality he

would call his “Waste Land”. He talks of how : In the room the women come

and go Talking of Michelangelo. - TLSJAP stanza 13 and 14 It has been my thought

that this may signify his “type”. Eliot, again was an intellectual and then

so he would most likely hang out where the smart people were and get away from:

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurant with

oyster-shells: Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent.

- stanzas 6-9 He actually gives the evidence to where he found his women, and

how he likes to stroll through the outdoors and ending up in places of

eloquence, and “High Society”. Even though he had a medium amount of money.

He was still accepted in places for lower pay because of his high intelligence

and the intelligence of his women. People enjoyed his company. He goes on

talking about how there will always be time for us referring to the love that

which he shares for her, and that there will always be time for things, but

letting each other look at the joy as present and the escape from his “Waste

Land”. He goes on in stanza 37 - 48 telling how they would grow old together,

while still with the people that surround them that they love so dearly. He then

tells of how he “knows” things and how life always goes (evidence of

realism) in stanzas 49 - 54. Now here you can start to sense his pessimistic

side shed a bit, talking of the: To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and

ways, And how should I presume? Stanza 60 & 61 Of course I guess you could

take that as a repentance line but, I don’t think so, lets go on. From stanzas

70 - 86 it shows what I think is his deep side and talking as if he were

actually a Realist which he probably was, at least to me. He humbles himself a

great deal , which is good , but talks of how things slowly fade , referring a

lot to his baldness and how age takes a toll on relationships. This is my

favorite part of the poem, because he brings you into his soul, not just letting

you taste the action . I feel that this is how he lived life. Always leaving

people to taste the good stuff around him but behind his eyes ly his brain and

behind his brain his heart and when his company least expected it, “I could

see him waving his hands and saying”, “Come all! Come! Come!...come and feel

my pain...come and pity me...come and think I am humble.....even though I

don’t care much of any of you.” That is the picture I get of JAP who is also

Eliot, in life, but yet his background, his unnoticeable conscience. In stanza

87 - 98 he speaks of his anxiousness to ask people into his “Waste land” ,

his wanting to let them see his truth. Then he tries to cover for himself by

saying: Should I say: “That is not what I meant at all, That is not it, at

all.” stanzas 97 & 98 In stanzas 119 and finishing the poem at 131 he ends

off, sorry to say, in a pessimistic tone of self pity and morbidity. He talks

about his age weighing on his soul and never being what he wants to look like in

the eyes of others and his eagerness in death by saying: We have lingered in the

chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human

voices wake us, and we drown. stanzas 129 - 131 That is a great background on

how Eliot viewed life. Realistically and fading into the distance with love

meaning nothing at all. Well, on to what is called T.S. Eliot’s “Waste

Land”. To brief you on my thoughts I very much dislike this poem for many

reason which will be laid out in the next couple paragraphs. The poem is simply

a look in to the soul of Eliot, a man with great writing capabilities but uses

them for the pleasure of striking his enemy and hiding the truth without being

up-front, using stories of ancient myths in German and Latin to convey his

apathy. Eliot throughout this whole poems loves to mock and scorn his ex-wife.

“Her sexual desire he could not satisfy and whose love he cannot return.” -

T.S. Eliot’s Waste land. Page 98 by: James E. Miller. Jr. He uses many

sexually explicit gestures in the writing because that was the only way his

fantasies could be met...through writing. “I think the man is sick, he’s

full of crap!” - Eric Paoletti But he reveals his hatred toward her in these

lines: More sinned against than sinning , bruised and marred, The lazy laughing

Jenny of the Bard. (The same eternal and consuming itch Can make a martyr and a

consuming bitch) There is much more but as you can see not very appropriate at

all. Again this man won a Nobel Prize and was loved by Americans and the

English. “How on Earth did he achieve that?” Probably because that is what

the world is hungry for. Explains acts of fantasizing date rape and the hatred

of his wife that he loved so much in the Love Letter, than leading into divorce.

Overall if you ask me, T.S. Eliot didn’t need fame, fortune and the Nobel

Prize. He needed serious mental help and most importantly, the God he talked of

so vaguely throughout his writing. 

Bibliography

T.S. Eliot’s Personal waste land. By: James E. Miller Jr. Copyright 1977

Published by: The Penn. State University Press, University Park and London

Thomas Sterns Eliot (1888 - 1965)

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