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Ts Eliot Paper

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"Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?" T.S. Eliot

(T.S. Eliot Quotes.) TS Eliot was not only a poet, but a poet that wanted to change his world. He was writing in the hopes that it would give his society a reality check that would encourage them to change themselves and make their lives more worthwhile. Through his themes of alienation, isolation, and giving an example of a decaying society, TS Eliot wanted to change his society.

Alienation is a common theme that consistently runs throughout TS Eliot's poetry. Eliot knew how alienation felt first hand through his experience of being born in Missouri and later moving to Boston to go to college. He described himself as feeling like a New Englander in the Southwest, and a South westerner in New England (Bush, TS Eliot's Life and Career). Knowing this feeling made it easy for him to write many poems concerning this idea such as Rhapsody on a Windy Night.

Half-past two,

The street lamp said,

"Remark the cat which flattens itself in the gutter,

Slips out its tongue

And devours a morsel of rancid butter."

So the hand of a child, automatic,

Slipped out and pocketed a toy that was running along the quay.

I could see nothing behind that child's eye. (Poetry Archive)

This poem doesn't deal with alienation where a person is all alone and there is absolutely no one around. In fact, there are people present but they aren't really alive but rather just living organisms that aren't doing anything important which may, in fact, be even worse then solitude. The street lamp is talking in this, which points out that to TS Eliot inanimate objects had more life to them then the regular people in the poem that was either an insult to the audience or trying to motivate them to change. If this poem did strike a cord with a person and they realized how fake and shallow they were then maybe they would wake up and really start living their live which was one of Eliot's underlying reasons for these types of poems. In this poem he shows how the fakeness of society can eventually travel down even to the kids. Children are usually so filled with happiness and enjoying their life so much so when a child in this poem is depicted as having nothing behind their eyes it is meant to really hit a nerve within people. So the child is shown to have nothing behind it's eyes to show how adults in that time period having no substance to their lives will eventually go down and affect even the children.

Another idea that deeply concerned TS Eliot was the decaying state of his society. In poem after poem the idea of feeling detached and pushed away from the world sprang out from the pages. The poem entitled Hollow men depicts this idea very well. Here, TS Eliot describes how everyone is just hollow men stuffed with useless knowledge and things he calls 'straw'.

"Those who have crossed

With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom

Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost

Violent souls, but only

As the hollow men

The stuffed men."

Even the dead in this



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