T.S Eliot and Modernist Philosophies

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20th century poet T.S Eliot utilises specific elements of his form, such as poetic devices, to evoke an emotional response from varying audiences through his depiction of Modernist ideas in his poems Rhapsody on a Windy Night and the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Through his use of a variety of poetic devices, Eliot is able to illustrate the Modernist ideas of a decaying society and hopelessness through his poem Rhapsody. Modernism evolved as a literary movement and Rhapsody was written in the lead up to WWI, hence the prominence of the decaying society idea in both the poem and in Modernist philosphies. The quote "As a madman shakes a dead geranium" uses simile to inspire fear within the reader, whilst the imagery suggests insanity. The line exemplifies Eliot's own thoughts of society, which he believed was disintegrating, as the man's lack of sanity is a reflection of the world's own descent into chaos. In Rhapsody, Eliot writes “Rust that clings to the form that the strength has left/ Hard and curled and ready to snap” using imagery to build a tense atmosphere. Consequently, he is able to further his idea of a decaying society; the language used and the meter also build tension and also convey a sense of the rapidly disintegrating society. This belief that society is decaying is still present today, events like the Arab Spring are an example of this societal disintegration and continually evoke an emotional response from society as a whole. Susbsequently poems like Rhapsody remain relevant. Hopelessness as a Modernist idea evolved due to a lack of faith and the poor quality of 20th century urban life. Eliot depicts this idea throughout Rhapsody, writing "Every street lamp that I pass/ Beats like a fatalistic drum." The negative tone, created through the connotations of "fatalistic" create an atmosphere of foreboding for the reader. Moreover the simile

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