When we read poems we hear a distinctive voice that influences our response. Discuss in relation to the poetry of T.S. Eliot.
T.S. Eliot uses poetry as a way of conveying his thoughts, concerns and criticisms about society. When we read Eliot's poetry, we hear a distinctive voice which influences the way we read and what we gain from the poem. Looking comparatively at 'Preludes', written in 1917 and "The Hollow Men," 1927, through the different personas and interior monologues that Eliot uses, the reader may understand common themes throughout his works that are conveyed in these two poems, such as the futility of a shallow and empty urban existence, the cyclical monotony of modern life and the lack of spiritual and cultural unity in society. The reader may also observe the changes in Eliot's value system as a consequence of changing religious beliefs. Eliot writes from one distinct point of view to subtly influence and position the reader to see the poem in a certain light.
His use of pronouns such as us, we and you is part of Eliot's attempt to connect to the reader and challenge their own values and beliefs about their society and life.
In "Preludes," Eliot explores his concerns about the banality of modern society and the growing invasion of an emotionally empty urban world. He expresses his viewpoint through four different personas- who speak from different places and levels but share a common attitude and tone. This diversity of personas helps to convey one of Eliot's main themes- that although society has many different levels- they all lead the same monotonous existence. "One thinks of all the hands/ that are raising dingy shades/ in a thousand furnished rooms." The first two stanzas have no real persona or interior monologue- they...