Perspectives, themes, recurring images and ideas in TS Eliot poems: prufrock, lady of a portrait, preludes, rhapsody

Essay by DookiHigh School, 11th grade June 2005

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Perspectives of TS Eliot's Poems

1) Feminist (Prufrock)

Wealthy, cultural, fashionable, appearance conscious

Compartmentalises - women 'bare arms' 'bracelet'

Dismembered, stereotypical views about wealthy people

Reduced to small talk

Superficial - "Michelangelo"

Doesn't enjoy it too much, feels threatened

Women are seen as a threat and a risk

2) Psychoanalytical

Psychoanalysis attempts to describe human nature, human structure and the psyche (mind behaviour). It analyses human drives. Psychoanalysis unravels the mysteries of sex and death, tied together with human's natural instincts to live and reproduce.

Carl Jung

Jung believed that the unconscious revealed itself through symbols. Some of the Principles include:

The Principle of Opposite - that is every wish is opposite.

The Principle of Equivalents - is the notion that energy is created from the opposition of both sides of extremes being equal.

The Principle of Entropy

Sigmund Freud

Freud had the idea of id, ego and superego. Id is the part that wants to have pleasure among all the rest. As you grow up, the id will gradually diminish to ego and superego. Ego is the part that is connected to reality, its consciousness. Superego is made up of two parts, its conscience and ego ideal.

3) Historical

Pre 20th century: Romantics, nature, rural, agrarian (agriculture), Industrial Revolution

Industrial Revolution

Deterioration of health

Social changes


Establishment of factories (hard labour) - machine operator

Urbanisation - live close to workplace

- High density thus cheap housing

Individualisation - breakdown in "community"


Mechanisation - dependency on machines


Class divisions - unskilled labourers

- Rise of a "middles class"

Quotes for Feminist Perspective


"In the room the women..."

"Perfume from a dress"

"Arms that are bracelet, white and bare"

"Known the arms already"

"Skirts that trail along the floor"

"Heard the mermaids singing"

"Sea-girls wreathed...