Brief Summary of Robert Frost and T.S. Eliot

essay A+
  • Words: 622
  • Category: Summary

  • Pages: 3

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access

Robert Frost was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes Youth appears prominently in Frost’s poetry, particularly in connection with innocence and its loss. A Boy’s Will deals with this theme explicitly, tracing the development of a solitary youth as he explores and questions the world around him. Frost’s later work depicts youth as an idealized, edenic state full of possibility and opportunity.

But as his poetic tone became increasingly jaded and didactic, he imagines youth as a time of unchecked freedom that is taken for granted and then lost. The theme of lost innocence becomes particularly poignant for Frost after the horrors of World War I and World War II, in which he witnessed the physical and psychic wounding of entire generations of young people. Later poems as “Birches” “Acquainted with the Night” , and “Desert Places”, explore the realities of aging and loss, contrasting adult experiences with the carefree pleasures of youth.

The poem “Birches” follows a speaker who sees bent birch trees and likes to think that they are bent because boys have been “swinging” them. The theme of poem could be seen as opposition between —truth and imagination, earth and heaven, concrete and spirit, control and abandon, flight and return. The poem yields no shortage of interpretations. It is whole and lovely at the literal level, but it invites the reader to look below the surface and build his or her own understanding. The important thing for the interpreter is to attune her reading to the elements of the poem that may suggest other meanings.

Another American poet is T S Eliot. Through his poetry he wanted to portray the fragile psychological state of humanity in the twentieth century. Eliot saw society as paralyzed and wounded, and he imagined that culture was crumbling and dissolving. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” demonstrates this sense of indecisive paralysis as the speaker wonders whether he should eat a piece of fruit, make a radical change, or if he has the fortitude to keep living, Readers eavesdrop on J.

Alfred’s stream of consciousness, which flows forward, backward, and sideways as musings trigger other associations not logically but psychologically . Prufrock’s fears are first brought up at the beginning of the poem. he unpleasantness of that image immediately makes the reader aware that this will not be a conventional love poem. On the contrary, the reader can see that the idea of going to meet this woman makes Prufrock feel as helpless as an etherized surgery patient. Prufrock” displays important characteristics of Eliot’s early poetry.

It is strongly influenced by the French Symbolists. From the Symbolists, Eliot takes his sensuous language and eye for unnerving or anti-aesthetic detail that contributes to the overall beauty of the poem. The Symbolists, too, privileged the same kind of individual Eliot creates with Prufrock: the moody, urban, isolated-yet-sensitive thinker. However, whereas the Symbolists would have been more likely to make their speaker himself a poet or artist, Eliot chooses to make Prufrock an unacknowledged poet, a sort of artist for the common man.

Another characteristic of the poem is its use of fragmentation and juxtaposition. Eliot sustained his interest in fragmentation and its applications throughout his career, and his use of the technique changes in important ways across his body of work: Here, the subjects undergoing fragmentation (and reassembly) are mental focus and certain sets of imagery; in The Waste Land, it is modern culture that splinters; in the Four Quartets we find the fragments of attempted philosophical systems?

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member