The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

1524 Words7 Pages
Question: Part A: Analyze the social and historical context of a particular poem Poem: T. S. Eliot, ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The context of any given text whether poetry, novels or a movie is always integral to its understanding. Social and historical context of not only the given text, but the writer’s context and reader’s context play an important role in the interpretation and understanding of the major ideas, issues, values and beliefs within the text. T.S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot was one of the twentieth century’s major poets and still remains relevant today. For many, Eliot and his works synonymous with Modernism; his “use of myth to undergird and order atomized modern experience; its collage-like juxtaposition of…show more content…
As Word War 1 ended, this in turn challenged the cultural notions of masculinity at that time; an entire generation of young men were killed in this war and the gender roles between men and women began to vary. Women had to start taking on the traditional male roles in order to compensate for the lack of ‘manpower’, this gave women the opportunity to pursue occupations and interests that were previously viewed as social taboo (Saleem, M, 2012, p. 372). Towards the start of the Modernist era women were seen drinking and smoking in public and ‘earnt’ the right to vote. This change is apparent through the theme of the ‘tortured psyche’ and through the hesitation and apprehension of Prufrock. This changing nature of gender roles is also representative of the very repressed Victorian era; which is possibly why the poem wasn’t initially received in good taste (Blythe, H & Sweet, C, 2004, p. 109). As demonstrated it is quite clear how the social and political changes occurring in that time manifested itself into Eliot’s poem and therefore his own ideals at that time. The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock was considered shocking and offensive at the time of its production. However, retrospective analysis reveals the text was somewhat foreshadowing the cultural shift from the 19th century Romanticism era to the Modernist era which followed. Factors which shaped the Modernist

More about The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

Open Document