During his context, early 20th century in America and England, Elite’s original exploration of ideas concerning the human psyche and the stream of consciousness through poetry were, and continue to be, Hough-provoking endeavourers which enraptured his audiences’ curiosity and continues to today. Readers respond to texts in different ways, interpreting different readings Of a literary work. Freudian readings were common in the modernist era as they were concerned with a psychological approach to a text, one which evaluated the inner life of the characters.
Froufrou’ is often interpreted in this psychoanalytical sense as the reader experiences Frocks stream of consciousness and his feelings of inadequacy in relation to social relationships. “… They will say: how his hair is growing thin!… Hove is arms and legs are thin… ” (Stanza 7) These lines are indicative of Froufrou’s fear of being fully exposed to another human as he doesn’t see himself as a worthwhile individual and clarify the Freudian interpretation of the poem.
Magi’ is frequently studied, on a metaphorical level, as a journey towards Christianity and is often viewed as an account of Elliot own conversion to Christianity. Throughout the poem, evidence is supplied to allude to a Christian reading in order for Eliot to portray his own emotions of the subject. The Magi are indicative of the three wise men in the Bible, journeying to the earth of the Christ child. “… Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley… (Line 21) The reference to dawn is representative of new life and birth, a concept which the reader can interpret as the birth of Jesus Christ. “… A water-mill beating the darkness… ” (Line 23) This line is symptomatic of the hard conversion to Christianity albeit ultimately, at the end of one’s spiritual journey, through Christ comes illumination ? the victory over darkness. Eliot is considered one of the pioneers of modernistic literature and his utilization of modernist ideas in ‘Froufrou’ is what continues to engage deader.
The modernist movement often explored the alienation and detachment characters felt in their surroundings as society became increasingly industrialized. Eliot effectively represents this modernist idea in the poem ‘Froufrou’ through the use of allusion to portray the social paralysis felt by Froufrou in the evolutionary world. ” … In the room the women come and go/Talking of Michelangelo… ” (Lines 13-14) This allusion creates a paradox within the text as Michelangelo, during his time, was a popular artist and hence, prominent social topic.
In comparison, Froufrou feels insignificant n his society, especially among the women, and the paradox between the two social perceptions of Michelangelo and Froufrou serves to convey the alienation of individuals in society, conventional of modernist literature. Within the second stanza of ‘Magi’, Eliot employs symbolism and biblical allusion abundantly to foreshadow the establishment of Christianity. Whilst the creation of a new religion is exciting, Eliot portrays the modernistic concern of discomfort with one’s new way of life. “… And three trees on the low sky… ” (Stanza Two) This biblical allusion refers to the three crosses of
Calvary and Jesus’ crucifixion, alluding to prominent aspects of Christianity within the poem. “… And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow… ” (Stanza Two) This line is symbolic of the culmination of the ancient pagan religions, ‘old white horse’. An aside used in the last line of the stanza alludes to the Magus’ uneasiness with the new-found faith and creates an ambiguous tone as the reader realizes the true estrangement felt by the Magus due to the loss of his lifestyle. “… It was (you may say) satisfactory… ” Eliot devised his own technique during the modernistic era known as, objective correlative.
He formed a way of describing a concrete symbol in order to evoke particular emotions in the reader, rather than describing the emotion itself. An example of this in ‘Froufrou’ is in the ninth paragraph “… And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin/When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall… ” The reference to an insect pinned, exposed, upon a viewing board, allows Eliot to portray Froufrou’s discomfort within society. He feels as though, like an insect, he is being scrutinized and judged; he feels exposed and believes society won’t accept him if they know too much about him.
Henceforth, this objective correlative aids Eliot in relating modernistic concerns of alienation and isolation from those around us. ‘Magi’ explores the disenfranchisement of individuals experiencing a shifting society. The modernist concerns of the early twentieth century involve the confusion felt by individuals caused by the ‘death’ Of the. Eliot explores the paradox of Christianity in ‘Magi’ in order to convey this modernist concern. The personification of ‘Birth’ and ‘Death’ in the last stanza conveys to the reader that it is not only the physical birth of Christ, UT the birth of a new religion and way of life. … This: we were led all that way for/Birth or Death?… ” (Stanza Three) Jesus’ birth and death are inextricably linked within the Christian history and this paradox is paralleled by the Magus’ questioning of whether the birth of Jesus will be the death of his old pagan religion. In writing both ‘Froufrou and ‘Magi’ in the form of a dramatic monologue, Eliot has conformed to modernist literature in that he enables his readers to enter his characters own psyches and understand their inner turmoil from their personal point of view.
The basis of modernism was built upon psychoanalysis and anthropology, thus, the form Eliot has employed allows a sense of reality to be established for the reader as they interpret the text on not only a physical, but mental level. “… Let us go then you, and 1… 1 grow old… L grow old… ” (froufrou’s’ Stanzas 1/1 7) “… All this was a long time ago, remember/And I would do it again… ” (magi’ Stanza 3) The first person narration used in the dramatic monologue enables the reader to believe it is actually the characters talking to them, they are experiencing the characters’ own recounts first-hand.
Elite’s employment of evocative techniques, including allusion and fragmentation, aid in his examination of modernistic concerns relating to alienation and estrangement of individuals within a rapidly changing civilization. They allow the reader to comprehend the themes discussed by Eliot by portraying the stream of consciousness of the characters in the poems. The pioneering study of the internal reality of characters within ‘Froufrou’ and ‘Magi’, along with the use of engaging techniques, is what originally captured Elite’s readers’ thoughts and continues to do so almost a century later.
Cite this Literary Analysis: The Love Song and Journey of the Magi
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