Thomas Stearns Eliot


Eliot made his cultural background richer studying a lot English, Italian and French literature. So all his productions are influenced by Dante’s poetry, French Symbolism and Joyce’s literature. In particular he appreciated the Joyce’s conviction about the impersonality of the artist and the separation from the subject treated. Characters, then, have to acquire specific features and face situations in which everyone can identify, in order to be universal. Eliot prefers to use a fragmentary style( according to his chaotic vision of life)because wanted to express the chaos which characterized the current civilization. Like in the cubism in painting, He said that to understand the meaning of life we have not to see the single fragment, but the whole realty. For this reason he used the technique of implication, of the objective correlative and of juxtaposition. However, all these fragmentary parts have got a central theme: the contrast between the fertility of a mythical past and the spiritual sterility of the present, which is shocked by war and other modern forces that have caused the decay of western civilization and the fragmentation of realty, clearly reflected in the literature. An example is given by his masterpiece “The waste Land”, a poem written during his first period of his artistic career characterized by a pessimistic vision of life, without values and feelings. Only later, after the conversion to Anglicanism, his view of life will change: it will fill in with joy and hope and will determine his way of writing, establishing a new period.
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