Modernist writers are credited with delving beneath the façade of surface realities to expose inner truth. In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” for instance, T.S. Eliot alludes to a patient etherized on a table, setting the tone of malaise that plagues the narrator of the poem though his surface reality is “normal”. As such, the writer establishes a powerful theme of emptiness in his contemporary, post-war society.
Choose two poems from the following list of poets from this week’s readings and discuss one instance in which the poem delves beyond superficial concerns to unveil a deeper truth about society.
- Ezra Pound- “A Pact”
- T.S. Eliot- “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,”
- Robert Frost- “Mending Wall,” “Fire and Ice,” and “Desert Places”
- Wallace Stevens- “The Snow Man” and “Sunday Morning,”
- Williams Carlos Williams- “The Young Housewife” and “Portrait of a Lady,”
Elaborate on what that deeper meaning is and how the poet uses poetic conventions to expose it. What does the work reveal about contemporary society? Additionally, “[b]y the beginning of the twentieth century, there was an extraordinary range of ‘American’ issues for American writers to examine and explore…” (Cain, McDermott, Newman, & Wyss, 2014, p. 339). Contemporaries Hemingway, Faulkner, and Anderson examine a variety of these “issues” within this week’s required readings. Formulate a response that addresses those concerns within the context of the overview of the time period provided in your textbook (339-356). Make specific connections to the authors’ critique of American culture and society during Modernist Period, and support your thoughts and ideas with appropriate resources, including your textbook and outside research. References
References Cain, W., McDermott, A., Newman, L., & Wyss, H. (Eds.). (2014). American Literature: Volume2 (2nd ed.). Boston, Mass: Pearson.