T.S. Eliot Sample Answer & Notes: Troubled Characters In A Disturbing World

The most recent T.S. Eliot question came up on the 2010 Higher Level paper: 

“The poetry of T.S. Eliot often presents us with troubled characters in a disturbing world.” Write a response to this statement with reference to both the style and the subject matter of Eliot’s poetry. Support your points with suitable reference to the poems on your course. 

The marking scheme directs examiners to look for reference to desolate settings, uneasy atmospheres, disturbed characters, changing environments, collapse of culture and values, and the poet’s pessimistic voice.
Time Magazine, 6th March 1950
T.S. Eliot’s poetry portrays struggling characters from many different angles in a changing world, full of violence and decay. Eliot describes these vicissitudes through elaborate imagery, dynamic structure, vivid language, at times sophisticated and at times vulgar, use of allusions and use of direct and indirect speech. His characters are faced with an era of expanding urban landscapes, devastation of war and destruction of old values and traditions. T.S. Eliot doesn’t hide his own pessimism as we feel his presence through some of his characters. I will use The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, from The Waste Land II. A Game of Chess, Journey of the Magi, Preludes and The Four Quartets East Coker IV to illustrate this.

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These notes are also contained within our Complete Guide: A1 Leaving Cert English Notes and Sample Answers 2017

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T.S. Eliot Sample Essay: A Personal Response

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