The Love Song Of J. Alfred Pr Essay, Research Paper
There have been many different themes in that of American and European literature. Some themes display a sort of romantic side of society and other themes display dark disillusionment of it all. Existentialism is a common theme among post war writers in which they display a character s scorn of society and their realization of its downfall. These characters will also, usually, question life s importance. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot, and The End of Something, by Ernest Hemingway, are both existential works from a European perspective as well as an American perspective. These two works contain some similarities as well as some differences.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The End of Something contain some similarities between them. Both characters see too much and see too deep (Henri Barbusse, HelI). This means that the character perceives life in a different fashion from that of the masses. They have also seen more than the ordinary person. Both characters have obviously seen war either from a soldier s point of view ( The End of Something ) or from a citizen who lives in the destruction of Europe ( The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ). They know first hand the downward spiral of civilization. Essentially, they believe there is no hope for mankind, and that life in itself is futile. They have seen the vast amounts of death and destruction and realize that there is no such thing as permanence. Loves will always be lost, money will always evaporate, and power will always be diminished; what was done will be undone, eventually. This is why Nick ( The End of Something ) does not try to communicate with his girlfriend, what s the point?
There are also some differences between that of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The End of Something. The character in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock portrays a very different attitude towards what he has learned as compared to the character Nick in The End of Something. Prufrock realizes the decline of Western civilization, but continues to live in the banal scene. Instead of accepting his realization or maybe searching for his own path through spiritual and religious means, he instead conforms to the life around him. Yet, he still believes himself to be on a higher level, although this is very common among existential character whether they conform or not. H.G. Wells said it best is his story The Country of the Blind, when his hero stated in response to him being unhealthy and neurotic, In the country of the blind, the one-eye man is king. This means basically that he is the one man who knows he is sick in a civilization that doesn t know it is sick. Yet he still decides to conform. The character Nick, in The End of Something, seems to be more affected by his realization. He has already seen too much and sees no way back. Therefore he lives his futile life and will probably die alone unless his attitude changes in the future.
There are some similarities as well as some differences in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot, and The End of Something, by Ernest Hemingway. The similarities include that of the character s realizing the decline of Western civilization and both believe there is no hope for mankind. The main difference is that Prufrock decides to conform to everyday life while Nick refuses to or cannot return to the banal scene. The existential character believes life to be futile, a movie. He is a man who cannot live in the comfortable, insulated world of the common man, accepting what he sees and touches as reality. He sees too deep and too much, and what he see is essentially chaos.