The Modern Temper Essay, Research Paper
In the time period from 1915-1945, America was undergoing dramatic changes. These changes were noticeable in everything from the economy to they way authors were writing. Many of the authors in this time period turned to humor and most stories held a sense of alienation. T.S Eliot, as well as other poets and authors expressed this form in different ways.
T.S. Eliot expressed the form of alienation in a variety of ways. In his poem, The Love Song of Alfred Prufrock, he allows his main character or narrator, Mr. Alfred Prufrock, to alienate himself in one-way or another. Prufrock alienates his emotions from those around him. He is scared to show the real him for fear of being rejected or alone. He cannot connect with people on an emotional level. There will be time, there will be time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet . In this particular quote Prufrock tells us how he is not himself, but someone people want him to be.
With the lack of self-confidence, his alienation grows stronger. Do I dare? This quote is repeated often through out the poem. He asks himself time after time weather he should be himself or the person he is expected to be. With Prufrock s alienation, Eliot is able to express other ideas going through his mind. He shows how Prufrock s sense of alienation causes him to be lonely and fearful. Other poems allow for a sense of alienation as well.
Willa Cartner expresses the sense of alienation as well. In her story, A Wagner Matinee, her character struggles through the sense of alienation. Living as a pianist, the woman decided to give up her joy to move on with life. She started a family and soon wondered if she ever made the right choice. She, in a sense, alienated herself from what she loved to do and what she did well. She took her nephew to an opera and wondered even more. Don t love it so well, Clark, or it may be taken from you . She tells her nephew this so that in a way he can alienate himself from those things he loves. That way if something happens and he is no longer able to do them, he will not have any regrets over it.
In the story, The Bear, William Faulkner expresses not alienation, but the antithesis of it. He tells a short story of a young boy who was a great hunter. Every year this boy and other hunters would try to shoot the same old bear. The boy had two opportunities to shoot the bear. However, for some reason both times the boy does not kill the bear. The first time he doesn t have his gun ready and the second he prefers to save his dog. The boy makes a connection with the bear. He realizes that if he kills the bear now, than in the future years he will not have the same challenge. All because the bear will have already been killed. Courage, and honor, and pride and pity, and love of justice and of liberty. They all touch the heart, and what the heart holds to becomes truth, as far as we know the truth . This quote, said by the boy s father, shows the connection between man and animal.
Although many authors did show a sense of alienation in their works, some also showed a sense of connection. Weather it was connecting with the world a just a small part of it. I believe we are all connected in some ways. We connect ourselves to those around us, however we alienate ourselves at the same time. It is very hard to chose a side in a topic such as this one because of the sense of alienation and connection. In hard times people often alienate themselves from those around them. In other times we connect ourselves for that sense of knowing people care. In The Catcher and the Rye, Holden wants to be connected to the person that he loses his virginity to. Even though he feels that sense of connection he still alienates himself from the rest of the world. People are only human and no one is perfect. We all chose to be connected in certain areas of our life and alienated in others.