Youth in The Waste Land

Throughout the all the parts of the poem the dramatic tone obviously reflects all the worry and fear the people at this time have. Since the war ended, what is supposed to happen and how are we supposed to go on with life since all of this has happened.From the beginning with the quote from Satyricon of Petronius she says she was granted eternal life and not eternal youth and I feel like this is the same way with these young soldiers. They were granted more time on earth but their youth was basically taken away, they fought this war and now all they are left with is scars of what happened which can never be unseen. They are left to attempt to pick up their lives where they left off which is almost impossible because of this life they have became accustomed too. This is the same scenario with the people that were not fighting. Society is viewed in The Waste Land as this apocalyptic place where one must fend for themselves and continue and explore this land that is destroyed and covered in sorrow and waste of what used to be the war.

I found the dedication to Ezra Pound interesting, I feel like it shows this connection between Pound and Elliot as something more than a friendship. Even on this level of living and nonliving Elliot can feel this fear that probably Pound encountered more than Elliot because he was in the war. I feel like he is also talking to Pound examining what he has done and what he is left to live with without Pound by his side, which could be scary.

Youth in The Waste Land

The overall feeling that we get of youth in The Waste Land is one of anxiety and worry. Throughout the poem, Eliot talks about the negative effects of the war and by extension, how that effects the youth. In the third section, there is a part about a typist and her lover. The young man “endeavours to engage her in caresses,” but the entire act is meaningless and empty (line 237). When they are finished, he leaves and she is glad to be done with it. I think this is showing how after the war, even an act that is supposed to be passionate has no meaning anymore. When the young men came back from war, many of them had shell shock and psychological trauma that changed them. Most people back then probably told them to get over it and get on with living, as mental illnesses were not really ‘dealt with’ then. So, young men coming back from the war had to try and transition back into civilian life without much help from the military that they had given so much to. I think this also seems much more empty because of its contrast to the short passage about the hyacinth girl in section one. Just the simple act of giving the girl flowers has so much meaning to the couple. The blue hyacinth itself means sincerity in love, which makes a mockery of the relationship that the typist has with her lover.

Youth’s Trial in The Waste Land

In T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, the emotions and anxieties that are rattling about in the minds of the modern youths of England in the aftermath of World War I appear to find a strong ally or at least a not so great confidant. In this work, Eliot gives the reader an insight, a potentially very difficult to read insight, into how World War I has changed the world both physically and emotionally, by especially impacting those individuals that now have to grow up in this changed world, the Youth. In The Waste Land‘s first section, Eliot gives a peak at the inner turmoil that comes with living in cities that are filled with the ghosts of the war, and a season that brings back the memories of a time when those ghosts were friends and family. The youth must grow up in a time where the people around them see the new season’s as “mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain” bringing about thoughts of the great times that are forever lost to them (lines 2-4). Eliot seems to worry for the future of the world and the youths because those who experienced the war now come back to their homes to find themselves in an “Unreal City, [seeing] so many [they] had not thought death had undone so many”, so while the youth of England may just see a city that is their home, their elders see a city haunted by the sins of the past (lines 60-63). The youth of this time must wade through the sorrow and melancholy that presides in the hearts and minds of those who are raising them, and find the keys or answers to their future by themselves because as seen by the author’s conversation with Stetson, the dead give few answers.

In the last section of The Waste Land, Eliot gives the reader another entry into the world after World War I by describing a true waste land. Eliot’s description of the waste land as a “dead mountain mouth of carious teeth” and “rock and no water and sandy road” gives the impression of the desolate feeling the people may have after the war (lines 332, 339). The passages go into more description of the land and the strange “hooded hordes swarming” over the waste land, but eventually leads into passages about thunder and finally gives a conclusion that could give Eliot’s hope for the future of youth (line 369). In the final passage, Eliot shows a glimpse at a small hope for youth that hadn’t much been seen up to this point in the work because he talks about “these fragments I have shored against my ruins” and a simple question “shall I at least set my lands in order”, these lines giving the feeling that maybe the ruined pieces of the war can be placed back together, not quite in the same shape they were before but in a new shape, a shape that will create a new world for the youth of the future and that will hopefully heal the inner turmoil of that youth (lines 426, 431).

Youth and Rebellion in BLAST

BLAST is youthful in its make up and set up alone. There is little to no care for efficiency or conservation of space. Words are written large and boldly across the pages. A single picture will take up an entire page simply for the purpose of understanding its true meaning. The words and messages seem to shout at you as you read them. There is nothing subtle or refined about this magazine. It is a teenager rebelliously blasting rock music throughout the house. It is unconventional and certainly rebellious.

My favorite part of the magazine is featured in The Manifesto. “Curse the flabby sky that can manufacture no snow, but can only drop the sea on us in a drizzle like a poem by Robert Bridges” it says. I love the whole curse and bless concept and the chaotic and unconventional layout of it make it that much more exciting to read. The Manifesto also gives the readers a strong sense of what the authors believed in. They bless England for its beauty but curse it for its snobbish ways. It is similar to the sublime we discussed in the romantic period, which also relates to youth.


youth in BLAST

I think there are many aspects of BLAST that show youthfulness. First off, it mentions that art will be about the individual, and once they declare themselves as an artist they “cease to belong to any million or time,” which I believe to be a very youthful concept because when one is young their primary focus is on themselves, as an individual. Plus, there is a dislike of focus on older topics, that dominated the victorians, like that of the wonders of machinery, so I believe the rejection of old traditions to be something that is again very youthful, like the teenager who rebels against their parents belief so to make themselves something different. Another youthful aspect, found in the Manifesto, is the rejection of England as some great, unconquerable empire. Instead there are many jabs at England, which I think shows that the end of the age of the 1800’s has fully ended and newer, more youthful ideas about England have taken over, devoid of any illusions on how great England and just Europe in general really is.

Youth Represented in BLAST

Youth is found in BLAST in its passion for art.  The main concentration of the “Manifesto” is on art and how England is the prime area for an art explosion.  BLAST does not seem to care about more serious matters such as an impending war but is focused on reviving the art culture of England.  However, many war metaphors are used in BLAST perhaps showing how despite the seemingly unrelated content of BLAST, war has managed to permeate even the artistic culture of England. The focus on art in light of current events points to youthful authors and a youthful audience.  BLAST seems to be waging a war of its own on the lack of artistic talent in England perhaps trying “fix” the British culture by inspiring the young artists of the day to pursue their dreams.

Youthful Rebellion in Blast.

Blast takes the concepts and idealistic thoughts of youth and condenses them into a single publication. It seems as though if the magazine were a person, one could easily see him standing atop a police car at any given rally, swinging his shirt over his head and screaming obscenities. It is a pure expression of youthful angst. In the first article, “Long Live the Vortex,” the writer casts away care for “the sacripant Past” and “the sentimental Future” (9). The youths of the day cared neither for the past nor the future. They want nothing of the day’s philosophies or cultural norms, they “only want the world to live, and to feel it’s crude energy flowing through us” (9). Rebellious youths, especially those of the 20th century forged their own way with their own ideologies, the old guard had no say in their future. The magazine also criticizes many of the institutions of England such as the shipping trade, the navy and ports. Satirically, they write “Bless England!” and “bless all ports” to criticize the great national pride of England in the early 20th century- pride that led to decades of war (24, 25). Blast gave those who never lost their youthful, rebellious spirit a place to vent their frustrations with the status quot.

Youth in BLAST

What seems most youthful about BLAST is the way the articles are written and typed up.  The CURSE and BLESS sections have a random style that literally floats along the page with no apparent order.  This may have been a way to keep the interest of the reader, but it seems more likely that it was an illustration of how youth can think.  Though the sentences have no apparent order and often weird structure, they have a witty tone that is amusing.  Sentences like, “BLESS this HESSIAN (or SILESIAN) EXPERT correcting the grotesque anachronisms of our physique” on page 25 are humorous considering all that people go through to calm their natural beauty into a false one.  The most youthful statements though are in the “Manifesto” article, “We start from opposite statements of a chosen world.  Set up violent structure of adolescent clearness between two extremes.  We discharge ourselves on both sides.  We fight first on one side, then the other, but always for the SAME cause, which is neither side, or both sides and ours.” (30).  This shows the unrest, but tenacity of youth.  They do not want their thoughts to be put in a box of typicality, so they synthesize the boxes.

Youthfulness in BLAST

There seemed to be quite a lot of youthfulness in “Long Live the Vortex” and “Manifesto.” Both writings have a very bold and youthful tone, as they it declare that they were not fond of the idea of conformity.

In “Long Live the Vortex,” there is a youthful need to live in the moment. “We stand for the Reality of the Present- not for the sentimental Future, or the sacripant Past”. It was as though they were afraid that their experience of life might somehow be subdued or tampered with in order to make it more appealing. They seemed to want to live in way that was completely real and visceral. “We only want the World to live, and feel its crude energy flowing through us.”

There is a very youthful humor in “Manifesto.”, as it also seems to have a certain fear of monotony. They have become aware that people viewed England as boring, and were able to laugh at themselves while proving them wrong. “We hear from America and the continent all sorts of disagreeable things about England: ‘The unmusical, anti-artistic, unfilosophic country.’ – ‘We  quite agree’.”

Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Time

T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” expresses a preoccupation with the passing of time and the events that–ostensibly–fill it. The details and specificity which the narrator relates form a profusion of incoming data and information, and in these the modern individual struggles to find meaning. This can be seen in the lines “And time yet for a hundred indecisions, / And for a hundred visions and revisions” (32-33). Youth’s transformation into maturity involves some kind of growth and progress, yet these things are precisely those which it is most difficult for the narrator to get a sense of.

Ideas in the flow of the “song” are ambiguous and slippery, and the momentous and the trivial intermingle in a way exemplified by the strange phrase, “Do I dare to eat a peach?” (122). These words illustrate the difficulty one finds in modern times when trying to decide which questions, challenges, and even basic aspects of life are important, and how one should invest in each of them emotionally–a theme particularly relevant to youth, as young people are most actively and of necessity involved in forming their own views about what is important and making connections between their world and their identities.

Prufrock, Water, and Youth!

In Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” I was immediately struck by the fog imagery that is used.  “The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes” makes me think of this obscure and mysterious being that is grappling for something to hold onto (Eliot 15).  Prufrock is going through life under the impression that “there will be time, there will be time” to accomplish all of the things in life. There is a degree of certainty that he will have all of the life experiences he wants, but there is still a yearning for the fulfillment from his lack of actualization of those experiences.  Through each stanza, Prufrock ages a little bit and becomes a little more disillusioned about love. There is an awareness about what will happen in the future, and there is a definite tone shift.  He goes from saying there will be time, but in later stanzas, it turns into “So how should I presume” (Eliot 54)?

I really like the contrast of the fog from the beginning of the poem shifting to the water at the end of the poem.  The fog is like a form of fragmentation that is a very modernist characteristic.  I think that fragmentation is important, because when something is whole, there lacks room growth.  That fragmentation is an important part of youth in an attempt to figure out who they really are.  By the end of the poem, the water vapor has condensed into water to create something that is less ambiguous and more concrete.  Eliot writes, “We have lingered in the chambers of the sea / By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown / Till human voices wake us and we drown” (Eliot 129-31). Obviously things didn’t work out super well for Prufrock, but the final accumulation of the water vapor into water signifies that the time for youth and uncertainty has passed.

Youth in Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

The title, to me, immediately gives away the ensuing themes of youth in the poem.  Love, though it certainly exists in all ages and stages of life, generally begins in youth and is most dramatically expressed by youth.  Love stories and love songs are most often composed of younger characters and are geared towards younger audiences.  Most modern artists who sing on the topic of love are under 30, most rom-coms or chick flicks are based on characters ranging from high school through their twenties.  Love is a genre that younger audiences eat up.  With the title of Eliot’s poem being “The Love Song…”, I automatically assumed that the poem was about a young couple before even reading one line.

To continue in the tone of youth, Eliot’s poem opens with discussion about elopement and spontaneous adventure (lines 1-12) for the speaker and his love interest. Spontaneity is an aspect that is more restricted to youth, for the youth have the freedom to be spontaneous.  Adults generally have laborious jobs and families and time restraints that prevent them from that kind of spontaneity where you drop everything and go somewhere.  Youth, and especially young love, are more likely to express that in their lives.

Lines 26-34, 37-48 also remind me of youth in their discussion of time.  A modern youth sees their childhood as a time to grow and change and discover themselves.  Eliot is mirroring this belief in this section of the poem, saying that there is time to do other things and become other things, go other places.  This reminds me of the idea that the journey is more important than the destination itself.  Eliot is saying that yes, there will be time to grow up and get a job, there will be time to do all those things you want to do, but now is the time to worry about that.

Prufrock and Modern Youth

In The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Prufrock’s expression of youth is much closer to what we think about youth today than the Victorians’ vision of youth. To him, youth is a “time yet for a hundred indecisions, and for a hundred visions and revisions” (32-3). Youth, as most people see it now, is a time to make mistakes and to figure out and refigure out what to do and that’s how Eliot is portraying it as well. It’s not the time to make decisions that are going to define the rest of your life; it’s like the rough draft before you get to the edited copy of adulthood. He also talks about mermaids, saying “I have heard mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me” (124-5). I think this represents youth because it’s the belief in ‘magical’ things, but the simultaneous realization that you can’t join them. Or, this could be taken as a younger person looking in at the adults and thinking that they’re never going to reach that stage because when you’re young it does seem like that sometimes.

Youth in Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

T.S Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” appears to be a poem centered around a love story of the subject. In this piece, Prufrock, as written by Eliot, explores the nuances of his love life with  a peek into the future he anticipates to experience with his lover.

From the presentation of Eliot of Prufrock, there is a hint of this being a young love story characterized by a bit of spontaneity (Lines 1-12). Deciding to do what could be referred to as eloping, Prufrock says quite remarkably “Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” (Line 11). This spontaneity, for one, is in my opinion, one of the three major derivations of youth from this written piece.

A sense of adventure is briefly noted in the second stanza of this poem by the young lovers in his expression of the places they could visit and the experiences they would have.  Prufock, seemingly in an attempt to convince his lover to follow him, declares on more than one occasion that “there will be time” for them to explore memorable things (Lines 15-34). This adventurous enthusiasm is one prominent infusion of youth Eliot employs in this piece.

In addition to the spontaneity, and a theme very much developed in the poem, is the concept of deliberation about the future. This theme beginning in Line 30 and continuing throughout the poem sees Prufrock constantly wondering what would become of himself and his lover in the future. This wonder about the future, experienced by Prufrock, could be seen as the other feature of youth in this poem by Eliot.

The Youth in Prufrock’s Fragmented Mind

In his lifetime, T.S. Eliot created many wonderful works, far from the least of which being “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”. In this work, our narrator Mr. Prufrock is considered the perfect example of a modern man, one who is highly-educated, possibly emotionally stunted, and is currently allowing us into his fragmented thoughts surrounding a potential interaction with a woman. Eliot starts out the poem with an excerpt from Dante’s Inferno, in which Dante asks a damned soul, and receives a reply that implies that neither Dante nor the soul with ever leave the Inferno. This opening gives the reader an insight into who Prufrock is talking to, someone who will never tell the secrets of his thoughts, and if we assume this person is also the woman Prufrock is making his love song for, then she will of course never tell his secret thoughts because the thoughts are trapped in his head, never for her to hear. This leads to an initial instance where Eliot gives an expression of youth, where youths seem to have a tendency to be trapped in their own thoughts, not always taking the actions that they desire, for example when a young child might keep a diary filled with their deepest thoughts and emotions, but never let those thoughts reach the world. A youthful sense of fleeting thoughts can be found in the fragmentation of Prufrock’s thoughts within the work, because while they may exhibit the neurotic ways of the narrator, they also give rise to a young person jumping from one idea to the next, never stopping on one long enough to develop it but instead to overwhelmed by all the new and wonderful ideas that come from aging and maturing.

Next, as Eliot enters into Prufrock’s real thoughts, he delves into deeper ideas of the youth during this modern and changing time. Prufrock says that “there will be time, there will be time” when talking about meeting people and taking any and all actions, and I wonder if this might be less of what an aged person would think but what a youth would envision (line 26). Young people tend to believe they have plenty of time, time enough to do everything, see everything, experience everything, and of course, talk to the girl, but age can bring the sad enlightenment that, there really isn’t that much time after all. Prufrock makes notes of what others would say of him “how his hair is growing thin” and “how his arms and legs are thin”, while he notes all the days he has had and all the faces he has already seen (lines 41, 44). Prufrock seems to believe he still has plenty of time left, like a youth would believe, but Prufrock finds (from the perspective of his imaginary outside observers) that he has already grown quite old and he is running out of time. Towards the end of his work, Eliot brings about one other youthful expression with the inclusion of his passage about Prufrock not being Hamlet. Prufrock states he is instead “an attendant lord, one that will do to swell a progress”, while admitting that “I grow old … I grow old”, making Prufrock the goal of youth, to come from the place of delusional thoughts about time and avoiding action, to the place where Prufrock knows who he is, what his role is, and what little time he has to play his role (lines 112-113, 120).