The social picture in modern poetry
Question: What social picture do you get in modern poetry?
Modern poetry is phenomenal. It has limned all the aspects of society from top to bottom. Because of the impact of the “First World War”, the neoteric people lost the touch of healthy English life. Though the modern period (1901-1939/1945) has been dominated by novels, poetry is not least for its phenomenal representation.
Loss of morality
The latter English society loses its morality and reaches a high level of chaos. The poets like W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot have portrayed a society in their writing devoid of the moral sense. “The Waste Land” published in 1922 is a poem by Eliot in which he has shown that modern people are leading a nonsense life because of immorality. So, the first and foremost social picture of modern society found in modern poetry is the loss of morality.
The pervasion of sex
The most hideous social picture found in modern poetry is the pervading of sex. Modern England had been barren and destructive for illicit sexual pervasion. “The waste Land” is a poem in which Eliot has shown the similarity between the legendary and modern society that are in destruction because of sexual attraction and pervasion. Therefore, a nation having been fascinated by sex can be considered a wild nation.
Neoteric poetry is acclaimed for it has upheld the major problem of modern society that was loneliness. Society lost its form and people were separated from each other. The chaotic and excessively busy urban life resulted in everlasting loneliness. W. B. Yeats’ poems are very remarkable for dealing with such unbearable social problems.
Panic and terror of war
Before, during, and after world war first, the neoteric society was traumatized. There was no peace in society and tension and anxiety always prevailed. Yeats in his poems such as ‘‘Easter 1916’’, ‘‘A Prayer for Daughter’’ etc. has shown the terror of war and a very anxious future for the next generation. Thus, the modernist poets have conferred the message that a traumatized society cannot be ideal at all.
Conflict of the human heart
Twenty-century people have been recognized as people of wandering heart and brain. Addiction to excessive thinking made people conflicted. They were fond of evaluating results before taking action for a particular task. As a result, they stayed where they got started at all. “A Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’’ by Eliot is a bright emblem of the heart and brain of modern people.
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The ugliest social picture of modern society represented in modern poetry is the hypocrisy of human beings. The society at that time was flamboyant outwardly but vacant inwardly as people were showy and their activities were so-called humanistic. All the social aspects such as love, faith, religion, philanthropy, etc. were filled with hypocrisy.
Crazy nationalism is one of the vivid social pictures of neoteric society. Because of the influence of the First World War, people were instigated by the tendency of excessive nationalism which was the result of ‘‘Easter 1916’’ in Ireland and as a result, the leaders were executed. Thus, the modernist poem has shown that nationalism is prime but crossing the limit is worse.
Now it can be said that neoteric poetry has rooted its position in the history of English literature because it has been able to visualize the entire society of the contemporary time.