The changing conditions of the early 20th century had a clear and profound impact on T.S Eliot as his works convey a definitive Modernist ideas and literary techniques. With the breakout of World War I, evoked a sense that the great human civilisation was destroying itself. This belief was further compounded with the Second Industrial Revolution, which introduced innovative science, and revealed newly discovered advancements in the economical, political, cultural and most importantly the religious field. With the understanding of these advancements the “modern man” held the knowledge of our undeniable insignificance in the universe and ultimately questioned his existence due to the disintegration of what was previously strong religious values and belief in God. Modernist literature is a rejection of Romanticist ideals and is a criticism of modernisation itself. Eliot is able to explore the issues, which are hugely relevant to the modern experience. Specifically these include the isolation or alienation of an individual and the decay of social morality. These concerns are accentuated in Preludes (1917) and Rhapsody on a Windy Night (1917)
The decay of the constructs of society and social morality were a major Modernist concern, which is prevalent in many of Eliot’s works. This issue in many ways was most likely brought upon by the aftermath and the horrors the world experienced of WWI. The massive loss of life was mostly brought upon by the advancement of technology; these new inventions were synonymous to the advancements made in the industrialisation, which enabled the mass production of weaponry. Such progress resulted in the new inventions of deadly weaponry, which subjected those affected to a slow and painful death. This created the view that the previous Renaissance and Enlightenment models of reality were disintegrating indicating the decay of social morality. In Rhapsody on a Windy Night the first indication of deterioration arises in “a madman shakes...
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