'Isolation Of Identity' Through The Eyes Of George Orwell And T.S. Eliot

'Isolation Of Identity' Through The Eyes Of George Orwell And T.S. Eliot

The theme of isolation of identity has a specific perspective on the ego, but Orwell and Elliot dive deeper.


The theme of Isolation of identity comes with the perspective on the subjective ego that differs between the works involved within the modernist, imperialist, and Anglican time period in British Literature. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot, is a modernist poem about the self-awareness and insecurity of everyday life. Furthermore, the fact that the poem was created within the modernism era allows an enhancement to the theme based on the concept of selflessness.

Within the poem, T.S. Eliot uses dimmed diction such as "smoke," "fog," "city," "drown" to create a stronger image around the atmosphere of the poem. Moreover, T.S. Eliot uses this poem as a way to showcase the concept of "ego-death," allowing himself to create a complete loss of subjective self-identity and invest into the world he lives around. Eliot talks of measuring life out with coffee spoons, using such an ordinary item to be the reflection of measuring out his life allows the audience to perceive Eliot's thoughts on life as artificial. In addition, the whole poems general repetition and dimmed tone in describing a gloomy city, all add to the concept of subjective identity. He is allowing the poem to guide the audience into a raw reality of the poets perspective, talking about how ordinary items guide their life and how people come and go looking for high expectations only to be faced with a disappointment because of the obstruction of reality, which is symbolized when Eliot references Michelangelo.

The modernism era takes the theme of isolation of identity in a negative perspective, as there is a recurring motif of reality being the bitter end, accompanied by the depressed of the normalities in life. This can be contrasted with another poem by T.S. Eliot titled, "Ash Wednesday" which was published after "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." While Prufrock takes a perspective of the isolation of identity through psychic death subjecting himself with his atmosphere around him rather than his personality and ego, Ash Wednesday gives the perspective of isolation of identity in a positive manner by giving one's self to Anglicanism. Although this was written by a modernist poet and is within a smaller spread of time it grants the audience with the influence of the Anglican time period. Within the poem, Eliot talks of converting to Anglicanism moving from spiritual despair to salvation, rejecting the beauty of the world and accepting change within the human condition.

This shows the developments of the theme, as isolation is represented by giving one's self to the hands of spirituality and religion. Ash Wednesday reveals the symbolism of religion and its strength in identifying as a pawn for spirituality. Furthermore, in traditional practice religion is based off beliefs, prayer and a higher power to help guide someone's morality and purity. The representation in this poem enhances the theme by stemming away from having a loss of ego, into embracing their ego by giving it to the hands of spirituality as a guide for morality. This can be seen as a twist within British Literature when it comes to being isolated in identity, as the modernist era eludes to feelings of isolation and depression in the conformity of reality while the Anglican era allows embracement of isolation through the eyes of religion and spirituality.

Another work that can be compared is George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" which embarks behind the era of Imperialism and provides a different perspective on the isolation of identity. Furthermore, George Orwell comes from a shorter spread of time that is near T.S. Eliot but captures the essence of British Colonialism exceptionally by using the isolation of his intentions as a tool for guilt. This work can be seen as a protest against Imperialism, as it creates an ironic paradox of colonialism by allowing the colonial propriety to coerce to colonizer to act barbarously. This helps to enhance the theme by using the narrator to perform a role to please those whom he's oppressed.

This irony shows that the narrator loses a sense of self-isolating his mind when coming in confrontation with the elephant as the overwhelming feeling of an audience looking upon his decision drowns his will power and motives. This ponders the question of the narrator deciding to kill the elephant in defense of the people, or in fear of giving the impression of being a coward and a fool which shows his the isolation of himself as he is only thinking of the reaction of others rather than the humanity behind murdering an animal. In contrast to Prufrock, Eliot describes a dark world around him that he is fully aware of that makes him question his identity on if it even matters as he's portrayed as a pawn within a world filled with expectation.

On the other hand, Orwell uses the theme of the isolation of identity to help create a statement around imperialism and how the example of shooting an elephant shows the fear of losing power to humiliation which results in the narrator to lose his original identity during the shooting of the elephant to please the public that he belittled to assert his imperialistic dominance. The irony of fearing to be a coward within the hands of absolute power only shows the cowardliness of the oppressor which helps build the statement against imperialism. Orwell uses the theme as a statement against imperialism, like a political movement. Throughout the world of modernism which is the main lens of T.S. Eliot and George Orwell comes many different perspectives once they put their empathy within other time periods to help showcase the development of the theme of isolation of identity within British Literature.

As the loss of one's self-identity and reflection to circumstance of a situation has been a recurring motif within the world of literature, as the modernist era takes it to describe a sense of ego death, the Anglican era describes it as a way to find spirituality and guidance and lastly the imperialist era describes it as a form of protest against the real cowardliness of those oppressing.

In conclusion, the development of the theme of isolation of identity has changed over the course of many time periods in British Literature as its evolution ranges from being connected to the negative aspects of humanity to try to find the purest forms of humanity.

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.

Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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These 13 Books Series Made Me Decide To Become A Writer

You bookworms know the one's I'm talking about.


For those of you who don't know me, I'm a soon to be college graduate with a degree in Creative Writing. You may be wondering, "So what school is she planning to teach at?" Surprise surprise: I won't be.

The amount of public knowledge about the publishing business is infinitesimally small, and I was among the ignorant masses, even as an aspiring publishing professional. It took one really good class and a wonderfully experienced professor to open my eyes to how the life of a writer realistically should look.

I was seduced into changing my major from sensible Psychology/pre-Law to pursuing the dream of 12-year old bookworm me to realize what it would mean to grow up to become an author.

I won't lie, it's not as glamorous as you think. I've spent the last couple of semesters trying to rebuild my future after the hope of becoming a J.K. Rowling or Stephen King shattered around me (amidst rejection letters and brutal workshops).

It took a lot to get me back on track and to reconcile that I didn't choose to be a writer because of six-figure advances or movie deals. (Yes, those are still goals of mine, but further back in the ideal timeline that I thought).

I have only one thing to thank for resurrecting my passion for the literary community: books. It may sound simple, but it was the summer days under the sun where I soaked in the rays reflecting off the pages of a book that reminded me why I made the choice I did. I think there's a little hopeless romantic, passionate protagonist, blazing hero, or lamenting vigilante in all of us, and books bring out the true essence of every reader in a way that's sometimes shocking.

With a statement like that, you may not be surprised by the predominantly genre YA books in the list that follows, but I think every kid should start with series like these. The most invaluable resource a book can give you is other readers to interact with.

The series that I credit for inspiring me to pursue this tenuous career are as follows:

1. "Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”


2. "The Hunger Games.”


4. "Harry Potter.”


5. "Septimus Heap.”


6. "The Immortals.”


8. "Warrior Cats.”


10. "Hush, Hush Saga.”


11. "The Unwind Dystology.”


13. "The Shiver Trilogy.”


Whether these books fall into the realm of literary fiction or not is unquestionable: no. But I believe every reader needs to understand the reaches of the imagination and the bounds of storytelling before they try to break all those rules in the name of literature. My bookshelf still houses many, if not all, of these series and I will always be grateful to their authors for showing me what it means to be a writer.

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