'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 Rules Of A Southern Belle

It is more than just biscuits and grits.

These unwritten rules separate the people that move to the South and were born and raised in the South. If you were born and raised in a small southern town, you either are a southern belle or hope you get to marry one. Their southern charm is hard to dislike and impossible to be taught.

1. Adults are to be answered with "Yes ma’am" and "Yes sir."

Whether it’s your parents, grandparents, or the person that checks you out at the grocery store, always say yes ma’am.

2. Always write a thank you note.

For any and everything. No gesture is too small.

3. Expect a gentleman to hold the door open and pull out your chair.

Chivalry is not dead; you just need to find the right guy.

4. All tea is sweet.

Below the Mason-Dixon Line, tea is made no other way.

5. Don’t be afraid to cook with butter.

I’ve never met a good cook that didn’t giggle a little.

6. “Coke” refers to all sodas.

Here in the south, this means all types of sodas.

7. Pearls go with anything — literally anything

And every southern belle is bound to have at least one good set.

8. "If it’s not moving, monogram it."

9. Pastels are always in fashion.

And they look good on almost everyone.

10. And so is Lilly Pulitzer.

11. Curls, curls and more curls.

The bigger the hair, the closer to Jesus.

12. If you are wearing sandals, your toenails should be done.

13. Never ever ever wear white shoes, pants, dresses, or purses after Labor Day or before Easter.

Brides are the only exception. Yes we actually do follow this rule.

14. Never leave the house without lipstick.

A little mascara and lipstick can work miracles.

15. Always wear white when you walk down the aisle.

Weddings are taken very seriously here in the South, and they should be nothing but traditional.

16. Southern weddings should always be big.

The more bridesmaids the better.

17. Saturdays in the fall are reserved for college football.

Whether you spend it tailgating in that college town or watching the big game from your living room. You can guarantee that all southerner’s eyes will be glued to the game.

18. Sunday is for Jesus and resting.

19. Learn how to take compliments curiously.

20. Have class, always.

Cover Image Credit: Daily Mail

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11 Of The Most Influential Books Ever, According To My Friends

I asked my friends for one book that changed their lives. Here are their responses.


With it finally being summer, I decided to compile a reading list that tops all other reading lists. This is no ordinary list of books. I asked some of my dearest friends and most important people in my life for one book that changed their lives and why. I'm no expert but behold, the most powerful list of books on the face of the planet.

Disclaimer: participants in this survey were put on the spot and these are their raw, unedited, some serious, and some funny responses.

1. "The Summer I Turned Pretty" trilogy by Jenny Han

the summer i turned pretty trilogy

"'The Summer I Turned Pretty' trilogy made me realize that my perception of myself does not necessarily match the perception of others who know me or meet me. The books helped me understand that not only is my opinion of myself extremely important but that I need to be kind to everyone I meet because I can't possibly know what is going on in their lives."

2. "I'll Give You The Sun" by Jandy Nelson

i'll give you the sun

"It genuinely changed my life, not in some big impactful way, but I think about it almost every day and have read it probably five or six times. Plus, it's 300-400 pages, so not a light read. It's about twins, boy and girl, told from each perspective, once when they're 12-years-old from the boy and 16-years-old from the girl. The boy is super into art and the girl used to be popular, but then became the quirky girl that loves ghosts. I'm super passionate about art and spirits have always been cool to me so the topics are perfect. It's just about their life in the rocky beaches of Northern California and it's just soooo cool. The writing is beautiful and I can easily depict all of it. It just fits my vibe as a person and I can read it a million times and never get bored because the plot is so good and the writing is just WOW!"

"I also have a strong personal connection to the sun, so the name really sticks out to me and makes me so genuinely happy. I'm so in love with this book that I want to name my children after it, want twins because of it, and may even get a tattoo because of it. I'm considering ordering a second copy of it to write and draw in because I cannot taint the original one I read. This book is like a bible to me and I love it more than anything and recommend it 100000%."

"It also gave me a strong connection to family, nature, art, dead relatives/ghosts, and myself. Like, wow, thank you, Jandy for changing my life."

3. "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis

the screwtape letters

"In high school, I read 'The Screwtape Letters' for an assignment, but ended up reading the book again in college. It altered the way I thought and perceived things and from a completely opposite point of view. It made me realize or think about how the things I was doing could possibly not even be my choice, but whatever I was influenced by."

4. "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls

where the red fern grows

"I read 'Where the Red Fern Grows' in 6th grade and I finished it within a week. I had always been a big reader in elementary school, but it was mostly for the ever-cool AR points. This book was the first one that ever made me feel something. So much that I cried in the middle of class."

5. "After" by Anna Todd


"'After' is the best book because it taught me true love, blah, blah, blah. It taught me to be myself, and that it's okay to be who you really are. Wait 'til you find the right person, and they'll absolutely love everything about you."

6. The Bible

the bible

"It keeps me focused."

"Well, no matter the situation, God is always the answer. Everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for every step you take."

7. "The Reapers are the Angels" by Alden Bell

the reapers are the angels

"It showed me that relationships are complex and shape our entire life, relationships with other people, and ourselves."

8. "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë

wuthering heights

"'Wuthering Heights' because it's very dark and twisted, and the characters are evil but you can't help but root for true love despite how despicable the characters are."

9. "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket and "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton

a series of unfortunate events

"Read them my 7th-grade year. First 'real' books I ever read. Reading them brought me to the realization I don't need a screen to experience a story. 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' brought me to an imaginary world through pages for the first time. 'The Outsiders' made me feel real emotion and ties to a world that could have been real. Those books sparked my love for reading and still remain ingrained in my memory, and I'm sure they always will."

10. "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth


"The only book that ever made me cry was 'Allegiant.' I don't know, when Tris died and just Four's reaction afterward. It was really just a shock, like, I did NOT expect her to die because most books usually don't kill their main character, especially young adult books like that."

11. "My Dog Skip" by Willie Morris

Skip: June 5, 1997-September 24, 2014

Grant Pride

"'My Dog Skip' because I had a Jack Russell terrier named Skip too, and it felt too real reading it as a kid."

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