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Hughes_and_Eliot #4

Hughes_and_Eliot #4 - Composition 2 Rough Draft#1...

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Composition 2 Rough Draft #1 Instructor: Ms. Briese 5 March 2010 Hughes and Eliot: Symbolism and Historical themes Thomas Stearns Eliot is born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1888. Well educated, he attends Harvard University (Bloom 1). After Eliot Graduates from Harvard, he attempts to enlist in the Navy but is rejected due to poor health. Then Eliot begins writing “The Waste Land”(Ryan 1). Eliot becomes known as a famous Harlem Renaissance poet. In 1964, Eliot receives the American Medal of Freedom and dies January 4, 1965 (James 1). Preceding his death in 1965, Eliot receives an award. “Christ in Alabama” is written by Langston Hughes, another Harlem Renaissance poet. Hughes is born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri; he later attends Columbia University, and after is recognized by earning an award. Because of a congestive heart failure, Hughes dies on May 22, 1967, in New York City ((James) Langston Hughes 1902-1967 1). Because Hughes incorporates outstanding African American historical theme, his poetry is distinguished. Since Langston Hughes in “Christ in Alabama” and T.S. Eliot in “The Waste Land” depict racial and religious symbolism, historical themes are detected. Although Langston Hughes and T.S. Eliot are raised in contrasting cultural backgrounds, they exercise Christian beliefs. For example, Hughes relates Christ’s crucifixion to the death and violence African Americans endure by white people. Furthermore, in “The Waste Land” Eliot divulges prophecies from the
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Bible. Likewise, Eliot refers to Christianity in a general sense by using phrases from biblical times; whereas, Hughes specifically speaks of the crucifixion of Christ. Also, Hughes’s and Eliot’s poetry consists of historical themes relating to their culture. For instance, Hughes speaks of his African American culture and the discrimination they endure previous to, and during the Harlem Renaissance time period. Furthermore, Eliot indicates that his people are struggling through a war that is drastically changing the government in his country. Since Hughes and Eliot integrate symbolism and historical themes into their poetry, their work is reputable. “The Waste Land” consists of several areas that symbolize death. For example, Eliot writes: “April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land”(1981). In the spring, plants begin to regenerate after their death in the winter. “…’April is the cruelest month’—reflects a sensibility that contends against the regenerating forces of spring”(T.S. Eliot 1888-1965 6). April is bitter because the month is a symbol that life is again starting from something dead. The mention of dead winter ground also connects to either the death of the land through drought, or the death of religion because people choose to stop believing. Furthermore, the dead winter ground could relate to the death of man through plague, natural disaster, or terrorism. Also, the lilacs could infer to “… vegetation deities who died in the winter and were resurrected in the spring” (T.S.
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