As a poet, Eliot seems obsessed with time: the speaker of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” keeps worrying about being late, and the passage of time in general as he gets older seems to continuously haunt him. In “The Waste Land” we have another form of obsession that presents itself in form of intertexuality; the many narrators of the poem go back and forth in time and provide almost random recollections of the past or haphazard bits of literary texts that are equally concerned with time. This article aims to look deeper into the importance of the concept time in Eliot’s poetry, the two poems already mentioned as well as “Four Quartets” (in which a whole section is devoted to time and its philosophy) and then take the important works of other key figures of Modernism and the movement’s characteristics into comparison in order to determine whether Eliot’s seeming obsession is a fruit of its era or a personal motif of the poet.
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