4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2015
    1. Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together

      In this final section of the poem, Eliot conveys the ambiguity and alienation of identity. To be exiled is to be stripped of your humanity. Eliot conveys this idea in several ways; by use of imagery and language techniques.

      Firstly, the image of the 'third walking beside you' is one that is hard to picture due to the lack of description. The 'third' appears almost like a silhouette or a shadow, which in itself creates its own connotations. Is the 'third' a replication of the character walking? or perhaps they are symbolic of the consequences of being exiled. Interestingly, the 'third' is not given a gender, we cannot tell 'whether a man or a woman' and therefore is presented as simply a 'thing'. It is this ambiguity which alienates this figure from what is happening in the poem. Readers cannot connect with the 'third'. However, we are forced to view this ambiguous figure as part of the group due to the use of the word 'third'. They are neither part of nor not a part of the party and therefore are in an inbetween state

      Image Description

      In a poem that is packed with voices and narrations, this 'third' is not given any direct speech. Instead we are introduced to this silhouette through the eyes of a persona. Not only has the 'third' been stripped of identity and gender identity, but also speech, both within the poem and in the explicit words on the page.

      As the speaker walks through the ‘unreal city’ of London in THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD, he comes into contact with ghostly figures. London is populated by the dead. Each man ‘fixed his eyes before his feet’ in a synonymous manner. These men embody the ambiguity shown by the ‘third man’ and represent this sense of exile. Eliot’s use of language heightens this further with the inclusion of ‘dead sound on the final stroke of nine’. What is dead sound? And why is nine the final stroke? His diction choices convey a sense of death and banishment. The poem is ‘haunted’ by these ghosts just as the speaker is haunted by the ‘third man’ in the final section.

  2. Oct 2015
    1. Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit There is not even silence in the mountains

      The description recalls someone who has been exiled from civilization and forced to wander a wasteland of sorts

    2. (And I Tiresias have foresuffered all

      Tiresias was transformed into a woman for seven years, a sort of "exile" from his/her original gender/identity. Could this also be a commentary on losing one's sense of masculinity in the modern age?

    3. If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said. Others can pick and choose if you can’t. But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling. You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.

      Lil's problems with her husband Albert reflect a superficiality and conflict of values in the modern/urban age, which can alienate/exile a person if they fail to meet those expectations. A similar problem arises in Elliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"