A Personal Connection to Art

Identify a work of art that for you holds a personal connection or significance. Select one of the following quotations and write an essay explaining how your chosen work of art does or does not support the quote.

“Art is coming face to face with yourself.” – Jackson Pollock

“The task which the artist implicitly sets himself, is to overthrow existing values, to make of the chaos about him an order which is his own, to sow strife and ferment, so that by the emotional release those who are dead may be restored to life.” – Henry Miller

“The subject matter of art is life, life as it actually is; but the function of art is to make life better.” – George Santayana

Alienation and Helplessness

Many twentieth century artists have explored humankind’s shared feelings of alienation and helplessness. Identify a modern song that you think helps to illuminate Prufrock’s character or some of the ideas in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot.

Quote the lyrics of the song and write an explanation of how the song reflects the character of Prufrock or the poem’s themes.

Help with analysis of Prufrock:
Summary
etext of poem with a few hyperlinks
The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Study Guide
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Study Guide & Essays
The Prufrock Papers
THOMAS STEARNS ELIOT: 1948 Nobel Laureate in Literature
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948:
T.S. Eliot

A Study of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Literature Essay
Help finding song lyrics:
eLyrics

Help with quibbling about the human condition:
recall Honour and Certainty in Hamlet

Help with Modernism:
Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (Nu descendant un escalier), 1912

Prufrock Worksheet

Introduction to Modernism Research Topics

Inside Poetry

Artist: Crash Test Dummies
Title: Afternoons & Coffeespoons

What is it that makes me just a little bit queasy?
There’s a breeze that makes my breathing not so easy
I’ve had my lungs checked out with X rays
I’ve smelled the hospital hallways

Someday I’ll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I’ll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Times when the day is like a play by Sartre
When it seems a bookburning’s in perfect order –
I gave the doctor my description
I tried to stick to my prescriptions

Someday I’ll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I’ll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Afternoons will be measured out
Measured out, measured with
Coffeespoons and T.S. Eliot

Maybe if I could do a play-by-playback
I could change the test results that I will get back
I’ve watched the summer evenings pass by
I’ve heard the rattle in my bronchi …

Someday I’ll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I’ll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Afternoons will be measured out
Measured out, measured with
Coffeespoons and T.S. Eliot
(2x)

The Artist in Society – Alone, Isolated, and Alienated

Northrop Frye, the famous Canadian literary critic, said “…we may come to realize that two essential facts about a work of art — that it is contemporary with its own time and that it is contemporary with ours — are not opposed but complementary facts.”

Tennyson‘s “Lady of Shalott” and Elton John‘s “Candle in the Wind” reinforce this statement.

Write a persuasive essay convincing the reader that the plight of the artist in society has not changed over the centuries — that to be a master in a field is to be alone, isolated, and alienated.

The Lady of Shalott: Study Guide

The 5 Paragraph Essay (template)

Separation from a Loved One

Compare and contrast how the following two poems deal with the theme of separation from a loved one:

Focus on such aspects as imagery, symbolism, archetypes, mood, and characterization. Quote directly from the poems to support your points.

Intro to John Donne

Forbidden Morning: Study Guide

Inside Poetry

The River Merchant’s Wife: Study Guide
The River Merchant’s Wife: Better Study Guide

The River Merchant’s Wife: Example Critical Essay