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Parallel Studies in American/Afro-American Literature, Part Ii: “Black and White Images in Alienation,” by Robert Johnson Moore


Guide Entry to 79.01.08:

This unit, in keeping with the purpose of its antecedent developed last year, points out parallels in selected writings of white and Black American writers who, under the same canopy of creative and humanistic expressions, share interests in the same themes, experiment with similar writing styles, and find themselves facing the same artistic conundrums. This particular section examines the theme of alienation in the poetry of T. S. Eliot and LeRoi Jones. Hardly contemporaries, these two poets from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds are spiritual kinsmen-soul brothers—for their visions of the modern age interface on the same plane. Whereas Eliot was the prophet of the apprehensive twenties, of its innate fear of a technological age on the brink of war, Jones became the oracle of the explosive sixties, of its rage at an extensive world that systematically exploited black people. A careful study of the poetry of Eliot and Jones reveals that one decade was the harbinger of the other.

(Designed for high-ability Juniors and Seniors in English III and IV; demands a keen interest in poetry.)

Key Words

Eliot T S Poetry Alienation Theme Jones LeRoi Literature American Afro-American

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