Tue. Aug 4th, 2020

Modernist Ideology in ‘Journey of the Magi’ Essay

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Modernist Ideology in ‘Journey of the Magi’ by T.S. Eliot The modernist ideology is largely philosophical but occurs along with cultural trends and changes.
The aforementioned ideology arose from the extensive transformations that occurred in the western culture during the 19th and 20th century. Characteristically, most modernist rejected the certainty of Enlightment thinking and religion.
The literacy works of this time are typical of themes that quickly associate them with modernistic ideology. They are characterized by the theme of religion and somewhat its rejection and the people’s slowness and laxity in embracing a constantly changing world creating a crisis in the normal activities of people.
The poem ‘Journey of the Magi’ by T.S. Eliot is typical of modernist ideology as it explains the turbulence that the people are faced with in the face of changing world, the people upholding religion rituals like visiting the baby Jesus and a lot more of others being quite ungrateful for God’s providence by not helping others.
The time setting of the poem alone has an element of Modernist ideology. It is set in a period in which the world was increasing embracing the Modernist ideology. The ‘Journey of the Magi’ is a poem written by T.S.
Elliot during the Modernist Free Verse Movement in 1927. The Modernist Free Verse Movement had it onset in 1920s and extends into the present post-Modernist movement (Gikandi 419). The poems that were written during the said period have a characteristic originality creating a clear distinction between them and those poems of the past.
However, the Elliot’s ‘Journey of the Magi’, at a superficial analysis, is a descriptive story of a journey to find the born Jesus, the potential savior of the world who would redeem His people.
The story serves as a metaphor for the search of meaning of life in the modern world by T.S. Elliot. It therefore, goes without saying that the ‘Journey of the Magi’ is symbolic of the humanity’s quest to unravel the meaning of the purpose of life in a constantly changing world.
Undeniably, it is the onset and the procession of the Modernist ideology that upset the life of the people journeying to see the baby Jesus. The first modernist ideology that has been explicitly expressed by Eliot in ‘Journey of the Magi’ is the idea that death precedes new birth.
T.S. Eliot had most of his poems written under the influence of religious beliefs. At the time he wrote ‘Journey of the Magi’ was still on the process of converting to the High Church of Anglicanism, also known as the Church of England.
Veterinary Colleges paints an idea of how death has a positive value but nearly all people are very unwilling to give up their present lives in order to experience what the benefits that would presumably befall really are.
In Christianity, death of a saint is often associated with positivity as the departed ascend to heaven afterwards, as Keillor explained. Ascension to heaven in addition to our very existence is the very reason for death although majority of people do not understand that.
The Christian faith teaches that God, after he had created us, put us on earth to share his very character with one another and when we finally die, we rise after sometimes for a life eternal by His side.
Therefore, the several ideas and prepositions about how it is very hard for people to acknowledge that death precedes a new birth, which is essentially a modernist ideology so clearly presented in ‘Journey of the Magi’ that it would be impeccably foolish to dispute it.
Additionally, Gikandi (420) furthers the modernity ideology of in ‘Journey of the Magi’ by using the “old dogs cannot learn the new tricks” theory. This is an old theory to human beings. T.S Eliot seemed to believe that people have a natural tendency not to evolve or change their habits. As people grow up after they have been born, they assume an inherent pattern of life that makes it virtually impossible for them to make any drastic changes. All these ideas are epitomized by the old Magus in the poem. Another school of thought, think that the old Magus in the ‘Journey of the Magi’ represents T.S. Elliot himself. Whatever the symbol, the role of the old Magus in the poem is to give representation of the old and their slowness in adapting to changes.
Further, T.S. Elliot’s belief that “true self-gratification” is an exclusive outcome of sacrifice of lust for love is in the spotlight for a bit of rigidity to be accommodative of new ideas.
The ideology of sacrificing lust for love simply implies that in order that you should gratify yourself, you got to do kind and compassionate things for other people instead of what is seemingly best for yourself.
According to Veterinary Colleges, people seeking to gratify themselves in this manner, should do it out of compulsion of love and not grudgingly. Supposing an individual wants to help themselves, then they have got to help others.
The basis ideology that assumes the control of the people’s relationship is that of “what goes around comes around”. It is a belief of T.S. Elliot’s that humanity must be kind, compassionate, sympathetic and self-controlled so that they can benefit themselves.
The society represented in the poem, have their people conscious arrested in the belief that they will only benefit indirectly helping others. Contrary to the T.S. Elliot’s idea of “true self-gratification” is the ungrateful world that the religious people with the same ideology as Elliot are to live.
The first thing that frustrates T.S. Elliot is the resistance to cooperation that he is met with in the cause of their journey to see baby Jesus. As a normal human being, such resistances always have the tendency to make you shy off from helping people and ultimately give up on them (Veterinary Colleges).
As explained in the preceding belief of “true self-gratification” giving up on helping people would obviously antagonize T.S. Elliot’s believe. The people of the cities and towns would rather be hostile and unfriendly to the extent of not helping the three wise men visiting the baby Jesus.
The people who Jesus had been born to that he should redeem them from the world, suffered from a serious lack of farsightedness of the significance with which the birth of Christ had come.
Nonetheless, to embrace the changes that the birth of Jesus was to bring, the people on their journey to see baby Jesus endured many hardships and sufferings such as lack of shelter and food and the absence of beautiful ladies to entertain them.
Their camels, too, were not left out of these misfortunes as they got very tired on the snowy way. The speaker said despite all the challenges, they journeyed on through the night in order that they might see Jesus.
That was the cost of desiring a change in status quo. According to Keillor, the highly religious ideas of Elliot’s are a symbol of his strong involvement in religious which is normally as we know, impervious to change as the beliefs are set one principles that do not change with time.
For example, for the Christian community in the world, the teaching and practices are instructed in a way that they always emulate the character of Jesus Christ as written in the Bible.
As a consequence, Christian life will have a repeat of the Bible teachings with very minimal deviations from it. That idea is against the modernity idea which seeks to embrace the changes as brought by societal factors.
T.S. Keillor agrees that Elliot’s deeply longed for a world that will lead to a better life at last. The questions about who the next Messiah would be and whether human beings can really change crisscrossed his mind.
In the same way that urge stayed in T.S. Elliot’s heart is the same way in which the whole of the world today, continuously look for a person who will save them from their past mistakes and deliver them into a new dawn where only greatness and happiness dwell.
This must be a modernity ideology that change is inevitable, not only in the heart of T.S. Elliot but also in the whole world. In conclusion, T.S. Elliot’s the ‘Journey of the Magi’ is an example of modernist ideology poem.
First it is set in 1923, a period in which the Modernist Free Verse Movement thrived so much. That is in a period in which the world was increasing embracing the Modernist ideology.
The first modernist ideology that has been explicitly expressed by Eliot in ‘Journey of the Magi’ is the idea that death precedes new birth. In the phase of modernist ideology, the world undergoes changes while the “old dogs cannot learn the new tricks” .another evidence of modernist ideology is that of “true self-gratification” which is challenged by the ungratefulness of humanity who do honey its requirements.
The highly religious ideas of Elliot’s are a symbol of his strong involvement in religious which is normally as we know, impervious to change as the beliefs are set one principles that do not change with time that characterized modern time.
Works Cited Gikandi, Simon. “Preface: Modernism in the World.” Modernism/modernity 13.3 (2006): 419-424. Veterinary Colleges. Journey of the Magi: Thomas Sterne Eliot – Summary and Critical Analysis (2016). Retrieved from http://www.bachelorandmaster.com/britishandamericanpoetry/journey-of-the-magi.html#.WBBbdebzvIU Keillor, Garrison. The Journey of the Magi, Dec 24, 2013. Retrieved from http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2013/12/24.

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