Alienation in the Urban Environment Essay

1170 Words Oct 20th, 2012 5 Pages
Outline how three of the texts we have studied so far explore a sense of alienation for individuals in an urban landscape.
In T.S. Eliot’s “Preludes”, William Blake’s “London” and Ray Bradbury’s “The Pedestrian”, individuals are alienated in an urban environment. Alienation and isolation is evident through the contrast to monotony and the lone individuals standing out in the environment. Their existence is described and associated with a monotonous and bleak existence. Through language, alienation is emphasised by all three texts as they accentuate on the unchecked growth of urbanisation in cities and the consequences of uprising technology. . In “Preludes”, Eliot explores the idea of a monotonous existence and the alienating effect that
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However, by not following this rule, individuals become rejected and out casted from others. Eliot asserts this idea through the simile, “The worlds revolve like ancient women gathering fuel in vacant lots”, implying a sense of hopelessness through the effects of urbanisation and monotony. This sense of hopelessness adds to the isolating effect on individuals as people are desperate to seek security in routine and therefore alienates individuals in the process. T.S Eliot therefore identifies alienation of individuals through the idea of monotony and anonymity throughout city life and the negative and alienating effects it has on individuals.
Similarly, William Blake’s “London” also echoes the isolating effects in individuals from the city and urbanisation. The idea of isolation in individuals resonates throughout the poem and the concept that everyone is confined and oppressed adds to the alienating effect. This is shown through him repeatedly asserting “each charter’d street, near where the charter’d Thames does flow”. Such recurrence of the word, “charter’d”, symbolises the oppressing affects made by the city. This oppression leads individuals to feel isolated as they have no freedom, therefore alienating them. This oppression leads to loneliness in

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