Nurten Bayraktar is a Research Assistant in the department of English Language and Literature in Cappadocia University, Turkey. She is a PhD candidate in the same department of Hacettepe University, Turkey where she completed her master’s degree with a thesis on the relations between objects and human in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Orlando. Her academic research focuses on modernist women poets and novelists, object-oriented ontologies, corporeality, and posthumanism. She is currently a member of the Modernist Studies Association and Modernism and Postmodernism Studies Network in Turkey.
Trans-Corporeality Opposed to Dead Matter in T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
This paper looks at the use of objective correlative from the perspective of trans-corporeality and argues that T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915) challenges the concept of biological and spiritual death as Prufrock’s continual sensory experience of the environment regulates his physical, social and psychological status. Inspired by the complex representations of body in Modernist poetry, I examine Prufrock’s bodily responsiveness in relation to objective correlative as a poetic strategy compatible with Stacy Alaimo’s idea of trans-corporeality which explores body’s engagement with and within the environment. The objectiveness of Eliot’s strategy corresponds to that any existing entity has a body. The idea of trans-corporeality which positions body in an incessant interaction with and within the environment, which is composed of some other bodies, provides the correlativeness. The use of objective correlative as a connection between matter and poetic meaning in “Prufrock” disclaims death as his body maintains the connection through an openness to the material vibrancy of the environment. Prufrock’s feelings are not confined to his corporeality but furthered to other material bodies because he does not only consist of cells and tissues but also a human being within the environment where all relations are politically, socially, economically and psychologically complex.