November 28, 2021

Understanding Dissociation of Sensibility

The literary world is full of words and meanings that are easily relatable but not understandable. A mere combination of the prevalent words can give something not so familiar in the world of literature.

Delving deep into this ocean, you will find many such terms that are used in different ways in this field of literature.

Therefore, it becomes essential to clearly understand all these terms so that the novice working in the literary field can do so without any Homework Help USA

The icing on the cake is that writers devise several new terms while working on their case studies or research papers. These terms are particular to their creation and idea, and after that, the entire literary world associates that term with the writer.

For example, the famous phrase willing suspension of disbelief was used by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his Biographia Literaria, and anyone who uses the term now knows its meaning as Coleridge gave it.

In a similar sense, the phrase ‘dissociation of sensibility was used by Thomas Stearns Eliot in his essay The Metaphysical Poets, written in 1921.

Eliot said that the metaphysical poets of the 17th century like John Donne, Andrew Marvel, and others, like the Elizabethan and the Jacobean dramatists, possessed such a sensibility that could overshadow any experience.

These abilities of the poets were difficult as well as simple, artificial yet fantastic. According to Eliot, thought was an experience integrated with a bodily response;

for Eliot, Tennyson, and Browning were not great poets since they failed to transmit their ideas into emotions. He said that thoughts alone do not make a great poet.

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He said these poets do not feel their thoughts as immediately as the ‘odour of rose’. Therefore, in his essay, Eliot differentiated between intellectual and reflective poetry.

To further understand this concept, we first need to know what metaphysics were and the metaphysical poets.

Metaphysical poetry was a poetic style that employed figurative language to convey a meditative process in a poem. This type of poetry usually talked about the out-of-the-world experience and hinted at something sublime.

John Donne is said to have been the originator of such poetry. Metaphysical Poets were a group of 17th-century poets who employed the style of John Donne, that is, the same poetic procedures and imagery,

both in the religious and the secular poetry. Prominent poets in this field were Andrew Marvell, Henry Vaughan, George Herbert, Richard Crashaw and others.

In his Discourse Concerning Satire, John Dryden said that Donne affects metaphysics in his poetry; that is, he employs the techniques and terminologies of the medieval Scholastic scholars.

In the category of metaphysical poetry, this extension given to other poets was done by Samuel Johnson in 1779 in his Life of Cowley.

Donne wrote poems that were in stark contrast to the general Elizabethan theme of love. He went against the rich mellifluousness and idealized form of human nature. His poems were also opposed to the cavalier poets who wrote during his times.

In contrast to his contemporaries, Donne wrote poems that seemed like the actual give-and-take of speech. His poems were mainly organized in an argument posed to a reluctant mistress or God or death or even to himself.

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While composing his work, he employed subtle and outrageous logic and was realistic, ironic and sometimes even cynical. Whether writing poetry of love or intense religious experience, he was always witty, using paradox, pun, simile and metaphor along with what is popularly known as a metaphysical conceit.

These poetic devices and procedures of Donne’s have been adopted by his successors as well as his contemporaries, whom the historians have grouped as metaphysical poets.

These poets were famous in their times and gained a sudden elevation after World War I. The concepts of dissociation of sensibility set in the world of poetry since it was advent in the 17th century.

This dissociation of emotions and sensuous perception from intellect was in hands by the influence of John Dryden and John Milton, and the later poets who wrote in English did the activity of thinking and feeling but not as unified sensibility.

This is what Eliot stated in his The Metaphysical Poets. This distinction of Eliot had a great vogue, especially among the American new critics.

This feature of dissociation of sensibility weakened most of the poetry between John Milton and W. B. Yeats. This feature was attributed mainly to the scientific conception of reality as a universe that is material in nature and stripped of human values and feelings. This is how it saw its development in the 17th century.

Eliot had stated in his claim that this mechanism of sensibility was lost, but the later poets and overall tried to explain the enormous changes that occurred in the field of poetry after the advent of metaphysical poetry.

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Dissociation of sensibility has soon become a widely debated topic among various critics and thus a steaming topic for research paper writings. Eliot is this tool added to this world of literary criticism and gave a new direction to it.

With time Eliot’s conception of this sudden feature of dissociation of sensibility attracted a strong criticism on the ground that the idea is an invalid historical claim that was solely contrived to give support

to Eliot’s disapproval of the course of English political, intellectual and religious history after the Civil War of 1642; as well as to support and rationalize Eliot’s poetic references.

Thus, Eliot said that metaphysical poetry was difficult to define since it marked individual differences among poets, what was common to all of them was the dissociation of sensibility,

and Eliot did the task of rehabilitating these metaphysical poets. Therefore, this was all about dissociation of sensibility, sufficient enough to provide Assignment Help USA to learners..

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