Comparison and Contrast of "Miniver Cheevy" and "The Love Song of J.
It is human nature to desire things which cannot be obtained. It is also human nature to make excuses for why they can't achieve those things. So it is natural that many writers and poets should choose to write about these desires which, for some reason or another, are never achieved. It is amazing how one writer can create a work completely different from another writer's work, yet it still shares many similarities. The style and characteristics of E.A. Robinson's "Miniver Cheevy" and T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" are similar and different in reference to allusions, the characters" attitudes, and the characters" desires.
In both "Miniver Cheevy" and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", allusions are used throughout the poem. In just two lines of poetry, Robinson uses historical, legendary, and mythological allusions: "Miniver loved the days of old/When swords were bright and steeds were prancing" (5-6). Eliot also uses mythological allusions to refer to mermaids: "We have lingered in the chambers of the sea/By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown" (129-130). Although both authors use allusions, Robinson doesn't use literary allusions like Eliot does in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock": "To have bitten off the matter with a smile/To have squeezed the universe into a ball/To roll it towards some overwhelming question" (91-93). Although both characters in these poems use allusions, Miniver Cheevy mainly refers to myth, legend, and history, while J. Alfred Prufrock refers to the Bible and to literary works.
The characters Mivier Cheevy, and J. Alfred Prufrock both have similar attitudes when it comes to life. They both have defeatist attitudes that keep them from succeeding in life. Miniver Cheevy spends all of his time wishing that he were living in another time. He believes that he drinks too much because he belongs in another time: "Miniver Cheevy, born too late/Scratched his head and kept on thinking/Miniver coughed and called it fate/And kept on drinking" (29-32).