Cognising Eliot's Prufrock and Other Observations Through Paratextual Elements

Fırtına, Çağan
This thesis aims to explain the cognitive effects of the paratextual elements in Eliot’s first poetry collection, Prufrock and Other Observations. It begins with an overview of the paratextual elements present in this collection, namely, titles, dedications, and epigraphs, and their functions. The study then explains the fundamentals of cognitive poetics and terminology used for the analyses of the poems, specifically, figures and grounds, cognitive deixes, and schemas and frames. After explicating how each paratextual element listed above effects the cognition of the work to which they are attached, this thesis continues with the analysis of firstly the dedication of the collection, then the titles of the poems that do not have epigraphs, and lastly the titles and the epigraphs of the poems to which epigraphs are attached. These analyses examine the cognitive effects of these paratextual elements on the reader during the process of reading the collection and investigating the potential meanings they make. This study lastly concludes with the assertions that the poems individually cannot be understood properly without paying attention to the whole collection, that paratextual elements play an important role in the cognition of literary works, and that it is not possible to draw a strict line between the paratext and the text itself.
Citation Formats
Ç. Fırtına, “Cognising Eliot’s Prufrock and Other Observations Through Paratextual Elements,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2024.