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Robert A.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: M.Litt English: Modern & Contemporary Literature & Culture (Masters) - St. Andrews University

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About me

About Me:

I am a postgraduate student at the University of St. Andrews reading for the M.Litt in Modern & Contemporary Literature & Culture, and I also hold a Bachelor’s Degree in English with TEFL. I have always been passionate about literature and look forward to sharing that passion with you. I read widely and possess a broad knowledge of literature, the arts and humanities.

I am friendly, patient, and am a qualified TEFL teacher with classroom experience. I understand that different people learn in different ways, and I will work with you to find what works best for you.


The content of the sessions will be guided entirely by you, and I will be here to answer your questions, break down and explain complex ideas, and point you in the direction of further reading that will deepen your understanding of a given topic. I am also able to offer advice regarding academic writing, including essay planning and structuring; developing a confident writing style; and SPAG.

Success in the humanities is all about developing your ability to think critically, and my tutorials will aim to encourage this, fostering independent thought that will serve you well both in your exams and throughout your academic career.

University Applications:

I have completed the University application process twice and I know what a nightmare it can be. I am more than happy to offer advice and share techniques to help you create a successful application, and write a personal statement that highlights your strengths and achievements.

What’s Next?

For any further queries please send me a message or book a ‘Meet the Tutor Session’, both available through this website.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Subjects offered

English A Level £24 /hr
English Literature A Level £24 /hr
English and World Literature A Level £24 /hr
English GCSE £22 /hr
English Literature GCSE £22 /hr
English and World Literature GCSE £22 /hr


English with TEFLDegree (Bachelors)1st
Disclosure and Barring Service

CRB/DBS Standard


CRB/DBS Enhanced


Ratings and reviews

5from 1 customer review

Erin (Student) April 11 2016

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Questions Robert has answered

Analyse F.R. Leavis’ description of ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ as being ‘a complete break with the nineteenth-century tradition’.

In 1932 F. R. Leavis described Prufrock as ‘a complete break with the nineteenth-century tradition, and a new start.’[1] CertainlyPrufrock is written in a distinctly modern form. The metre is languid and complex, open to variation and interruption, sometimes hesitant, and sometimes abrupt. The...

In 1932 F. R. Leavis described Prufrock as ‘a complete break with the nineteenth-century tradition, and a new start.’[1] Certainly Prufrock is written in a distinctly modern form. The metre is languid and complex, open to variation and interruption, sometimes hesitant, and sometimes abrupt. The poem is misleading, setting up certain expectations, and then subverting them. The famous opening lines:

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table;[2]

subvert the reader’s expectations of both form and content. The fairly conventional opening couplet is followed by the unusual image of an etherized patient, which also breaks up the series of couplets which make up the rest of the stanza. While John Stuart Mill’s described of poetry as ‘overheard speech,’[3] can often be  readily applied to nineteenth-century poetry; Prufrock is better described as overheard inner speech,[4] fragments of thoughts, dream, and memory shifting in and out of focus, held in delicate balance. Prufrock himself has been described as not so much a character, as a consciousness; rising and falling.[5] An interest in the internal voices and struggles of characters is a common theme in modernist writing, as opposed to nineteenth century descriptions of the external challenges characters face.[6]

                However, although the poem is overtly modernist in its form and themes, Prufrock is not without its ties to tradition. Throughout the poem, Eliot makes reference to a wide variety of literature, including works by Dante, Shakespeare, Hesiod, Ecclesiastes, Marvell and Donne, Chaucer and The Gospels.[7] When Eliot refers to a ‘simultaneous order’[8] of literary tradition in Tradition and the Individual Talent these works are all part of the canon of literature he is referring to. Eliot’s use of quotation has been described as a way of connecting his poetry to tradition.[9]  Quotation may be used either to defer to the sources authority, or to subvert it through mockery. Eliot’s use of quotation is interesting as it is often highly ambiguous whether he is intending to defer to or subvert the authority of the literature he quotes; and in fact often appears to be doing one whilst doing the other.[10] His poetry at times appears both conforming, and aggressively challenging tradition.

[1] F.R Leavis, “‘Prufrock’, ‘Portrait of a Lady’, ‘Gerontion’ (1932),” in “Prufrock”, “Gerontion”, Ash Wednesday and Other Shorter Poems: A Casebook, ed. by B.C Southam (London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press Ltd, 1978), pp. 119–127 (p. 119).

[2] Eliot, The Waste Land and Other Poems, p. 3.

[3] John Stuart Mill, “Thoughts on Poetry and Its Varieties,” Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (The University of Texas) [accessed 5 November 2013].

[4] Hammer.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Jeremy Hawthorn, Studying the Novel, 4th edn (London: Arnold, 2001), p. 60.

[7] B.C Southam, ed., A Student’s Guide to The Selected Poems of T. S. Eliot, 4th edn (London: Faber & Faber, 1981), pp. 39–43.

[8] Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, p. 38.

[9] Hammer.

[10] Ibid.

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2 years ago

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