T. S. Eliot, Aunt Helen (P. 17):
Aunt Helen, by T. S. Eliot, describes the death of Eliot’s Aunt Helen. Eliot describes the “silence at the end of her street.” Which refers to the emptiness that people felt without Miss Helen Slingsby. Eliot then tells the readers that the people of the town overcame Miss Slingsby’s death. Eliot makes the reference of time passing possibly to explain how people moved on after Miss Singsby’s death. We see the passage of time in “The Dresden clock continued ticking on the mantelpiece.” This implies that although the town initially felt empty without Helen Singsby, eventually as time passes, people begin to move on. Eliot tells how his aunt has four housemaids. Eliot expresses people’s ability to forget about Helen by describing a sexual act between two of Miss Slingsby’s housemaids. The footman is described “Holding the second housemaid on his knee,” while “the shutters were drawn.” Eliot uses this potentially to express the sadness he felt about the death of his Aunt. It’s possible that when his Aunt first died, Eliot felt a crippling loneliness. But as time passed, his Aunt became a figment of his memory.