T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land - The Most Influential Work in Modern Literature

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T.S. Eliot’s "The Waste Land" - The Most Influential Work in Modern Literature

T.S. Eliot’s "The Waste Land" is considered by many to be the most influential work in modern literature. First published in 1922, it captures the feelings and sentiments of modern culture after World War I. Line thirty of "The Waste Land," "I will show you fear in a handful of dust," is often viewed as a symbol of mankind’s fear of death and resulting love of life. Eliot’s masterpiece—with its revolutionary ideas—inspired writers of his era, and it continues to affect writers even today.

In the first two lines of "The Waste Land," Eliot says, "April is the cruellest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land" (l. 1-2). Eliot shows the connection between
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Not everyone appreciates life after suffering the death of someone close to him. After the death of Mary, Ade is forced to leave the mission. A few weeks later, Santigie must also return home after the death of his father, Chief Bombolai. The "Brothers Three," seemingly separated forever, are not appreciating life more than they did before. Each boy is dead to the others; none of them believe they will ever see each other again. After several months, however, the "Brothers Three" are reunited. They promise to always stay together, and each boy has an optimistic outlook on life again.

Eliot’s own pessimism toward life amid the destruction of World War I is evident throughout most of the poem. He uses many dark images to suggest death and brokenness, but Eliot contrasts those depictions with pictures of life and energy. In the second stanza of section one, Eliot vividly describes a desert wasteland. A few lines later in the same stanza, he depicts a young "hyacinth girl" (l. 37) and a lush garden full of flowers. These two contrasting images of life and death are mirrored in the final pages of No Past No Present No Future. Ade and Bodil move Denmark after their engagement. A few days before the wedding, Bodil receives a letter informing her of Ade’s affair with another woman. Throughout their relationship leading up to this point, Bodil has stuck by Ade’s side and been his life support; without her, things would
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