Elliot’s “The Waste Land.” Each author highlights the meaning of rivers; Crane begins with the East River, which then grows into the Hudson and onto the Mississippi and Eliot with the River Thames. To each author the river has a distinct meaning. To Eliot, the River Thames is symbolic of the collapse of western civilization, which doesn’t factor into Crane’s piece. In “The Waste Land,” Eliot-like most British poets-immortalize the Thames. Despite how he depicts this, in the modern world it is just a dirty river. Eliot’s background causes him to symbolize the Thames differently than a reader would in the U.S. Similarly, a reader outside of the U.S. will symbolize the East, Hudson, and Mississippi Rivers completely different than Crane and other Americans. Foster believes that the connection in how one interprets a symbol, and their personal background goes hand in hand. Otherwise, everyone would connect the Thames to Eliot’s beliefs, or the Mississippi and Hudson according to Crane’s ideas. Rather Foster believes that it is important for a reader to have the freedom to interpret the text
The Waste Land, written by T.S. Eliot, is poem portraying the lack and/or the corruption of culture in England during the post WWI period. Eliot uses a form of symbolism, in which he uses small pieces from popular literary works, to deliver his message. He begins by saying that culture during the post WWI period is a “barren wasteland.” Eliot goes on to support this claim by saying that people in England are in a sort of shock from the violence of World War I. Eliot believes that the lack of culture open doors for immorality to grow among the populace.
The world was de-scribed as a wasteland. The term comes from T. S. Eliot poem The Waste Land, one of the most important poems of the 20th century, which illustrated the omnipresent confusion. The Waste Land was not only a cultural desert. It was described by Currell as “a cultural detri-tus” where the past and present interfere with each and produce chaos. The poem presents the world as barren and infertile but with a chance for a revival. Parts from the text perfect-ly mirror the mood of the Twenties; living in a culture which will not expire, but marked by decay and forced to continue in the shadows of its former glory. However, the term “waste land” is also adequate to portray the people. Its civilization, described as lost, is in a con-stant search for meaning in the wilderness of ideas and faith (2009: 37). The waste land is in their bodies and minds; they suffer from impaired communication abilities and seem to forget their humanity. People are frozen in a sexual failure, a moment of
T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land explores modernism, specifically focusing on the troubling of binaries and the breakdown of the traditional. The boundaries between life and death, wet and dry, male and female, and more are called into question in Eliot’s conception of modernity and the waste land. The blurring of gender boundaries—significantly through Tiresias and the hooded figure scene in “What the Thunder Said”— in the poem lends itself to Eliot’s suggestion that traditional masculinity breaks down and decays in the waste land. Traditional masculinity is further challenged through Eliot’s criticism of hyper-masculinity and heterosexual relations in the modern era through allusions to the myth of Philomela and the “young man carbuncular” scene in “The Fire Sermon.” Along with this, Eliot stages scenes charged with homoeroticism to further challenge ideas of traditional masculinity. Homoerotic scenes such as the “hyacinth girl” scene in “The Burial of the Dead” and the Mr. Eugenides scene in “The Fire Sermon” suggest an intensity and enticement towards male-male relations, while also offering a different depiction of masculinity than is laid out in the heterosexual romance scenes. Through scenes depicting queer desire and homosexual behavior, Eliot suggests that masculinity in the modern era does not need to be marked by aggression and
This will not be a physical journey, but this was his life journey. The wise men, in the Bible, went out to find Jesus, their savior. With Eliot being the wise men, or magi, and Jesus also being his savior, this poem in its entirety is an allusion to the Christmas story. He was empty with no hope after the war; it was “The very dead of winter.” (5). The winter was a symbol of where he was emotionally in his life. Identically,
The end of The Hollow Men can only be the beginning of a deep and long reflection for thoughtful readers. T.S. Eliot, who always believed that in his end is his beginning, died and left his verse full of hidden messages to be understood, and codes to be deciphered. It is this complexity, which is at the heart of modernism as a literary movement, that makes of Eliot’s poetry very typically modernist. As Ezra Pound once famously stated, Eliot truly did “modernize himself”. Although his poetry was subject to important transformations over the course of his
Message of Hope in Eliot's The Waste Land, Gerontion, and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Cooperation is the key to human survival, and over time humans have been known to group together to survive. This strategy has allowed humans to develop massive cities and countries of immense power. Without the natural instinct to cling to one another, humans would not be as advanced as they are today, and may not have even made it out of the caves. Many authors display our natural instinct to cooperate in their works, allowing the characters to become more real to the readers.
T.S. Eliot in the twentieth-century wrote what is today widely-regarded as one of the most important text of modernist poems, “The Waste Land.” This poem evaluates many aspects of ancient and contemporary culture and customs, and how the contemporary culture has degraded into a wasteland. In “The Waste Land,” Eliot conjures, through allusions to multiple religions and works of literature in five separate sections, a fragmented and seemingly disjointed poem. Eliot repeatedly alludes to western and eastern cultural foundation blocks to illustrate the cultural degradation prevalent in the modern era of England. One specific eastern example is brought up in the third section of the poem, which T.S. Eliot names “Fire Sermon,” an allusion to
This reinforces Eliot's claim that, 'Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood'. The theme's that run throughout 'The Wasteland', such as sterility, isolation and death, are applicable to both the landscapes and the characters. When drawn together, it is these themes that give the poem structure and strength, and the use of myth mingled with historic, anthropological, religious and metaphysical images reinforce its universal quality.
T. S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland” depicts a definitive landscape of desolation, reflecting the damaged psyche of humanity after World War I. Relationships between men and women have been reduced to meaningless social rituals, in which sex has replaced love and physical interaction has replaced genuine emotional connection. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” goes a step further in depicting these relationships: the speaker reveals a deep sexual frustration along with an awareness of morality, in which he is conscious of his inability to develop a connection with women yet cannot break free from his silence to ask “an overwhelming question” (line 10). “The Wasteland” and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” together illustrate that
In this discussion of Eliot’s poem I will examine the content through the optic of eco-poetics. Eco- poetics is a literary theory which favours the rhizomatic over the arborescent approach to critical analysis. The characteristics of the rhizome will provide the overarching structure for this essay. Firstly rhizomes can map in any direction from any starting point. This will guide the study of significant motifs in ‘The Waste Land.’ Secondly they grow and spread, via experimentation within a context. This will be reflected in the study of the voice and the language with which the poem opens. Thirdly rhizomes grow and spread regardless of breakage. This will allow for an
In T.S. Eliot’s most famous poem The Wasteland, a bleak picture of post-war London civilization is illuminated. The inhabitants of Eliot’s wasteland are living in a morally bankrupt and spiritually lost society. Through fragmented narration, Eliot recalls tales of lost love, misplaced lust, forgone spirituality, fruitless pilgrimages, and the “living dead”- those who shuffle through life without a care. These tales are the personal attempts of each person to fulfill the desires which plague them, though none ever stop to consider that what they want may not be what they need, nor do they consider why it is they feel they must do these things. Through studies in Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic perspective
Eliot’s creative use of poetic form is one of the hallmarks of “The Wasteland” and greatly contributed to the overall tone and mood. The structure of the poem is uneven and almost discordant. It rapidly transitions between various unrelated scenes at a rapid pace. For example, “I read, much of the night and go south in the winter/What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow…” (19-20) illustrates an abrupt shift in the setting which includes the speaker, time, and place. In the first line, the reader is listening to the story of Marie. In the second line, however, the reader has been transported to a desert: a literal wasteland. This choppy stream of images emphasizes a message about society: like the poem, society does not progress smoothly and can even be unpredictable.
This epigraph may serve as a way to connect with a certain group of scholars, as not many people speak the language it is written in, however, when it is read in its original context it may mean that Eliot does not foresee a very bright future, which would be in tune with the rest of the poem, furthermore this reference strongly hints at the use of tarot cards and the notion of randomness in the rest of the poem. The fact that this epigraph is in a foreign language greatly contributes to the theme of the poem and is therefore discussed in the next section of this paper. Followed by the epigraph is a quotation from the Anglican burial service, which serves as the subtitle of the first part of the poem: “1. The Burial of the Dead”. This leads us to additional intertextuality,