The Waste Land By. Eliot

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The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot, is a journey through the arid, unproductive modern world. This poem was written post World War I when the world was still recovering. Evidence of the war could still be seen. The ground was still battle worn, and man still broken of spiritual guidance. This current state of being is what fueled Eliot’s writing. Through the poem, he connects the conditions of modern society to an infertile world void of water and spirituality. Despite the desert-like setting, there are countless images of water throughout the writing with numerous ways to illustrate them. Water plays many roles in the poem as we see its raw power. It can hurt as well as help. There is also fear of too much or too little. The portrayal of the water shows similar qualities to that of spirituality. The poem links them together to almost flow in the same manner. Water in The Waste Land can then be symbolized to a god-like figure; being the bringer of birth, fertility, death, and resurrection – hope.
The depiction of water fluctuates during the entirety of The Waste Land. We see the images shift from birth, fertility, infertility, death and resurrection. In the beginning of the poem, we see the first appearance of water in the form of the first spring rain. This rain is attempting to bring new life to the ground, but only manages to kick the dust up. In lines 19-24 and 331-359, Eliot describes the dryness of the terrain, the lack of water, and the unproductivity present. These

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