The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot

1017 Words Jan 27th, 2018 4 Pages
Eliot’s most famous poem “The Wasteland,” a grim picture of post-war London is analyzed as being the most important poetic work of the twentieth century. The first glance at this poem leads one to the conclusion that the content of this piece is bleak and depressing. The assumption can be made that Eliot has diagnosed his society with a terminal disease, which he chooses to describe through his poem. After further analyzing “The Wasteland” it can be seen that out of the dust of this barren place there shines a light of hope. “In this decayed hole among the mountains/In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing”(361-62). The decaying world being serenaded by the grass under the moonlight reinforces the idea that out of desolation, something wonderful can be found or created. Eliot scatters “The Wasteland” with motifs in the setting that directly contrast to the fertile periods of society in previous years. Eliot intentionally manipulates an obscure water motif in order to illustrate nature and life. Just like water is constantly altered in structure through its path, Eliot’s poem continually changes due to his literary structure of writing: stream of consciousness. It is strange to think of a description of a barren land being writhe with water. Eliot discusses a drought in a desolate dessert, yet also talks about the abundance of it in the drowning of the Phoenician Sailor. He seemingly contradicts himself in his discussion. Water is a symbol of fertility, how can this…
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