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T S Eliot's The Wasteland - Essay Example

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The Waste Land – A Set of Separate Poems – A study Thomas Stern Eliot is one of the leading names in the modern movement between 1910 and 1930. The modernists demolished all received definitions of what art is. They all contrived to make it new. In the themes and style Eliot has been termed as a difficult poet…
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T S Eliots The Wasteland
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Download file to see previous pages S. Eliot and it was the most widely discussed poem for several years. Eliot has compressed into this poem the immense panorama of vainness and chaos, which is contemporary history. It is a dramatic expression of the emotional barrenness of an age devoid of real purpose, an age haunted by fears. However, it can never be treated as a whole but fragments of thoughts which together amalgamate in the protagonist Tiresias. There is so much complexity and disorganization about the poem that it has been said that it is a set of separate poems. It is true that each movement can to some extent be regarded a poem in itself. It lacks unity but it is an organic whole and its full significance can be understood only if it is viewed in this light. The structure of the poem is exceptional, but there is an underlying unity. The poem embodies the immense panorama of the infertility of the modern world and a celestial apparition of spiritual sterility in a complex manner. The five parts of the poem are interdependent and the structure of the poem can be regarded as dramatic in one sense. The five parts can be regarded as the five stages in the development of the plot of a drama. Even though there is no regular development of the plot, we have the exposition, rising action, crisis (in Part iii), falling action and resolution .The technique might be regarded as that of the music of ideas. The central themes are stated in the first movement, especially the empty routine of life, the barrenness of the land, for example “for you know only A heap of broken images, where the sun beats And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief …” and the sterile burning of passion , for example ” you gave me hyacinths first a year ago “They called me the hyacinth girl Yet when we came back, late, from the hyacinth garden , your arms full and your hair wet , I could not Speak and my yes failed, I was neither …..” These themes are developed with variations in the second and third parts. The first section points that modern life is one of sexual hostility, and seduction becomes a sinister part of life of love and sex and death of the partly loving men and women. Eliot’s notes refer to a scene in which a young wife whose husband is away on a journey is seduced by the duke while her native mother who is supposed to be protecting her is entertained by a procuress in a game of chess in which the moves ambiguously refer to the seductions happening offstage. Thus “jug” “jug” is associated with the seduction and rape of Philomel. “The rats’ alley” and the wind under the door speak of death in life and the gloomy state of affairs in waste land. “Hurry up please it’s time,” which signifies that it is high time that the waste land woke to the cruel actualities of life. The third part is the central important and climatic part of the poem. It opens with a reference note to the autumn, which is the forerunner of the winter – the death of the year. The “twit twit twit” again highlights the seduction of Philomel. But towards the end, we can read the calling for “burning” which is preparation for positive attitude towards life. Part IV is short and slow – a kind of pause before the impressive culmination in the fifth part. If fire is the symbol of destruction, purification water is also the same. In fact water is the traditional symbol of purification regeneration and sexual procreation. The five movements are held together by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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