This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Wasteland Essay

717 words - 3 pages

Throughout his presentation of London and its citizens, Eliot creates a tremendous and oppressive sense of inertia and stagnation. He evokes brilliantly both the literal wasteland which World War One left and also the profound spiritual dissatisfaction which many at that time felt, as well as the need for a rebirth or resurrection.

The first words of this section; ‘Unreal City’ convey perfectly the sense of awe and even dread with which Eliot views London life. There is something incredibly intense and surreal about this opening, which leads fittingly on to images of hell, war and dissatisfaction.

It is clear that Eliot thought much of life was going nowhere, with people, like water, moving but never reaching a true destination or conclusion: ‘A crowd flowed over London Bridge’ and he links this image in a dream-like way to Dante’s reaction to the dead in limbo:

‘So many, It had not thought death had undone so many’

That the people Eliot is describing are actually not dead, makes this all the more haunting, as though London life is actually a living death. In fact, because Dante was talking of those who even in life had never really experienced anything, Eliot also conveys a chilling sense of dissatisfaction and isolation, with no-one ever really connecting to those around them:

’Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.’

Into this bleak vision of loneliness, the brief excitement of recognising a face in the crowd ‘There I saw one I knew, and stopped him crying “Stetson!”’ is abruptly and disconcertingly wrenched into surreality again. With the incongruous words ‘You who were with me in the ships of Mylae!’, both through the rather awkward and Latinate construction of the sentence, and through the reference to an ancient battle of 260BC, we leap into the past without any explanation. This image does, however, link to the First World War and the camaraderie which sprung up between strangers fighting among the trenches. In a shockingly casual tone, the speaker then goes on to say:

’That corpse you planted last year in your garden, Has it begun to sprout?’

as though...

Find Another Essay On the wasteland

The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot Essay

792 words - 3 pages The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot In the poem, The Waste Land, T. S. Eliot gives a primarily positive connotation by using the theme of speech, language, and failure of speech. In each of the sections, Eliot shows how speech and communication are important in life. He also shows that speech cannot always accomplish what actions can. The way the characters in the poem use speech show that speech and communication are important. A Game of Chess

The Great Gatsby and The Wasteland

1219 words - 5 pages The Great Gatsby and The Wasteland Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby and Elliot’s The Wasteland are two stories that similarly express the modernist post-war disillusionment. Both stories comment pessimistically on the direction that our world is moving in from the post-war modernist perspective. Both men looked past the roaring twenties, and realized that this time period was actually a moral wasteland. The final paragraphs of The Great Gatsby sum

Chapter Eight: War on the Wasteland

1065 words - 5 pages Chapter Eight War on the Wasteland When they engaged in battle, the youngsters’ weapons wreaked havoc on the creepy skeletons. Immediately, swords were blocked, spears were knocked aside, and the skulls, spines and limbs of the first wave of manic monsters that stood in their way flew up into the air in a fresh shower of sand and bones. Quickly, more of the corpses moved in to challenge them, eyes shining out of their sockets in the heat of

Analysis of The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot

2288 words - 9 pages Analysis of The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot Q5 "Much of what Eliot writes about is harsh and bleak, but he writes about it in a way that is often beautiful". Comment fully on both parts of this assertion. Most first time readers of Eliot's work would, probably, agree that his poems read as bleak and depressing. They would also say that many of his poems portray society as having a terminal illness, but when we look deeper you can see

Modernism in T.s. Eliots's the Wasteland

1152 words - 5 pages Modernism in T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" Modernism has been defined as a rejection of traditional 19th-century norms, whereby artists, architects, poets and thinkers either altered or abandoned earlier conventions in an attempt to re-envision a society in flux. In literature this included a progression from objectivist optimism to cynical relativism expressed through fragmented free verse containing complex, and often contradictory

Description of five places in "The Wasteland"

738 words - 3 pages disease. The wasteland is not a clean place.RocklandRockland has no water. Without water, there is no life. There is no vegetation or signs of growth it is static. Even when it thunders, there is no chance of a storm because it never rains in Rockland. When one visits Rockland, they match their surrounding. Water escapes them and one cannot even spit or sweat in Rockland.It is solely rock and mountains of rock. A sandy road winds up the sharp mountains

The Absence of Fertility in T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland"

2645 words - 11 pages Written in the 1920s, this T.S. Eliot poem describes the modern world as a wasteland in the aftermath of World War I. Literally, "The Wasteland" refers to the battlefields of France, where French and British troops fought the Germans, and have been transformed into muddy graves. Figuratively, Eliot captures the emotional and spiritual despair that had been evident in Europe but became augmented by the deaths associated with WWI. For many, it was

The True Wild West: A Violent, Godless Wasteland

2021 words - 9 pages The True Wild West: A Violent, Godless Wasteland As defined by Edgar Roberts setting is “the natural, manufactured, political, cultural, and temporal environment including everything that the characters own. Characters may be either helped or hurt by their surroundings and they nay fight about possessions or goals” (Roberts 109). In Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West, this setting is the focal point. Every

Daisy Buchanan: the True Inhabitant of the Wasteland in "The Great Gatsby"

625 words - 3 pages Daisy it the true inhabitant of the wasteland because of the fact that even though she’s being betrayed by her husband and has been throughout their entire marriage she still stays with Tom even though Daisy has another man, Gatsby, that truly loves her and would be loyal to Daisy. The only reason why she doesn’t go to Gatsby is because Daisy wants to keep her social standing with “old money” even though Daisy might be unhappy having the last

T. S. Eliot's "The Wasteland"

1774 words - 7 pages T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" has been named the most important poem ever written. Many have also said that it is the most influential piece of literature ever to come out of the Western Cannon. However, at the same time, there are those that claim that it is simply given too much meaning and yet others to claim that it is simply plagiarism because of the numerous references and allusions. There is one thing that no one can deny though, and

The World as a Wasteland: A Comparison of Two American Modern Poets, Robert Frost and Langston Hughes

2322 words - 9 pages on a Snowy Evening” with “Birches” by Robert Frost and “Theme for English B” with “Visitors to the Black Belt” by Langston Hughes. Both authors express their world as a wasteland; their environments are portrayed in poor or discouraging light due to human intrusion, or lack thereof, within their communities. Modernist Poetry involves a movement away from the self and the emotions of the individual. Typically, the focus of Modernist poetry

Similar Essays

Complexity In The Wasteland Essay

1229 words - 5 pages In The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot paints a bleak picture for his readers. Despite the vagueness that is present in his work, it is still obvious that Eliot's feelings concerning the state of the world are not exactly passionate. The complexity in his work signifies the growing difficulty of the world that he criticizes. Through his eyes the world is a very debasing place. The downfall of the world stems from the lack of compassion from its

T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland Essay

1314 words - 5 pages T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland Traditionally, authors begin their compositions at the beginning and then proceed to an end, creating a logical flow of information towards a conclusion. T.S. Eliot threw most traditional form out the window as he composed The Waste Land. The voice changes, the structure varies, his allusions are elusive, and the first section of the poem is entitled “The Burial of The Dead.” This of course does not speak to a

T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland Essay

3458 words - 14 pages T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland 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

The Wasteland And The Matrix Essay

1798 words - 8 pages Samantha Jacinto Professor Fewer English 241 Term Paper Historically speaking the fate of world has always been called into the question. The same is true of commentaries on the state of mankind. T.S. Eliot’s "The Wasteland" is considered by many to be the greatest poem of all time. During Eliot’s time, the world was beginning to place more value on pop culture than high culture. Gone were the days where most were familiar with the