T.S. Eliot's "The Wasted Land"



T. S. Eliot, perhaps one of the most controversial poets of modern
times, wrote what many critics consider the most controversial poem of all,
The Waste Land. The Waste Land was written using a fragmented style. This
is a style that is evident in all of Eliot's writings. There are several
reasons for his using this approach, from a feeling of being isolated, to a
problem articulating thoughts (Bergonzi 18, Cuddy 13, Mack 1745, Martin
102).
What influenced Eliot the most in writing poetry was a book he read
written by the English critic, Arthur Symon, titled The Symbolist Movement
in Literature. This book is about French symbolist writers of the 19th
century. From this book, the ...

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their thoughts (Bergonzi 7, 50, Cuddy 30,
Mack 1743, Martin 41, Unger 8) .
Henry James influence on Eliot's poetry is evident in the Jamesian
qualities he uses. For example, the opening verse of The Waste Land ends
with the Jamesian note, "I read, much of the night, and go south in the
winter" (Mack, 1751). Although Lafourge, Conrad, and James were used as
sources for Eliot when he composed poetry, there is still a distinct
Eliotic quality whenever his work is read (Bergonzi 7, 50, Cuddy 55, Mack
1743, Martin 41, 97, Unger 10).
When Eliot began to compose The Waste Land, he used all the
different themes, techniques, and style's he had been developing to this
point. The Waste Land is developed entirely using fragments and quotations.
This is symbolic of his despair in succeeding in ever fully articulating
meaning. Although it is fragmented, it also reveals moments of continuity
and wholeness quantified with recurrent themes of time, alienation,
isolation, ...

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it would solve the ill's of
civilization. His feeling's towards sex was that casual sex is "having sex
for the sake of sex" (Martin 108). It is evident in The Waste Land that
sex has been dehumanized, no one enjoys it, it appears to be portrayed as a
chore. This is obvious in verses II and III. In verse I, "The Burial of
the Dead", Eliot allows an exception. In this verse I see the hyacinth
girl as a woman of beauty and sensuality. However, in verses II, "A Game
of Chess" and III, "The Fire sermon" , I fail to see where anybody is
enjoying sex. It appears that they are having sex for the duty and not the
pleasure, even though there appears to be no reason, such as bearing ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 6/10/2007 08:22:16 AM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1478
Pages: 6

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