Themes The Damaged Psyche of Humanity Like many modernist writers, Eliot wanted his poetry to express the fragile psychological state of humanity in the twentieth century. The passing of Victorian ideals and the trauma of World War I challenged cultural notions of masculine identity, causing artists to question the romantic literary ideal of a visionary-poet capable of changing the world through verse. Modernist writers wanted to capture their transformed world, which they perceived as fractured, alienated, and denigrated. Europe lost an entire generation of young men to the horrors of the so-called Great War, causing a general crisis of masculinity as survivors struggled to find their place in a radically altered society.
Eliot relies on literary contrasts to illustrate the specific values of meaningful, effectual rituals of primitive society in contrast to the meaningless, broken, sham rituals of the modern day. These contrasts serve to show how ceremonies can become broken when they are missing vital components, or they are overloaded with too many.
Even the way language is used in the poem furthers the point of ceremonies, both broken and not. In section V of The Waste Land, Eliot writes, "After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead" ll.
The imagery of a primal ceremony is evident in this passage. The last line of "He who was living is now dead" shows the passing of the primal ceremony; the connection to it that was once viable is now dead. The language used to describe the event is very rich and vivid: These words evoke an event that is without the cares of modern life- it is primal and hot.
These lines too seem to contain language that has a primal quality to it. From the primal roots of ceremony Eliot shows us the contrast of broken ceremonies. Some of these ceremonies are broken because they are lacking vital components. A major ceremony in The Waste Land is that of sex.
Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 >. Show in alphabetical order. Swami Vivekananda () was the foremost disciple of. The Waste Land study guide contains a biography of T.S. Eliot, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About The Waste Land The Waste Land Summary.
The ceremony of sex is broken, however, because it is missing components of love and consent. The forcing of sex on an unwilling partner breaks the entire ceremony of sex. Rape is not the only way a broken sex ceremony can take place. The broken ceremony can also occur when there is a lack of love, as shown in lines This passage describes a scene between "the typist" and "the young man carbuncular".
What passes between these two individuals is a sex ceremony that is devoid of love and emotion except for, perhaps, the emotion of lust on the part of the young man. For a ceremony to be effective, the participants have to have some degree of faith in what they are doing.
They must believe that the ceremony will result in something worthwhile. The participants in this broken ceremony had no faith in what they were doing; they were just going through the motions.
Another way that broken ceremonies broken due to lack of components are presented in the poem, are ceremonies of nature. It seems as though the waste land is always waiting for the ceremony of rain, the bringing of water, to the dry land.
For most of the poem the water never arrives because there is always something missing. In line there is, "dry sterile thunder without rain". The lack of water in ceremonies of nature that require it, lead to a broken ceremony. Clearly this is wrong, and this lack of water is a main theme, and a main broken ceremony in The Waste Land.
Conversely, ceremonies can also be broken when there are too many components in the ceremony, a something extra that serves to break them.
In The Waste Land this is demonstrated by the presence of a third person in a ceremony that should contain only two. In linesEliot presents a scene with "one too many".
For a true bond occur in a relationship there must be a true connection between two people. If one of the people in the relationship is cheating on the other, this is another example of a third person breaking a two person ceremony. In linesEliot writes, "Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead up the white road There is always another one walking beside you Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do now know whether a man or a woman -But who is that on the other side of you?
This passage shows a relationship between two people. One of them sees a third party.
It is unknown if this is actually another person as in the case of unfaithfulness or if it is a secret "wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded" that is manifesting itself as an intruder on the walking couple. Whatever it is, it is breaking the ceremony of the relationship and obviously bothers the speaker who mentions "the other walking beside you" three times in just seven lines.
Language is very important in the genre of poetry and Eliot makes good use of it to show components of ceremonies. The way the language is used in the poem creates broken parts everywhere in the poem. The repeating in lines Do you know nothing?
Do you see nothing? Do you remember nothing? Lines After theA summary of The Waste Land Section I: “The Burial of the Dead” in T.
S. Eliot's Eliot’s Poetry. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Eliot’s Poetry and what it means. Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two.
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T.S. Eliot’s poem describes a mood of deep disillusionment stemming both from the collective experience of the first world war and from Eliot’s personal travails. Born in St. Louis, Eliot had studied at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford before moving to London, where he completed his doctoral dissertation on the philosopher F.
Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin T.S. Eliot was no stranger to classical literature. Early on in his life, due to a congenital illness, he found his refuge in books and stories, and this is where the classics-studded poem The Waste Land stems from.
Drawing allusions from everything from the Fisher King to Buddhism, The Waste Land was published in , and remains one of the most important Modernist texts to date.
Ceremonies are prevalent throughout T.S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land". Eliot relies on literary contrasts to illustrate the specific values of meaningful, effectual rituals of primitive society in contrast to the meaningless, broken, sham rituals of the modern day.