T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land"
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'Waste' can mean both a dry, infertile, inhospitable place, or the failure to make productive use of one's resources. This paper examines how T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Waste Land", embodies both of each seemingly diametrically opposed concepts to describe the social, cultural and spiritual dislocation in Europe following the First World War. Although modern life and culture may be seen to suffer from exile in a land of waste, such eras may be cyclical, and his brilliant use of fragmentary allusions suggests that the best of the past may foreshadow a brighter future.
From the Paper:"By setting 'Waste' off as a separate word from 'Land', Eliot suggests to the reader that the various meanings of the term are key to an understanding of his message. Rather than referring to a wasteland (in the conventional sense of "desert"), the poem instead centers on the concept of a land both of desolation and of conspicuous, indiscriminate consumption, a land whose resources are not utilized but rather discarded on a purulent cultural garbage dump. The rich allusions within the poem both contrast and relate these seemingly opposed concepts. The first segment, 'Burial of the Dead', introduces the theme of the turning of the seasons, and more importantly, the theme of cyclical regeneration. In nature, waste is irrelevant. Although death occurs in all forms of life, the bodies of the dead furnish the hope of renewal to other living creatures. "
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T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" (2006, December 01) Retrieved May 23, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/t-eliot-the-waste-land-89026/
"T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land"" 01 December 2006. Web. 23 May. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/t-eliot-the-waste-land-89026/>