Death, Disillusionment, and Restoration in Eliot's "The Waste Land"
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The paper analyzes how T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" poem expresses sorrow, focusing on the death, desolation, and decay that exists in the world. The paper points out that the decay is associated with the modern life and the aftermath of war, and shows how in all four sections of the poem, the poet's mood and tone is one of pessimism and hopelessness. The paper notes that Eliot does not provide any answers because he is not sure there are any; the world he knows does not give him reason enough to believe that it can save itself.
From the Paper:"Decay is prevalent in the poem and it is associated with the modern life. The first section of the poem takes place during winter, indicating a cold and grim environment. The first lines invite the reader into the poem with gentle images of steaks cooking only to move to more shocking image. Brooks writes this section "develops the theme of the attractiveness of death, or of the difficulty in rousing oneself from the death in life in which the people of the waste land live. Men are afraid to live in reality. April, the month of rebirth, is not the most joyful season but the cruelest" (Brooks). This evening that began with a nice mood eventually becomes dirty and there is not solace from it. Even in nature during this month of rebirth, the leaves are grimy and they "Clutch and sink into the wet bank" (Eliot 2). Leaves and bits of newspaper swirl around feet like trash. These images represent things that are old and useless. They are nothing more than bits and pieces of the past. Nothing is alive in this environment and the dead tree "gives not shelter" (23), just as the dry stone does not."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Brooks, Cleanth. `The Waste Land': Critique of the Myth, in his Modern Poetry and the Tradition, The University of North Carolina Press, 1939. Literature Resource Center. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. http://go.galegroup.com
- Eliot, T. S. "The Waste Land." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Paul Lauter, ed. Lexington: D. C. Heath and Company. 1990. 1312-26.
- Poquette, Ryan D. "Critical Essay on 'The Waste Land'." Poetry for Students. 2004. Literature Resource Center. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. http://go.galegroup.com
Cite this Poem Review:
Death, Disillusionment, and Restoration in Eliot's "The Waste Land" (2013, June 03) Retrieved May 31, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/poem-review/death-disillusionment-and-restoration-in-eliot-the-waste-land-153441/
"Death, Disillusionment, and Restoration in Eliot's "The Waste Land"" 03 June 2013. Web. 31 May. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/poem-review/death-disillusionment-and-restoration-in-eliot-the-waste-land-153441/>