Spiritual Crises of Human Life

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This essay is focused on the analysis of T.S. Eliot’s Waste Land and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of darkness and would discuss the themes of these two very important literary masterpieces of the 20th century…

Introduction

With strong historical and literary allusions, the poem could be considered as religious but seems to have gone beyond religious connotations to explain the search for meaning in human existence. The poem deals with the ultimate journey of the human soul searching for its own redemption and release from the meaninglessness of life. The spiritual crisis of human life and existence is evident from Eliot’s poem as the focus of his poetry. The consequences of a spiritual crisis could only be understood comparatively considering other poems and writers of his time and the general influence of this pattern of thinking on literature and life in general. The Waste Land begins with the famous first line, ‘April is the cruelest month’ and ends with ‘shantih, shantih, shantih’. Despite its historical allusions, the poem is contemporary as it does not seem to follow the traditional approaches to poetry. This is particularly evident from the first part of the Waste Land which is divided into five parts including The Burial of the Dead, A Game of Chess, the Fire Sermon, Death by Water, and What the Thunder Said. The changing themes and subject matter of the poem seem to be overlapping and is obvious from the first part of the Burial of the Dead ...
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