T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare

Extract of sample
T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland"

wall" he knew why, and as a consequence of what violent death and what illicit amour, the pestilence had fallen on the unreal city, but declined to tell. In the Odyssey he "walked among the lowest of the dead" and evaded predicting Odysseus death by water; the encounter was somehow necessary to Odysseus homecoming, and Odysseus was somehow satisfied with it, and did get home, for a while. In the Metamorphoses he underwent a change of sex for watching the coupling of snakes: presumably the occasion on which he "foresuffered" what is tonight "enacted on this same divan or bed." He is often the prophet who knows but withholds his knowledge, just as Hieronymo, who is mentioned at the close of the poem, knew how the tree he had planted in his garden came to bear his dead son, but was compelled to withhold that knowledge until he could write a play which, like The Waste Land, employs several languages and a framework of allusions impenetrable to anyone but the "hypocrite lecteur." It is an inescapable shared guilt that makes us so intimate with the contents of this strange deathly poem; it is also, in an age that has eaten of the tree of the knowledge of psychology and anthropology ("After such knowledge, what forgiveness?"), an inescapable morbid sympathy with everyone else, very destructive to the coherent personality, that (like Tiresias years as a woman) enables us to join with him in "fore suffering all." These sciences afford us an illusion of understanding other people, on which we build sympathies that in an ideal era would have gone out with a less pathological generosity, and that are as likely as not projections of our self-pity and self-absorption, vices for which Freud and Frazer afford dangerous nourishment. Tiresias is he who has lost the sense of other people as inviolably other, and who is capable neither of pity nor terror but only of a fascination spuriously related to compassion, which is merely the twentieth centurys special mutation of ...
Download paper


S. Eliot called the Collected Poems: 1909-1962, and of that larger poem it may be said that it has a dramatic completeness, if not an aesthetic unity. One should like to pursue the distinction by considering that…
Author : nanderson

Related Essays

Why is the subject of water so prevalant in T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland"
Is Eliot speaking of the human soul as a wasteland In this paper I will try to address this question, and thereby also explain why the concept of water is so prevalent in the poem; if one interpretation of the poem is that he is trying to show humanity and its spiritual beliefs have become a wasteland, that it has lost its spirituality, its connection to the divine, then we can look at water as a metaphor for that spirituality and thus the lack of water throughout the poem assumes a greater significance.
10 pages (2510 words) Essay
T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland"
"What Tiresias sees," Eliot tells us, "is the substance of the poem." But it is the nature of Tiresias' vision that is our concern.
4 pages (1004 words) Essay
T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land"
Attractive to current readers insofar as it resists coherence, the poem has lately been interpreted as a critique of literary and sexual proprieties. It lacks "respect for tradition, " is fascinated with "mutation, degradation, and fragmentation, " split between a longing for "'improper' sexual desires" and a wish to be "rid" of them. (Charles W. Pollard, 2003, pp 90-110).
2 pages (502 words) Essay
God in the Wasteland by David Wells
This contextual idea is mainly attributed to the fact that these religions acknowledge the spirituality and sanctity of the presence of Jesus Christ as the set forth Son of God. This spiritual title is concrete supported by the facts explicitly presented in the texts of the Holy Bible.
13 pages (3263 words) Book Report/Review
T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Alfred Prufrock; 2. The way the two questions are answered matters; 3. The poem could be autobiographical if Prufrock is young and if middle-aged why would a young poet be interested in a middle-aged narrator; 4. There are similarities with the poem "Portrait of a Lady" if the narrator is young and less similarities if the narrator is middle-aged; and 5. If Prufrock is young there are thematic similarities with the characters in "The Waste Land" in relation to sexual experience but there will be no similarity if the narrator is middle-aged.
6 pages (1506 words) Book Report/Review
Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!