Analysis Of Eliot's The Waste Land

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Eliot’s The Waste Land is often a confusing and difficult poem to understand. However, in terms of its style and content, it is clear that the poem speaks about the decay of the periods culture. The Waste Land is a eulogy to the decaying society of modern Europe post-World War One. Eliot’s use of fragmentation made him infamous in the literary world; and it is through this use of fragmentation that we the learned find it very daunting to appreciate. The poem consists of five sections, all of which have different meanings and themes at their centre; and fully detailed footnotes that justify Eliot’s reasons for using such themes. At the outset of The Waste Land we are met with an image of death, ‘April is the cruellest month, breathing/Lilacs …show more content…
Here we are face with ideas that love, beauty, and nature are all factors given to us by God. In The Waste Land, Eliot references this by asking us to appreciate what God has given us because it very easily vanishes from our lives. The main idea behind Tristan und Isolde is that love is what causes us all trouble in the first place even though death usually unites grievers. Through this, we are left with the message that we should celebrate death instead of love. Eliot uses it in The Waste Land with the idea of welcoming death. Through further reading of the poem, it is recognised that Eliot alludes to Charles Baudelaire’s Fluer de Mal (Flowers of Evil), by inserting the sentence ‘Unreal City’. Although Baudelaire is considering the landscape of Paris, Eliot uses this in reference to the bleakness and coldness of London City and Bridge and its nightmarish landscape post-World War One. ‘Mylae’ alludes to the naval battle between the Carthage and the Romans and Eliot uses it to highlight the events of the war in Europe. He illumines the idea that we as humanity have never changed and therefore, the manner of death shall never change …show more content…
There appears to be an emptiness to his idea of extravagance, whereby he references jewels, vials of ivory, and coloured glass. This style and form insinuates that these items are of an empty richness. Further on in the stanza Eliot renames ‘Mysterious Rag’ to ‘Shakespherian Rag’ to emphasize the death of traditional culture in modern Europe, and, we the readers are able to assume it is an allusion to Shakespeares The Tempest. Eliot may be referring to rising popularity of jazz music and dance in the way that The Tempest is plagued by merciless storms. It becomes obvious throughout the poem that possibly the lack of direction and purpose are the root causes of modern society’s madness, and this causes the poem to further plunge into the use of fragmentation. The following lines illustrate this perfectly: ‘the hot water at ten. / And if it rains, a closed car at four. / And we shall play a game of chess, / Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door’. It is as if Eliot believes that peoples day to day lives are no longer planned out, but, their days now only consist of moments, hence, their lives also have a sense of

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