T. S. Eliot, "The Wasteland" analysis

When the question of literal development comes up, what comes to mind are the traits of French symbolist doyens such as Baudalaire, Laforgue, Rimbaud, and Mallarme. Eliot's poetic evolution is, for the most part, a mirror image of the aforementioned dazzling bohemian literary "statespersons." Despite the fact that many literary characteristics are generally connected with the four, Eliot found a means to integrate poetry with the highest conceivable intellectualism without compromising the textual sensuousness. As stated below, his painting "The Waste Land" parallels a broader societal perspective in depicting a modern society in ruins as well as a deeply meaningful and full of beauty. Eliot uses literal techniques like juxtaposition as well as a pastiche to illustrate his thoughts and opinions without straining to argue out in making his points explicit. He also adopts a character and then ascribes a trait that befits a typical modern man as described by some of his contemporaries like Faulkner as well as Fitzgerald. “Prufrock,” as a title character, is an ideal case example of overly intellectualism, solitary as well as an individual who has a lot of education but has challenges in expressing themselves to the world outside the classroom (Banerjee 574). Such are an accurate depiction of the millennial generations holding a lot of academic credentials yet are unable to show their worth in the ideal world of work contrary to elite of ancient periods.

As Eliot age so did his literary skills mature especially on ascribing to Christian teachings through the bible. His subsequent poetry dissociated from the breadth of illusion, as they were usually adapted, to a depth of analysis with an optimistic tone. Four Quartets, for instance, exploited the philosophical terrain which offers many propositions contrary to the old nihilistic approach. The prevailing socio-economic and political situations in England, in the course of the second world war, lends The Quartet, which addresses mortality, time, art and experiences issues, the much needed literary context. Other than crying foul of the ruins of the contemporary culture and praising the cultural past, The Quartets utilizes the spirituality and arts to propose ways around human limits in contrast to the theme of “The Waste Land” which is full of lamentations of the perceived cultural leakages that have befallen the modern world. To be precise, the modern formal experiments, philosophy, and logic have replaced the poet’s early pastiche techniques to favor an emergent language consciousness. The language consciousness, in turn, prioritizes sounds alongside other words noticeable properties to generate drama and musicality among other subtle literal effects.

Eliot’s style of writing was of significant influence to the British literary texts. Elliot’s poetry never distorted the western myths and literary canon producing work that is expressively composed of quotations, scholarly exegeses, allusions, and footnotes. His poem is well written in unity and coherence. In “The traditional and individual talent” work, Eliot vents massive praises to the literary traditions alluding that “the best writers are those that strive to fit into the shoes of the predecessor writers” as if literature was a kind of stream that flowed and there was an obligation, for any writer, to flow in the same river (Banerjee 575). In addition, Eliot’s literary work addressed the socioeconomic and political vices. Perhaps this is the main reason as to why it trended so much. As a result of Sir Eliot’s idea of writing poems that carried a message, poetic writers started writing poems that were coherent and full of unity (Eliot 58). Due to this abrupt turn in the style of writing, it is safe to state the fact that “The Wasteland” changed and shaped the British literary history significantly. The Waste Land, for that matter, is a juxtaposition of various element fragments of both mythic and literary traditions where sounds, as well as scenes, resonate with the modern world. What such poetic collage points at is the canonical texts reinterpretation in the historical context in the poet’s evaluation of humanity and societal shifts.

“The Wasteland” depicts an age where gender roles and sexuality per se, softened. Women had no other place other than the domestic spheres; culture never allowed an open discussion of sexuality beyond the confines of an individual’s bedroom with most of the social interactions dictated by the puritanical atmospheres. The demise of Queen Victoria in the year 1901 welcomed an era full of forthrightness and liberty termed the Edwardian age (Eliot 434). People learned to break away from the social dogmas with English women consistent in their universal suffrage rights. Other women also began to smoke in public as well as attend school up to the level their capacity could tolerate as universities started admitting women. Eliot, on the same note, depicted the dawn of the new era expressing major setbacks of the modern age inherent freedoms. The J. Alfred Prufock Love Song depicts the emasculation feelings that returning World War I soldiers elucidated on finding an entirely new state of affairs where women could take roles that were a preserve for males (Eliot 433). The Waste Land explores sexuality talking about rape, abortion, prostitution among other non-reproductive sexuality. The central character in the Waste Land, for instance- Tiresias- is bisexual drawing his transformation and prophesy powers from his sexual orientation. Through Tiresias, the author develops a whole character that unites the two genitalia into one person suggesting the unison of purpose and equality of the two genders.

The Wasteland is also significant in relation to the British literary history in that Sir Elliot exhausted fragmentation technique for the sake of illustrating the modern level of chaotic existence. In relation to other poems that were written before “The Wasteland,” it is safe to state the fact that they did not have any proper collaging pieces as well as dialogue bits, scholarly ideas, formal styles, foreign languages and tones in a single poetic work. That was a means to display the humanity’s destroyed psyche in the contemporary world when he said: “these fragments I have shored against my ruins” (Eliot 431).

On the other note, the earlier literal texts did not have a vast number of traditions and religious texts. The Wasteland is a unique long poem that was written using the styles mentioned above. Sir Elliot used a vast number of traditions and religious texts to make his poem much more interesting. In the notes to The Waste Land, Eliot describes the crucial role of the religious myths and symbols drawing examples from the fertility rituals of the early days where the land’s fertility was linked to the prevailing health status of the Fisher King (Eliot 65). The king was subsequently attached to the legends of the Holy Grail. In the later chapters of The Waste Land, the failure of rituals to succeed in their goal of healing the wasteland no matter what the author introduces as a substitute like the pagan ceremonies, Buddhist speeches as well as Hindu chants was eminent (Eliot 65). The later literary works adopt their images from the Christian epitaphs including, but not limited to the echo of the Lord's Prayer as depicted in “The Hollow Men” as well as the story of the wise men under the “Journey of the Magi.”

Despite the fact that he borrowed the idea from James Joyce, it is safe to state the fact that Sir Elliot is credited with creating emphasis and a reflection on how these styles are significant (Eliot 34). After this poem was published, more and more poetic artists in Britain and all over the World started using Sir Eliot’s styles. Slowly, the British form of writing poems began changing for the better. Basically, Even though Eliot’s poetry was exposed to massive transformation in forms and textures, there were also a lot of unifying dimensions. All Eliot’s work has a certain inclination of trying to marry the aesthetic, intellectual as well as the emotional in a manner that acknowledges past endeavors as well as the present; a style that have gained roots in the current literary texts.

Works cited

Banerjee, A. "Young Eliot: From St Louis to The Waste Land." (2016): 573-575.

Eliot, Thomas Stearns. The Waste Land (Liveright Classics). WW Norton & Company, 2013.

Eliot, Thomas Stearns. THE WASTE LAND By TS Eliot. ePubYourBook, 2015.

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