T.S Eliot’s The Wasteland, whilst being laden with rich cultural references and allusions, is a confronting representation of re-establishment and rejuvenation across the entirety of a European post-war society. Eliot addresses the cyclical nature of life and death, encompassed by carefully crafted language and structure designed to disorientate the reader. The reader is offered an interpretation of human behaviour which is akin to all beings across the cohort of society, regardless of ethnicity or social class.
There is realism to Eliot’s poetry that is confronting and unflinching, perhaps disturbing at times. While his poems are often filled with harsh imagery – imagery of death, despair and degredation –they are often indicative of his own perceptions of the changing environment around him during his time of writing, and are therefore somewhat genuine and personal. The Waste Land attempts to explore the necessity of rejuvenation in a society that Eliot considers to be tarnished and displaced, and has thus created a delicate balance between portraying a war-torn society where “the dead tree gives no shelter” and “the dry stone no sound of water”, and communicating the idea of renewal. As the poem progresses, references to season accumulate, and the reader is given a sense of cyclical, passing time. The reader is given anecdotes set in distinctly different seasons, whether they be “under the brown fog of a winter dawn”, or “[listening to] the sound of horns, which shall bring Mrs.Porter in the spring”. Such references remind the reader of two things; time is passing throughout the poem, and life is ephemeral, as can be seen in the dialogue: “That corpse you planted last year in your garden, Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?” A similar method is implemented by Eliot in The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock, where the prime focus of the poem is the passing of time and the complications that arise from its influence.
Furthermore, The Waste Land...
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