T.S Eliot-"The Wasteland"
In T.S Eliot's wide-ranging poem "The Wasteland," the reader journeys through the industrial metropolis of London by means of multiple individualistic narratives concerning the inert existence of those living in a place consumed by a fast paced economy. Eliot focuses on the negativity that a cold and synthetic setting can impose on the natural human qualities of a society, almost completely wiping out necessary characteristics like compassion and enthusiasm. The city is no longer composed of healthy interwoven relationships, but is instead transformed into a secluded society lacking commonality and teeming with lives and voices that do not interact or mesh with one another. Eliot's representation of urban life shows the pangs of a "community" enveloped by impersonal commerce, where the vital morals of togetherness and love for your fellow man are replaced by the cold harsh reality of fast paced industry. Eliot's main concern is that in the name of industrial progress we will cause irreparable damage to the natural traits of healthy human beings, thus involuntarily crippling ourselves for the sake of economic prosperity. In de-emphasizing innate human qualities such as compassion and enthusiasm, the inhabitants of the city are killing the essential building blocks of human relationship. Maginn 2
Without a tightly knit population, people are forced into solitary thought, which results in interaction only with ones self. The satiating comfort of community is replaced with the fear and anxiety that isolation instills. Among the many multifarious and volatile narratives that start off this poem, Eliot takes a seemingly mundane commute of mechanistic employees and relates it to the dehumanization of workers in society. Here we are introduced to a group of people trotting along on the way to work as one indistinguishable mass; lost in the routine actions a city bent on economic growth feeds them. They are no longer distinct...
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