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C:\Documents And Settings\Student\Desktop\The Waste Land


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paraphrase of the whole poem.

paraphrase of the whole poem.

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  • 1. ‘ The Waste Land’ by T.S.Eliot
  • 2. About T.S.Eliot
    • Dominated the English literary scene & tried his hand at poetry, drama and criticism.
    • Became a part & parcel of the literary tradition.
    • Critic of the age.
    • Influenced by The English Metaphysical Tradition, Symbolist movement, poetry of Dante, Existential philosophy, Philosophers of the Orient, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Tradition & Theology.
  • 3. The Waste Land
    • Probably the best known, published in October, 1922 in ‘Criterion’ and in the ‘Dial’ in November 1922.
    • The Title: From Miss Weston’s book, ‘From Ritual to Romance’.
    • The Epigraph: from ‘ the Satyricon’ , a satire of the poet Petronius.
    • Poem divided into five sectios.
  • 4. First section: The Burial of The Dead
    • Tiresias reflects the sterility of the modern waste land in the month of April; as Eliot says,
    • “ APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
    • Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
    • Memory and desire, stirring
    • Dull roots with spring rain.”
    • Chaucer’s ‘Prologue to the Canterbury Tales’
  • 5. Second section: ‘The Game of Chess’
    • The poet shows the spiritual and emotional sterility through the description of sexual intercourses.
    • Through different study of myths, Eliot wants to convey the message that if sex is served for momentary pleasure, it become the source of degeneration & corruption and it results in spiritual death& decay.
    • Five times the following line occurs;
  • 6. Third section: ‘The Fire Sermon’
    • The theme: passion & sensuousness in human nature are the sources of misery & suffering.
    • The game of sex is played again by various characters presented in this section.
    • Influenced by St. Augustine’s ‘The Confession’ & the doctrines of Buddha.
  • 7. Fourth Section: ‘Death by Water’
    • This section describes the possibilities of becoming free from fire of passion’ not by self-discipline but by water which washes away all the stains of the body & soul.
  • 8. Fifth section: ‘What the Thunder said’
    • The speaker turns from the water & attempts to achieve salvation by coming under the shadow of religion, but even religions are spoiled by waste land.
    • At the end, the poem shows the way of release is in the wisdom of India.
    • “ Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
    • Shantih Shantih Shantih.”
  • 9. The Main Themes of the Poem
    • F.R. Leavis: “ the disillusionment of a generation” “ a sigh for the vanished glory of the past”.
    • Living death of modern waste Landers.
    • Contemporary Disintegration: Sexual Perversion.
  • 10. Other Observations:
    • ‘ The Waste Land’ as a Dramatic monologue. Tiresias as a mouthpiece.
    • ‘ The Waste Land’ as a social document.
    • Nihilism in ‘The Waste Land’