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      • Given Eliot’s perception of Western civilization as a barren, lifeless, and sterile cultural landscape, a blasted trackless desert world, an inferno world, the poem uses water to suggest at once both reanimation and also (ironically) death. Here, water is at best a desperate hope, at worst, an agent of destruction.
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  2. Despite the title of Eliot’s poem suggesting drought and desert landscapes, The Waste Land is full of water-symbolism. There is the drowned Phoenician sailor, Phlebas, in the section ‘Death by Water’; there is the coming of the rain in the final section, ‘What the Thunder Said’, and there is the recurring figure of the River Thames ...

  3. Expert Answers. Water has two distinct, contrasting meanings in the poem. "The Waste Land" is, first and foremost, a re-imagining of the Fisher King myth. This narrative is all about sterility...

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    It is difficult to tie one meaning to ‘The Waste Land‘. Ultimately, the poem itself is about culture: the celebration of culture, the death of culture, and the misery of being learned in a world that has largely forgotten its roots. Eliot wrote it as a eulogyto the culture that he considered to be dead; at a time when dancing, music, jazz, and othe...

    Part One: Stanza One

    Immediately, the poem starts with the recurring imagery of death: ‘April is the cruelest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain.’ Note the cadence of every –ing ending to the sentence, giving it a breathless, uneven sort of reading: when one reads it, there is a quick-slow paceto it that invites the reader to linger over the words. The use of the word ‘winter’ provides an oxymoronic idea: the idea that cold and death c...

    Stanza Two

    Here is another of Eliot’s allusions, ‘son of man/ you cannot say or guess’, which is directly lifted from The Call of Ezekiel in the ‘Book of Ezekiel’. The religious allusion could be considered a response to the vast technological advancements of the time, where science was taking great leaps; however, the spiritual and cultural sectors of the world were desolate. ‘A heap of broken images’ shows the fragmented nature of the world and the snapshots of what the world has become to further pin...

    Stanza Three

    Cleanth Brooks writes: “The fortune-telling of “The Burial of the Dead” will illustrate the general method very satisfactorily. On the surface of the poem the poet reproduces the patter of the charlatan, Madame Sosostris, and there is the surface irony: the contrast between the original use of the Tarot cards and the use made by Madame Sosostris. But each of the details (justified realistically in the palaver of the fortune-teller) assumes a new meaning in the general context of the poem. The...

    From the Modernism Lab at Yale University: “Eliot’s Waste Land is I think the justification of the ‘movement,’ of our modern experiment, since 1900,” wrote Ezra Pound shortly after the poem was published in 1922. T.S. Eliot’s poem describes a mood of deep disillusionment stemming both from the collective experience of the first world war and from E...

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  4. T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" is considered one of the most important poems of the 20th century, as well as a modernist masterpiece. A dramatic monologue that changes speakers, locations, and times throughout, "The Waste Land" draws on a dizzying array of literary, musical, historical, and popular cultural allusions in order to present the ...

  5. John Burling LITERARY THEOLOGY IN FERNANDO VALLEJO'S EL DESBARRANCADERO JI Engels PDF | Water is an indispensable element of human life. Although water is a familiar object of tangible reality...

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