Friday, August 2, 2019
Wasteland by TS Eliot :: essays papers
Wasteland by T.S. Eliot The driving force of all life is procreation and re-birth. For mankind, vegetation, the animal kingdom, the survival of the species is the dominant factor and only the fittest survive. For millennia, different races have believed that the fertility of the land depended on the sexual potency of their ruler or favour of their gods. Pagan, Roman, Greek and other gods have been invented who were believed to control the fertility of the land, such as Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, on which the survival of their populations has been believed to have depended. Various superstitions and religions have further developed and become significant factors in the lives of billions of the world's population. The Waste Land takes these themes and portrays a dead land that lacks the fertility and sexual potency needed to sustain and progress life. A land void of what is needed for re-birth. The 4 life-giving elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Earth is sterile; Air is turned to "brown fog"; Fire burns; Water drowns. The sexual imageries are unproductive: sex is present as a lustful functional device but lacking of the necessary fertility. Superstitions are turned to by the society in search of the answer in the form of Tarot cards and religion is a constant thread as evidenced by the recurring Biblical references and themes. In The Burial of the Dead we see that he gives us an image of the Earth as sterile, instead of being the foundation of vegetation. It is only a repository for the dead. Earth is the 1st. of the 4 natural elements. These 4 opening lines echo the "April", "root", "Lilac/flower", and "rain/shower" imagery of the 4 opening lines of The General Prologue of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. These lines are reflecting the image of life and death. Rain usually nurtures and strengthens plants and sustains them, but here we see that life even with water is slowly dying and wasting away. He later goes on to say that the trees will give no shelter and the crickets, no relief. This line comes from Ecclesiastes 12:5-7: "Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets. Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Posted by r at 4:57 PM