T.S.Eliot: The waste land

Elementi biografici di T.S. Eliot e saggi critici, The waste land (4 pagine formato doc)

Appunto di yeppahyeppah


Thomas Stearns Eliot.

Life. He acquired British citizenship. He was very appreciable.
The conversion. His production can be divided into two periods: before and after the conversion to Anglicanism. But it is not only a religious conversion, he changed his vision of life:
he saw at first life as empty, which cannot give anything to man (it is a negative vision), he gave an image of emptiness, sterility. He talked about ALIENATION, which means detachment or isolation from other people.
[The Waste Land, 1922]
Then, after his religious conversion he expressed his new/positive vision of life: his hope for new values. What was in common with people was the lack of communication. He expressed his hope for a better life for a search of new values.
Critical essays
Eliot was very influential both as a poet and as a critic.
According to Eliot, who shared with Joyce the same view, poetry has to be impersonal and objective and must separate "the man who suffers" from the " the mind which creates". This was Eliot's situation: he suffered with his life, he separated his private life from his job
The poetry arouses from personal experience which is expressed in impersonal way.
The characters. They represent the 20th-century ordinary man. They are not specific.

Thomas Stearns Eliot: tesina in inglese


THE WASTE LAND - What does waste mean?
It means sprecare, perdere, abandoned, without inhabitants/people, without vegetation, trees, life, with no water, a land which is not cultivated; that is why we may think of a desert.
Adjective concrete     Noun abstract
Dry    Aridity
Plane    Monotony
Depressing    Depression
Solitary    Isolation
Empty    Emptiness/void (vuoto interiore)
Sterile/barren    sterility
Waste could also mean rubbish. According to Eliot the waste land is a land inhabitant, as London, full of people, crowded with people, but anyway this place has the same feature of  a real waste land/of a real desert. So his world is characterised by aridity, monotony,…
Aridity    Spiritual aridity, there is not/there is a lack of spiritual life
Sterility    Lack of spiritual creativity
Monotony    Life is monotonous because life is a routine, a mechanical sequence of events (birth, reproduction, death)
Depression    Unhappiness
Isolation    Inability to communicate
Void    Lack of moral values and also religious sense.


This vision of life is pessimistic but also realistic, with a bit of exaggerations (the extreme situation is no real).
The Waste Land express how Eliot considered London, it is a typical example of modernist art. We cannot define this poem but we can define it in a negative way: it is not lyrical, not romantic, not narrative. In fact it seems a sequence of broken images, of flashes where past and present are mixed up.