T.S. Eliot's Wasteland- Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By tlack2
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“Life without passion would be a dull wasteland of neutrality, cut off and isolated from the richness of life itself.” (Daniel Goleman) In T.S, Eliot’s, the Wasteland, the modern city is depicted as dark and hopeless, lacking any passion and characterized by lifelessness. Through his bleak description of the modern day man, Eliot is able to express his feelings of disgust towards the modern world. He feels alienated from this world in which the living dead roam, communication has been butchered, gender identity has been lost, and the carnal human has come to rule. The modern world, he believes, is corrupt to the point of no hope. Through his use of allusion and descriptive diction Eliot creates for the reader this wretched and lifeless modern world through the looking glass of his own perceptions and emotions. Eliot believes that the modern world is in a state of Purgatory in which all humanity has been lost. He relates London to Dante’s Inferno. In the Inferno, Virgil guides Dante into the center of the earth where he finds the devil. In the devil’s mouth are Brutus, Cassius, and Judas, three great betrayers who will forever reside in the infernal world. With this allusion, Eliot is suggesting that Londoners are betrayers against the good of society; against what is right. The modern man is like a dehumanized drone wandering the wasteland in cyclical toil. Man walks around seemingly dead; however, not only are the people damned, but the modern city as a whole is damned. Similarly, in the movie, Chinatown, the dehumanization and objectivity of society results in an utterly damned city. A mysterious city that undergoes an ever-running cycle of bleakness in which no one can ever escape its dark and incestuous grasps. The description of the human body in the above instances serves to describe the lifeless and depressing modern world. Eliot also believes…...

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