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What are T S Eliots views on tradition? And how is this shown in 'The Waste Land'?I am...

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pglenn16 | Student, College Freshman | eNoter

Posted October 27, 2011 at 11:30 PM via web

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What are T S Eliots views on tradition? And how is this shown in 'The Waste Land'?

I am supposed to relate T S Eliots 'The Waste Land' to Raymond Williams' 'Marxism and Literature'.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 27, 2011 at 11:47 PM (Answer #1)

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Eliot's views of tradition were reflected in the very disillusioned nature of the Wasteland.  Like much of Europe and the world, Eliot felt that the traditional approach to politics and national identity had led to the horror and destruction that was World War I.  The needless and horrific deaths of millions of young men, an entire generation in many people's view, was brought about by this senseless adherence to the tradition of noble warfare and fighting or dying for one's country.

This is shown through the images and themes of the poem.  Human bodies that are serving as the fertilizer for plants and feeding the soil rather than the regular cycle of agriculture is one of the early and powerful images Eliot uses.

Eliot also used incredible variety in his style of verse, with free verse, more scripted meters, snatches of dialogue and other forms all interspersed suggesting further disregard for tradition in any form.

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