The Waste Land Questions and Answers

The Waste Land

I wouldn’t feel comfortable reducing an intricate poem like “The Waste Land” to a single main theme. It might be more considerate to discuss a few central themes. You can pick the one that you feel...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2020, 1:04 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

The Waste Land

"The Waste Land" is a modern poem and also a Modernist one. While Modernism was a distinct literary movement, of which T.S. Eliot was one of the leading figures, the word "modern" appears at first...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2020, 9:05 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Waste Land

The terms "Datta, Dayadhvam, and Damyata" are from Hindu mythology, specifically from the second Brahmana. In this Brahmana, the gods ask Devas and Asuras to have self control and be compassionate...

Latest answer posted January 18, 2021, 11:17 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Waste Land

In his popular modernist poem "The Waste Land," Eliot makes various references to Greek mythology, Shakespeare, and many others, and even incorporates some Phoenician and Indian elements. He...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2019, 1:52 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

This phrase, one of the most famous in the poem, occurs in the second stanza of the first part of the poem, "The Burial of the Dead." It comes at the end of a series of images of a wasteland: "a...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2020, 1:46 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

According to Eliot, who wrote those famous opening lines to his poem "The Waste Land," April is cruel because it leaves you hoping and wishing that spring would come, but it never really follows...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2010, 1:28 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

The Waste Land is full of allusions and mentions many cities. In the fifth section, "What the Thunder Said," are the lines: Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal Of the five cities...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2020, 11:25 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Death is initially signified in the poem's title, "Burial of the Dead," and the poem continues on to deal centrally with ideas of new life coming from death -- like flowers in the spring emerging...

Latest answer posted August 2, 2015, 4:10 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

To first answer your question, one needs to understand what purpose an allusion serves in literature. According to the eNotes site, an allusion is a reference, usually brief, often casual,...

Latest answer posted October 3, 2011, 8:46 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land develops themes of regeneration and rebirth by intertwining images of death with images of life (or the potential for new life), beginning with the first seven lines:...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2020, 2:57 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

The title of T. S. Eliot’s poem suggests physical and spiritual qualities related to the overall concept of a wasteland as well as to each individual term. In general, it suggests images of a place...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2020, 7:13 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Tiresias is a blind prophet from Thebes who makes various appearances in Greek literature, perhaps most notably in Homer's Odyssey and Sophocles's Oedipus Tyrannus and Antigone. In the two plays,...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2020, 11:20 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Waste Land

"Shantih, shantih, shantih" literally means "inner peace" in Sanskrit. The words are uttered at the end of prayers in the Upshanishads, a series of Hindu religious texts. Eliot himself translated...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2020, 1:04 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

According to The Modernism Lab at Yale University, Ezra Pound "defined an epic as a “poem including history" (Lewis). The Waste Land definitely contains both modern and ancient history, as well as...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2012, 11:42 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

"The Waste Land" is written in such a way that the scattered scenes and quotations appear to be fragments left over after the total devastation of World War I. The words "Those are pearls that were...

Latest answer posted June 13, 2015, 7:02 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Symbolism is a very powerful literary technique which makes use of symbols, which means presenting something (usually simplistic, physical, material and concrete) that represents something else...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2013, 9:01 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Datta, Dayadvam, and Damyata hold out the prospect of hope—albeit remote—in the midst of the fractured post-war landscape set out by Eliot in The Waste Land. There is a lot of giving (Datta),...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2018, 9:00 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

Putting this quote in the context of what is being said in the opening part of the poem helps us understand Eliot's meaning: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land,...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2020, 12:27 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

The name of the river that sweats "oil and tar" is the Thames. The reference to the Thames can be found in the third part of the poem, called "The Fire Sermon." In this section of the poem, the...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2018, 7:26 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

Figures of speech comprise two main categories. One category twists the meaning of words to wrest a new non-literal meaning from words that, when phrased together, have a very different literal...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2012, 12:35 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

The title of the fifth and final section of The Waste Land, "What the Thunder Said," is a reference to the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Upanishads. In the Upanishads, the thunder speaks to...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2018, 11:27 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

The title comes from the myth in Jessie Weston’s From Ritual to Romance. In this myth, the genitals of the Fisher King are wounded. This affects his fertility and then affects the kingdom, which...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2011, 3:14 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

"The Waste Land" is notable for its many different voices. In presenting them, Eliot uses a poetic technique akin to polyphony in music. At most points in the poem, we're unaware of precisely who...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2018, 8:23 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

The passage in question is the opening stanza of "The Waste Land," so the words themselves serve as a kind of "April," an indication (a warning?) of what the poem will do to the mind of the reader....

Latest answer posted March 16, 2018, 4:28 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Eliot refers to lilacs at the very outset of his landmark modernist poem, "The Waste Land": April is the cruellest month, breedingLilacs out of the dead land, mixingMemory and desire, stirringDull...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2010, 5:34 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

I think we can answer this question by first understanding what the title The Waste Land means. Eliot appears to view the present as a post-historical world, as if achievement and progress are over...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2018, 5:01 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

It is important to realise the way in which this powerful work came to define Modernism as a literary movement. Indeed, some critics argue that stylistically it seeks to include all of the elements...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2013, 7:01 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

The Waste Land is often considered to be one of the most important poems of the twentieth century and the most influential poem in modernist poetry and literature. Its title, The Waste Land, is an...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2020, 1:03 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

"Death by Water" is by far the shortest of the five parts of The Waste Land. Eliot's drafts contained a long description of a shipwreck, but Ezra Pound insisted that this detracted from the force...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2020, 3:10 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

This famous poem has been the subject of much analysis and speculation. As with Eliot's other poems, there are times when the language seems very simple and straightforward, and other times when...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2018, 3:44 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

The question is good, even though I'm not sure that I would say that Eliot's long poem indeed deals with "the disorder and decay of modern civilization." Eliot doesn't seem to me particularly...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2009, 12:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

"The Waste Land" was published in 1922, only a few years after the First World War had ended. Europeans were shocked and horrified by what had happened. They had believed that they had attained a...

Latest answer posted May 25, 2013, 10:53 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

In The Intellectuals and the Masses, John Carey describes Eliot as a prime example of the modernist elite who wrote self-consciously difficult work which excludes the common reader. Allusions are a...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2020, 11:52 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

World War I had a huge impact on people. We tend to forget about how devastating that war was because of the greater horrors of World War II. Before WWI, mass destruction of people and property...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2008, 3:40 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

"The Waste Land" is a tricky compilation of Eliot's meanderings and responses to current events, mythology, and obscure texts. When faced with a difficult analysis, it may be helpful to go through...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2012, 6:14 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" was published in 1922 and reflects the unease and disillusionment in society after the horrors of the First World War. The effect of this war in particular upon the...

Latest answer posted June 10, 2018, 9:20 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Various characters in The Waste Land suffer from the loss of common meaning and shared heritage brought about by the increased atomization of post-war Western society. The typist, for example, has...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2018, 8:14 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

In T.S. Eliot's seminal work The Waste Land, which is interpreted by Eliot and critics as a treatise against the waste and devastation of World War I, the two women Marie and Madame Sosostris are...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2010, 10:47 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Bradford is a city in the north of England that increased in wealth and importance for a short time during the nineteenth century when it was a center of manufacturing, particularly of textiles....

Latest answer posted December 25, 2020, 11:45 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Eliot use the color red in various places throughout the poem: in lines 25 and 26, speaking of the "red rock," at the beginning of Section IV, "after the torchlight red on sweaty faces," and in a...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2009, 1:19 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

The importance of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land lies in its significance to modernist poetry. It is perhaps the ultimate modernist poem, with its use of fragmentation and presentation of the...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2020, 12:31 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

In addition to the references to The Tempest and Anthony and Cleopatra, there are other parts of Eliot's poem that call on Shakespeare. You can see echoes of Titus Andronicus in the poem's opening...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2008, 3:51 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

In the final stanza of The Waste Land, T. S. Eliot includes the line London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down. This is a quotation from a popular nursery rhyme, the chorus of which...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2020, 2:21 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

The Waste Land is one of the richest poetic works of the early 20th century. The obvious answer to how Eliot viewed the modern world is that, throughout the poem, he expresses his disappointment...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2012, 4:58 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

As with most modernist works, "The Waste Land" has evoked conflicting reactions from critics and general readers and commentators, in its own time and through to the present. Eliot's cousin, the...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2020, 8:00 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

“The Burial of the Dead” constitutes the first section of T. S. Eliot’s long poem The Waste Land. The meaning, as with much of The Waste Land, will vary depending on the angle and argument. To...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2020, 3:10 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

This passage comes in the third section of Eliot's "The Waste Land," which he entitled "The Fire Sermon". In this passage, Eliot is referring to being in a city (to which he also referred to in...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2010, 3:29 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

In order to answer this, we need to define our terms to orient our thinking because the terms relate to and depend on each other. Space is limited so, briefly, irony is the quality in words or...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2013, 11:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Eliot wrote this poem during the Modernist era, a period in literary history following WWI. The poem deals in death and dying, a common response to a world that has seen more than its fair share of...

Latest answer posted March 27, 2010, 9:03 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

I'm not sure that there's much in the way of hope in The Waste Land. The picture that Eliot presents of fragmented, atomistic post-war society is consistently grim, to say the least. The overriding...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2018, 11:20 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

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