Questions and Answers for The Waste Land

The Waste Land

What does the term "Datta, Dayadhvam and Damyata" signify in the poem 'What the Thunder Said' ?

There are so many things going on in "The Waste Land" and so many literary references that it is an oversimplification to suggest one grand meaning. But in general, the 'wasteland' suggests that...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2014 11:06 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

What is the main theme in the poem The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot?

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

Describe "The Waste Land" by T.S Eliot as a modern poem.

"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

In The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, why does he say, "April is the cruelest month"?

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

What type of poem is 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

Madame Sosostris

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

Who is Tiresias, and what is his role in 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

"Those are pearls that were his eyes"—what does this line refer to?

"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

Can you tell me the meaning of the terms datta, damyata, dayadvam in The Wasteland?  

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

How does Eliot use myth and imagery in "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

What are some main figures of speech in The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot?

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

Comment on the fusion of the past and present in "The Waste Land". no

In his footnotes the “The Waste Land,” T. S. Eliot remarks upon the importance of Jessie Weston’s From Ritual to Romance for his work. Weston’s work, like Frazer’s Golden Bough, emphasizes the...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2012 4:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Write a note on symbolism in '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

What are the new poetic techniques used in 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

T. S. Eliot writes, in the opening of his epic poem "The Wasteland," April is the cruelest month, breeding...

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

Why does T.S. Eliot refer to lilacs in 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

Discuss the theme of regeneration and rebirth in The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot.

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

What is the name of the river in The Waste Land that "sweats oil and tar"?

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

What are the most notable uses of fragmentation in T.S Eliot's The Waste Land and why?

Modern culture, as envisaged by T.S. Eliot, is irredeemably fractured. In the years following the First World War, when The Waste Land was written, many of the old certainties had vanished. The...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2017 9:32 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Waste Land

In The Waste Land, what is the source of "What the Thunder Says," and what is the significance of the words "Datta,"...

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

Define "modernity" in The Waste Land.   T.S. Eliot

You are going to have give more with this question. You are dealing with a couple of elements that necessitate it. T.S. Eliot is probably one of the most complex thinkers/ artists in all of...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2010 7:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Can I have some guidance about this couplet from "The Waste Land"? "The awful daring of a moment’s surrenderWhich an...

"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

How is T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land ironic in terms of textual elements and themes that are relevant to modernism?...

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

Are there any Shakespearean elements in "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

What are some major Modernist themes found in T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land"?

One of the poem's distinctively Modernist themes is that there's always more than meets the eye, always much more going on beneath the surface. Post-war society as depicted by Eliot appears...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2018 10:23 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Waste Land

What is the significance of the Indian element in "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

What is the importance of colours in "The Wasteland"?

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

Who is the Greek mythology figure that comments on love and the relationships between women and men in "The...

The figure from Ancient Greek mythology who makes an appearance in section three, "The Fire Sermon," of T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland is the prophet Tiresias, a character who appears in Homer's The...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2018 7:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Could you please summarize the poem "The Waste Land' by T.S. Eliot?

It isn't easy to summarize this poem. There are so many images embedded, and a succinct summary will leave much out, but I will do my best for you. The first part, entitled "The Burial of the...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2009 11:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

How is the theme of social/political change on individual life portrayed in "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot?

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

Why did Eliot use the title "wasteland?"

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

Show how Eliot's 'The Waste Land' reflects a the disorder and decay of modern civilization?

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

What is the meaning of the first stanza of "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

Discuss The Waste Land, by T S Eliot, as a poem about twentieth-century concerns.

T S Eliot makes no attempt to simplify his poetry and expects the reader to approach it with an open mind. The Waste Land is typical of his style and his intention to introduce the reader to a...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2013 4:20 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

What references to death and rebirth can you find in section one of 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

What are T. S. Eliot's views on the modern world in 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

Is "The Fire Sermon" in The Waste Land a confluence of Buddhism and Christianity?

This section of the poem is definitely a confluence of Buddhism and Christianity as allusions to both of these religions are made to support Eliot's message of the sterile and unfulfilling nature...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2013 5:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Please explain Eliot's poem "The Waste Land."

The first section, as the section title indicates (The Burial of the Dead), is about death. The narrator is surrounded by a desolate land full of "stony rubbish."The next section, "A...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2008 5:03 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

Please explain the passage, "Unreal city...weekend at the Metropole" from T.S. Eliot's 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

Where can you see themes of hope and despair in "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

The Waste Land

How does the theme of The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot relate to the Freudian Theory of Psychoanalysis?

Eliot's The Waste Land can be viewed as an exploration of the mentality or collective mind of the early twentieth century, a time in which a vast upheaval occurred in the way intellectuals viewed...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2019 7:14 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Waste Land

What allusion has Eliot made to Shakespeare's Hamlet in the poem The Waste Land?

Eliot makes a reference to Shakespeare's Hamlet at the end of the section called "A Game of Chess". This part of the poem reproduces a conversation between Lil, a prematurely-aged woman with a...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2010 3:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

What is the meaning of water in The Waste Land?

Water has two distinct, contrasting meanings in the poem. "The Waste Land" is, first and foremost, a re-imagining of the Fisher King myth. This narrative is all about sterility and barrenness: the...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2010 1:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

DO YOU VIEW "THE WASTE LAND " AS A POEM OF DISILLUSION.

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

Explain the line in the first section of The Waste Land: “April is the cruellest month.”

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

How does Eliot present the predicament of modern man in 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

Why did T.S Eliot choose Marie and Madame Sosostris as figures in "The Waste Land", and what does each allude to?

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

How does Eliot use form and structure in his presentation of love in "The Wasteland"? My premise is that he presents...

In T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" love is not a benign force. The poet alludes to its effect in ancient love stories rewritten by renowned dramatists - to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, to...

Latest answer posted May 12, 2010 6:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Waste Land

Please help me find a  good critical research topic on Eliot's Waste Land? Please help me find a  good critical...

Another line you could take would be to examine the way the poem is an example of intertextuality. Eliot is famous in his poetry for making direct or less direct allusions to other works, and so a...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2011 3:34 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Waste Land

What is the structure of the poem?

Typical to his style, T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" is a long, sprawling, and almost encyclopedic work that branches through many scenes and alludes to past works on an epic scale. The structure of...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2019 8:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

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