Write a note on symbolism in 'The Waste Land'?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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 (spiritual, much deeper, immaterial, even invisible sometimes). Because of the complex use of symbolism in The Waste land by Eliot, the work has been subjected to different interpretations by different people, and considered incomprehensible sometimes. Needless to say that in such a case, controversies arise and the probability of wrongly interpreting the symbols and the whole of the work itself increases. To elucidate symbolism, we need to uncover the hidden meanings.

In The Waste Land, Eliot makes use of old myths and legends to draw symbols from. I will mention only a few randomly selected ones. Spring and winter denote the birth and death cycles, or growth and decay, for...

(The entire section contains 450 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Already a member? Log in here.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on