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The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot

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Length: 1512 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Orange      
Price: $6.95
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The Waste Land, a 434-line modernist poem by T.S. Eliot revolves around a world of what seems to be chaotic and dead, and led by a single protagonist. Throughout The Waste Land, there are many uses of symbolism with tarot cards, astrology, and especially the game of chess: The game of chess is such a meaningful symbol throughout the story, that metaphors are used to describe the situation and emotions of the characters throughout the poem by describing them as chess pieces and in check-mate situations. After considering the game of chess, and comparing to T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, the reading changes and it makes the reader view the poem as a game of life and death; a poem of survival, where less meaningful people and things must sacrifice themselves to save what matters most to them.
Beginning the second part of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land is a Game of Chess. This section focuses on two opposing scenes, one of high society and one of the lower classes. The first half of the section portrays a wealthy, highly groomed woman surrounded by marvelous furnishings. As she waits for a...


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...other. The second part of the poem is more metaphorical of the pawns and other pieces (knights, castle, and horsemen). Lil, one of the women, must make a life sacrifice of keeping her money, but losing her husband, the king. Or Lil can save her king if she invests in fixing her teeth. Even the bartender plays a role as the opponent when he hurries’s the girls up to leave, make their next move. Symbolism in the game of chess is a large metaphor throughout the section that changes the reading from a complex story, to an informative game of chess.

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