T.S. Eliot’s "The Waste Land" is considered by many to be the most influential work in modern literature. First published in 1922, it captures the feelings and sentiments of modern culture after World War I. Line thirty of "The Waste Land," "I will show you fear in a handful of dust," is often viewed as a symbol of mankind’s fear of death and resulting love of life. Eliot’s masterpiece—with its revolutionary ideas—inspired writers of his era, and it continues to affect writers even today.
In the first two lines of "The Waste Land," Eliot says, "April is the cruellest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land" (l. 1-2). Eliot shows the connection between death (emptiness) and life (fulfillment). Flowers and trees awaken and grow after the long, harsh winter months. The plants receive nutrients—and life—from the decayed remains of past vegetation. Yulisa Maddy’s No Past No Present No Future begins with the same ideas of new life beginning out of death. Joe Bengoh, after witnessing the fire that destroys his house, mumbles, "My parents dead?" (3). His callous words hardly conceal his true feelings of contempt for his parents. Joe’s suppressed jubilation is apparent in his next few thoughts. He thinks that, after the tragic death of his parents, Father O’Don will surely accept him at the mission house. In an attempt to make himself look troubled and distraught, Joe sticks his finger into his mouth and then rubs his eyes. Joe "kept on doing this until his eyes went red and felt as if he had been crying" (6). Joe ends up being accepted to the mission house, and he becomes inseparable from his new friends, Ade John and Santigie Bombolai. Joe’s new, positi...
... middle of paper ...
...ecognize these changes in his work.
The works of Ernest Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald follow Eliot’s, and America’s, ideas and trends. Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms (1929) also deals with World War I and the modern ideas toward sex. Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925) portrays the alcoholism and sexual promiscuity of the Jazz Age. In No Past No Present No Future, The "Brothers Three" use alcohol and drugs quite frequently, and they all tended to sleep around as well. The revolutionary ideas described in Eliot’s "The Waste Land" influenced many great writers in the past and continue to have an impact on authors today.
Bible, The. New International Version. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1996.
Eliot, T.S. The Waste Land, Prufrock and Other Poems. Mineola, NY: Dover, 1998.
Maddy, Yulisa Amadu. No Past No Present No Future. Oxford: Heinemann, 1996.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot is considered an open text that could be regarded as a seminal piece of modern literature. By the term modernism, Graff (in Barth  cited in Collins, 1992, 328) suggests that it can be understood to mean a movement that “began as a criticism of nineteenth-century bourgeois culture, a rejection of both its values and its most favored style, realism.” The period of modernity is defined by Best and Kellner (1991, 2) as “a historical periodizing term which refers to the epoch that follows the ‘Middle Ages’ or feudalism.” Their definition potentially covers an era that spans of hundreds of years which is out with the scope of the length of this essay.... [tags: The Waste Land]
2333 words (6.7 pages)
- The Power of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land T. S. Eliot, perhaps one of the most controversial poets of modern times, wrote what many critics consider the most controversial poem of all, The Waste Land. The Waste Land was written using a fragmented style. This is a style that is evident in all of Eliot's writings. There are several reasons for his using this approach, from a feeling of being isolated, to a problem articulating thoughts (Bergonzi 18, Cuddy 13, Mack 1745, Martin 102).... [tags: T.S. Eliot Waste Land Essays]
1515 words (4.3 pages)
- Love and Sex in The Waste Land Attitudes toward love and sex are one of the major themes of the poem. The introduction to "The Waste Land" in The Norton Anthology of English Literature states that "This is a poem about spiritual dryness," and much of this spiritual dryness relates to the nature of the modern sexual experience (although there are also other aspects of spiritual dryness the introduction also notes that major themes include a lack of a "regenerating belief" that gives "significance and value to people" and a type of death that "heralds no resurrection").... [tags: T.S. Eliot Waste Land Essays]
955 words (2.7 pages)
- Eliot's Use of Different Speakers in The Waste Land Different speakers in "The Waste Land" mirror the disjointedness of modern experience by presenting different viewpoints that the reader is forced to put together for himself. This is similar to the disassociation in modern life in that life has ceased to be a unified whole: various aspects of 20th-century life -- various academic disciplines, theory and practice, Church and State, and Eliot's "disassociation of sensibilities," or separation of heart and mind -- have become separated from each other, and a person who lives in this time period is forced to shore these fragments against his or her ruins, to borrow Eliot's phrase, to se... [tags: T.S. Eliot Waste Land Essays]
688 words (2 pages)
- The level of education students receive in school is not representative of the amount of time spent in school due to time wasting factors such as lackluster education levels, bell schedules, and use of class time. First, the levels of education students receive in school falls short of society’s expectations. Students are not taught practical life skills or concepts they will use daily (Giang, Ramm, Strauss). The expectation is students capable of thriving in the real world. This includes life skills, in-depth knowledge of how society functions, and skills needed for future careers.... [tags: Why kids hate school ]
1902 words (5.4 pages)
- Literary Modes in War Literature The immediate impact of The Things They Carried is based on O'Brien's fidelity to detail. The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy, cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations, and two or three canteens of water. Together these items weighed between 15 and 20 pounds.... [tags: War Literature, Literary Analysis]
1421 words (4.1 pages)
Analyse at Least Two Recently Proposed Solutions to the Problem of E-Waste in Order to Determine Which is the Most Effective
- The XXI century is generally defined as the era of modern Information Technology (IT). In recent decades there has been a big step forward to the advanced technology and innovations. Everyday electronic equipment becomes obsolete because of an enormous stream of new and upgraded ones. It is an unstoppable process termed as progress, when new gadgets evolve and develop, old electronic appliances become useless and out of date. However, as modern technology develops and extends the amount of obsolete and discarded electronic equipment also known as e-waste (e-scrap) increases.... [tags: Information Technology ]
1242 words (3.5 pages)
- A wasteland [weyst-land] is defined as: land that is uncultivated or barren; an area that is devastated as by flood, storm, or war; something as a period of history, phase of existence, or locality that is spiritually, or intellectually barren; one of the most important poems of the twentieth century (Dictionary.com). The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot, has puzzled its audience and been tossed aside by the general population since 1922, when the poem was published. To a reader not committed to delving into its metaphors, the story might appear to represent the broken faithlessness of a society physically and emotionally marred after the Great War.... [tags: poetry, metaphor, epigraph, Satyricon]
2658 words (7.6 pages)
- BUNEA VALENTIN LEONARD GROUP 3A, ENGLISH-AMERICAN STUDIES ALLEN GINSBERG, ¡§HOWL¡¨ AND THE LITERATURE OF PROTEST Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was an important figure in the Beat Generation Movement that took place right before the revolutionary American 60¡¦s. Other major beat writers (also called ¡§beatnicks¡¨) were: Gregory Corso, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. The beat poetry was meant to be oral and very effective in readings. It developed out of poetry readings in underground clubs.(a beautiful image of these secret clubs can be found in the movie called ¡§Dead Poet¡¦s Society¡¨ with Robin Williams playing the main character).... [tags: American Protest Literature fc]
1363 words (3.9 pages)
- Contrast of Past with Present in The Waste Land Eliot contrasts the past with the present in several ways throughout his poem, The Waste Land. The simplest of these is the simple juxtaposition of one or more descriptions of the present immediately before or after one or more descriptions of the past. The most obvious of these is section two, in which two descriptions of the present (lines 111-139 and 140-172) immediately follow a description of the past (lines 77-110). In this case, the juxtaposition is used to hold the modern attitude toward sex and love next to an attitude from the past.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1089 words (3.1 pages)