Friday, October 14, 2011

The Waste Land

T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" was an introduction to the 20th century writings that reflected realism, a novel way of writing at the time. In the beginning of the poem there is a very eccentric description of the relationship between people and the earth they live in. But after that the poem is more about the downward spiral that all of humanity was going through during these roaring twenties. In contrast to the other writings we have read, this poem uses many references to other writings that are in other languages like French, Latin and German.
 Most of the time when he wrote weird words that are usually not used today it was to reference something from a previous writing or from mythology.  I feel like many of those things are not very common and so are kind of lost or only a few people know about them. But it should definitely not be like that; we should acquaint ourselves with these classical writings because the quality of writing from back then is much better than most of the things that come out now. 
I really thought it was weird the way he spoke of the dead people. A man was buried and then someone asks "The corpse you planted,... has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?" (ln 71,72) I did not know what to make of this statement but the fact that when we die everything else keeps on going and we become nothing but fertilizer for the plants. Then Eliot goes on to write about the "murmur of maternal lamentation" (ln 367) which goes around all over the earth. When I read this it reminded me of La Llorona because she is said to be a woman crying out for her lost, dead children. 
Then in class I understood the story about the women at the bar. Eliot was showing us the lower class of people in the US during the 1920s. They had little or no access to dentists and this was precisely what they were talking about. The woman was supposed to have her  teeth taken out so she could get dentures and look good for her husband. But the woman does not seem to care that her husband is coming back from the war and doesn't even want to have children which is something out of the ordinary for that time period. Her experience shows the disillusionment with all that was happening around them and the unfavorable changes that were occuring. Nothing was the way it used to be and it was only getting worse; hence, the title of the poem. 

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