The Waste Land (Introduction)

by T.S Eliot

About the Poem

“The Waste Land” poem is one of the most important poems of 20th century English literature. It was written by T.S. Eliot and published in 1922. The poem is based on physical and spiritual waste land of modern society which lacks in energy and hence need to rejuvenate. The Waste Land has written in 434 lines in all, and divided in five parts, i.e.

  1. The Burial of the Dead
  2. A Game of Chess
  3. The Fire Sermon
  4. Death by Water
  5. What the Thunder said

Normally, in poetry the story is narrated by narrator or single speaker but in “The Waste Land” there are few characters given like;

Madame Sosostris, Phlebas, Fisherking, Mr. Eugenides, Philomela, The Narrator, The Rich Lady, Tiresias, Fresca and Stetson Typist

Tone of the Poem

The tone of the poem is “unhappiness” due to the commercialization in 20th century of modern world, where according to the poet everything is for sale. Therefore, it is the subject of matter for the modern world.

Setting of the Poem

The poem’s setting is in London, England which explores the aftermath of the life of the world war- I. Also, the deserted area and oceans and bustling metropolis included as well.

Theme of the Poem

The Waste Land is thematically based on disillusionment of the post- world war generation and sterility of modern people. Also, some of the major themes highlighted by T.S. Eliot like, Religion, Memory and the Past, isolation, appearance and sex.

But there are few critics like; F.R. Leavis and I.A. who after analyzing “The Waste Land” said that the theme is “vision of desolation and spiritual drought” and “plight of the whole generation” respectively.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s