Friday, December 20, 2019

Essay about Modernism in T.s. Eliotss the Wasteland

Modernism in T.S. Eliots The Wasteland Modernism has been defined as a rejection of traditional 19th-century norms, whereby artists, architects, poets and thinkers either altered or abandoned earlier conventions in an attempt to re-envision a society in flux. In literature this included a progression from objectivist optimism to cynical relativism expressed through fragmented free verse containing complex, and often contradictory, allusions, multiple points of view and other poetic devices that broke from the forms in Victorian and Romantic writing, as can be seen in T.S. Eliots The Waste Land (Levanson). The varied perspectives or lack of a central, continuous speaker uproots The Waste Land from previous forms of poetry;†¦show more content†¦Thus faced with this paradox, the reader is privy to one of the modernist themes in the work: individuals are permanently estranged, each bearing a unique identity, yet they are able to connect with each other to create a kind of coherence, however temporary. Of course, Matthew Arnold wrote something very similar in To Marguerite: Continued, but up until Eliots The Waste Land, this truth was never illustrated in the lyrical construction itself. Eliot also employs fragments in the work, further articulating his modernist ideas. These fragments are sometimes used to blur the lines between speakers, but also serve to blend opposing strands of knowledge. Trying to singularly categorize the usage of fragments is as difficult as finding a unified meaning in the poem and that is the entire point. Yet, in keeping with modernist thought, can there exist an entire point? The answer is inevitably fragmented. In lines 307-311, To Carthage then I came/ Burning burning burning burning/ O Lord Thou pluckest me out/ O Lord Thou pluckest/ burning, the words of St. Augustine from his Confessions and the Buddhas Fire Sermon are crammed together to form a new, incongruous whole. This synthesis hints at some sort of truth that may be discovered by joining these ancient bits of wisdom, two differing perspectives. However, if one assumes that something meaningful can be created from These fragments I have shored against

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