Free Essay Comprising a Discussion of Eliot's Wasteland

Published: 2022-08-30
Free Essay Comprising a Discussion of Eliot's Wasteland
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Poem
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 591 words
5 min read

The Wasteland was a poem written by T.S Eliot after the First World War. The title wasteland is symbolically used in the poem as a symbol of physical and moral decay. The title elaborates on the cultural and psychological crises that are accompanied by loss of moral values after the First World War. The derivation of the title is from a myth in Jessie Weston that from ritual to romance. During the ceremony, the genitals of King Fisher became wounded. The wound on the King genitals affects his fertility and that of the kingdom, becoming a wasteland. The king becomes impotent denying the kingdom the chance to regenerate, therefore, signifying the wasteland since they cannot reproduce.

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Majority of the locations mentioned in the poem are within the city of London eastern side. One of the locations mentioned is London Bridge. It is said twice in the poem. It is used to show a comparison between modern life and living in hell. The bridge is like a division because the author describes watching people flocking into the London Bridge like zombies not aware of what is awaiting. Other locations mentioned are the prison which refers to the tower of London. The locations that are mostly said include sailing and London docks. Also, there is a mention of specific streets and churches in the poem. All the places mentioned in the poem are metaphors or to create mental imagery. The location mentioned helps Eliot to develop excellent artistic works which can easily be understood. Also, they helped him to elaborate about modern life hence used symbolically (Sher, 2017). Besides, they are used to illustrate the situation before and after. For instance, at the end of the poem, the London Bridge is falling. It is a clear illustration that there is no going back we have to embrace the situation as it unfolds.

They are various ways in which the poem shows the wastelands. One of the ways that Eliot shows wasted land is by explaining the dying traditions. He is worried that people are embarrassing modern ways and soon traditional will be forgotten (Sher, 2017). Another is the physical decay. April is not one of the happiest months. April marks the end of winter, and that is the time to regenerate after experiencing such a long winter. The process of regeneration is the happiest time, but this time things are different due to political and emotional consequence. People are mourning and burying the dead as a result of the war. Eliot shows the wastelands by comparing the present and the past. The poem uses juxtaposition to show how things have changed. Another is the inability of Fisher king to reproduce.

Towards the end of the poem the line "these fragments I have shored against my ruins." The sentence means it is still possible to continue after the failure. The line refers to the Fisher King who has no potential of regenerating the society but still holds the helm (Sher, 2017). The king will do everything it takes to get things back to save his kingdom. The terms fragment refers to the broken pieces. Fisher King still has a kingdom to rule. Hence, there is still redemption even after failure. "My ruins" is the term which is used to refer to the King Fisher inability. The ruins are the troubles encountered. Hence, my ruins refer to the wound.


Sher, K. (2017). Significance of the title of the waste land | The Waste Land Questions | Q & A. Retrieved from

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