Summary of Elliot's poem "The Wasteland",by me :')

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2 years ago

Hello everyone 🖤

Wasteland by Thomas Stearns Eliot is one of the most famous poems of the 20th century it's kinda like criticism on modern society and each part of it is a taunt on modern society.

T.S. Eliot was a famous writer of modern society he was a playwright, critic publisher. He was born on 26th of September 1888 and died on 4 January 1965.

The poem wasteland has five parts the first part is

The Burial of the Dead

It's the first part of the poem where it is showed that modern society is afraid of Change and their souls have turned cold they're morally and spiritually dead and don't want to make themselves better and he has given the example of winter and spring and has shown that it's the season of spring known for change and beauty, wherein this season new things grow and this is the season of new hopes and possibilities it's a season of change but modern people don't like spring season they like the season of winter Because it's a season of cold it stops everything, in winter season everything is cold like their souls and that's why they like this season more.

There's also shown a women showing different cards at the end of the poem that shows guilty love, morally dead people, fake love, and hope, etc. :')

The game of chess

Game of chess is the second part of the poem wasteland it shows the struggle and the place of women in modern society Eliot has two different stories presented in this poem, one is of a woman who is sitting in her dining room she is all well dressed and the room is full of accessories that shows the affection of women of modern society for materials. it shows that they have become materialistic she is waiting for her lover and when he arrives she wants to talk with him about different things but he ignores that because he is not in love with her he is just with her for time pass so at last, she stops asking as he's only interested in a physical relationship and nothing else.

And then in the same part of this poem the scene shifts to a bar where two Women are sitting and talking about there married life the one is talking and another one is listening and she is sharing her pain that how many things she has to face after marriage that shows the sacrifices of a married woman who tries everything to make her husband happy but he's still looking for other options.

The fire sermon

The third part is named the fire sermon that is the name taken from a famous sermon of a Budha who asked people to follow morality and don't fall for materialistic things.

This part of the poem is full of examples and different stories and places it starts with a person sitting near Thomas river that was famous for its magical and clean flow but now it's all gone and everything is polluted just like the modern society they have nothing clean left in themselves they are all polluted and morally dead.

they don't Value love anymore and to clear this point he adds two stories in the poem one of two males both are in a relationship with each other and according to the writer it's not a pure and true relationship.

the second example is of a modern girl who is also a working lady when she came back home she meets a person just for a physical relationship and nothing else that shows the reality of nowadays love as it has become all hollow and temporary and there's no such thing like deep feelings.

Death by water

Death by water is the shortest part of the poem and it is the fourth part it shows a Merchant lying dead on the surface of the water of an ocean his body is floating with the Waves of water and the writer says that he was once a proud Merchant but now he is nothing he can't even help himself and this shows us that Pride has a fall and whenever one feels proud of himself he should look at the merchant and should realize that we all have to die one day when we are dead we can't do anything so we should try to make ourselves better when we are alive, and realize your mistakes before it's too late we should go back to morality and should leave falling for materials.

What the thunder said

The last part of the poem is named what the thunder said it is also one of the longest part and in this part of the poem the writer first shows us an island that has no water and nothing that resembles life the island is full of rocks and empty places and by this Eliot shows us that the place is just like the modern society that has no moral values and is completely dead and it needs water to rise again and water here resembles hope and moral values.

At last, he gives some hope to his readers by giving an example of people who were in search of water and they were unable to find it in their place but in search of the water,they reach a place where finally they saw Rain.

He also talks about the voice of thunder that according to him sounds like to say three words in Sanskrit: Datta, Dayadhvam, and Damyata, and the meanings of these three words are, to give to sympathize and to control, by this he guide the modern society and says if we became the one who helps other people when they need help and gives them what they need, and if we become the one that empathizes those who are in sorrows and pain and if we control our fake emotions and need of materialistic things then we'll get our moral values back and will save ourselves from becoming morality dead and empty people till death.

that was my explanation for the poem. thanks for reading.💜

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2 years ago


Thank you for sharing your opinion and summary about this famous poem 'The Wasteland' which was written by Elliots. As a student of English literature I know about this poem before but after reading your summary I know the purposes of this poem. Today, I checked this page to know more information and essay ideas about poetry which can help to write poem summaries and essays for my academic work. So I appreciate you for this educational post.

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1 year ago

I'm glad it helped 🤠

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