The Lightning - a review from T.S. Eliot's book

Essay by p1College, UndergraduateA+, November 1997

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In T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land you perceive many images from the

writing style he uses. In lines 386 - 399 he writes:

In this decayed hole among the mountains

In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing

Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel

There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.

It has no windows, and the door swings,

Dry bones can harm no one.

Only a cock stood on the rooftree

Co co rico co co rico

In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust

Bringing rain

Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves

Waited for rain, while the black clouds

Gathered far distant, over Himavant.

The jungle crouched, humped in silence.

In these lines he seems to tell of a graveyard near a chapel in an upcoming

storm. Different images can be seen from the decayed hole in the

moonlight, the empty chapel without windows, and the rooster's crows as

the lightning and black clouds arrive.

In line 386, "In this decayed hole among the mountains," probably

refers to an empty grave that brings images of death and the end of life, or

possibly the beginning of a new life to mind. The grave is lit by moonlight,

possibly referring to the white light many people see when they have

near-death experiences. You get a creepy feeling when the wind blows

and makes the "grass sing" in line 387. In these first three lines it talks of

tumbled graves, possibly disturbed by nature, which could tell of troubled

lives, or a troubled second life.

The empty chapel without windows is nearby, as you perceive from

lines 389 and 390:

There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.

It has no windows, and the door swings

It's image makes you shiver.