T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land Is Characteristic Of The Modernist Literary Period.

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The poem I am choosing to examine is T.S, Eliot's The Waste Land emerging from the Modernist poetic movement. The modern movement occurred after World War one (1914-1918). This war marked momentous changes on a global scale. Before 1914, English literature and it's ideas were in many ways still harking back to the nineteenth century: after 1918 Modern begins to define the twentieth century. Among the influences of Modernism were the rapid developments both socially and technologically. Also new theories of physics and psychology from those such as Sigmund Freud were among the advances of that era that inspired modernist poets.

Some modernists were extremely pessimistic about modernity e.g. Eliot. They believed that with the urbanization of society and loss of culture that essentially the human identity has been lost and has not yet been fully recognized. Modernism is essentially post-Darwinian: it is a search to explain mankind's place in the modern world where religion, social stability and ethics are all called into question.

(1) The inner consciousness and different psychological states were called into question, and all traditional forms of poetry began to lose their place.

The ruins created across Europe as a result of the war enter the world of T.S. Eliot's poetry. The first part of The Waste Land, "The Burial of the Dead," presents the voice of a countess looking back on her pre-World War I youth as a lovelier, freer, more romantic time. Her voice is followed by a solemn description of present dryness when "the dead tree gives no shelter." (3)The Wasteland is not a land literally laid waste by war. It does not mention the unemployment and economic crises of the late 1920s. Instead, the poem depicts a cultural and spiritual wasteland, a land populated by people who are, physically and emotionally,