In this essay, Ramlal Agarwal discusses T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and tries to decode the puzzle that it remains to most of its readers.
It is a hundred years of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and though the poem is inundated with critical commentary, research, and explanation, it still remains a puzzle for most of its readers.
In this paper, an attempt has been made to understand it from an Indian perspective, avoiding the scholarly route of digging for allusions and its tools, craft, and tearing analyses, and interpreting its metaphors in keeping with their context and easy-to-grasp their meaning and enjoy the poem.
“The Waste Land” starts with a chiaroscuro of the past and the present state of civilization and ends with apocalyptic thunder and rain. The pattern conveys that, though our past was full of romance and splendor, our present is beset with boredom, ennui, and inaction, and the only way to find redemption from it as echoed by the thunder, is to give, to sympathize, and to control.
The first section of The Waste Land starts with Marie’s memories of her childhood. She remembers visiting her cousins in the mountains and going out sledding with them. It was summer over Starnberger See, with a shower of rain. They stopped in the colonnade and then went into the Hofgarten, drank coffee, and talked for an hour. When she was on a sled, she felt frightened.