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T.S. Eliot


Eliot was born at the end of XIX century [in 1888] in Saint Louis, Missouri. He studied literature and philosophy at Harvard, and he obtained his master degree in 1910. In 1915, he moved to England, because European literature was more interesting of American literature. In 1922, Eliot became a British citizen. In 1927, he converted to Anglican religion [that was the English version of the Protestantism].


In 1917 he published ‘’Prufrock and the other observations’’. In 1922 he published his major work, ‘’the waste land’’. After, in 1930 he wrote his first drama, ‘’the murder in the cathedral’’.
Eliot influenced the way to make poetry in 20th century; in fact, he received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948.
Eliot was convinced that the nature of the age required an art that was more objective and impersonal. So, he examined the problem how to give objective form to feeling: the answer to this question is the objective correlative. Eliot said the only way to express emotions throughout is through the objective correlative, a series of objects, situations, events, that can refer to a specific emotion. In this way, thanks the objective correlative, Eliot can make more objective his message.

Another linguistic technique used by Eliot to make more objective the message, is the INVERTED QUOTATION. The inverted quotation is a famous literary quotation, that if it is used in a particular context, and in a specific way, it loses its original value.
In the "Waste land", Eliot does an analysis of western society through historical, mythological and literary references. In the wasteland, Eliot mixed elevated language, literary quotations and frequent colloquial expressions. He made also wide use of irregular rhythms based on normal speech.
The wasteland seems up all Eliot's earlier work. Eliot, in the wasteland, underlines the contrast between Truthful and sterile existence.
Eliot, like Dante and Milton, investigates the problem of the human condition, and tries to find a meaning in life.
In the wasteland, there is no plot, but a sequence of images, sometimes ambiguous, apparently unconnected. In the wasteland, we can find references to very early Sanskrit writings, classical Greek works and Elizabethan quotations, especially from Shakespeare. The wasteland focus on the despair, desolation and fears of modern man.
The work is divided into five sections. The first section, The Burial of the Dead, is characterized by some images, which insist on the contrasting ideas of aridity-fertility. The poem closed with "what the thunder said".
In this section, the thunder says, Rain (the representation of SALVATION of Human Beings) will come, when man has learned the three precepts of Vedas: "Datta", that is the Sanskrit word for "Give"; "Dayadhvam" that is "Be merciful" and "Damyata" that is "control". ‘’Sanshit, sanshit, sanshit’’: peace will pass and understand us.

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