★ Name :- Aarti Bhupatbhai Sarvaiya
★ Roll No :- 01
★ Enrollment No :- 4069206420220027
★ Sem :- 2(M.A.)
★ Batch :- 2022-2024
★ Paper No. :- 106
★ Paper Code :- 22399
★ Paper Name :- The Twentieth Century Literature: 1900 to World
★ Submitted to :- Smt. S. B. Gardi, Department of English,M.K.B.U.
★ Dated on :- 11th March,2023
★ Email :- email@example.com
ABOUT THE WRITER
❏ T.S. Eliot is highly distinguished as a poet, a literary critic, a dramatist,
an editor, and a publisher.
❏ The 1948 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
❏ Eliot’s most notable works include ‘The Waste Land’ (1922), ‘Four
Quartets’ (1943), and the play ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ (1935). Eliot’s
awards and honors include ‘the British Order of Merit and the Nobel
Prize for Literature’.
❏ His play ‘The Cocktail Party’ won the Tony Award for Best Play in
1950. In 1964, he was awarded ‘the Presidential Medal of Freedom’.
❏ ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ was famously adapted in 1981
into the musical Cats, which won seven Tony Awards.
ABOUT THE POEM
❏ The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot is the most influential poem of the 20th century. It first
appeared in the magazine ‘The Dial’. Later on, having won ‘The magazine’s poetry’
award for the year. It was published in a book form in 1922.
❏ The poem itself was heavily edited by Ezra Pound. It is a modern epic poem which
contains 434 lines and it is devided in to five sections. Eliot presents a bleak picture of
the landscape of the contemporary world and its history. This includes numerous literary
and cultural references from sources as diverse as Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Blake,
Conrad, ancient Sanskrit, and First World War trench slang.
MYTHICAL TECHNIQUE IN ‘THE WASTE LAND’
➢ In the poem ‘The Waste Land’ the poet uses the mythical method to convey the idea to us.
➢ The mythical method consists in manipulating a continuous parallel between the
contemporary situation and the old mythical situations.
➢ The poet has put together the old and the new, the ancient and the modern and in this way he
draws the comparison and the contrast between the past and the present.
➢ When a poet employs the mythical method, he put the
contemporary problems in the historical perspective in order to
prove the problem of the present.
➢ He borrowed mythical material from Jessie Weston’s book ‘From
Rituals to Romance (1920)’ and from James Frazer’s ‘The Golden
Bough’. The poet says that he was deeply influenced by these works
❏ The mythical waste land of the Fisher King symbolizes the contemporary decay and
spiritual sterility. The sick king symbolizes the sick humanity. In the case of king,
the sickness has resented from sexual sin.
❏ In this poem the poet wishes to convey the idea that sexual sin leads to spiritual
death. It is also expresses the idea that spiritual health can be regained only through
penance, suffering and self discipline.
❏ In the poem ‘The Waste Land’ Eliot’s use of the phrases “the dead tree” “the
handful of dust”, “the dry grass” are all derived from the biblical imaginary of
decay and demolition caused by spiritual sterility.
❏ Adonis and Attis are Greek gods, representing the yearly decay and revival of life,
especially of vegetable life as the personification of gods who annually died and rose
again from the dead.
❏ Adonis, a god of Asiatic origin, was taken into the Greek mythology.Attis, like Adonis,
is anther resurrection god. According to the Greek mythology, Attis was the youth
loved by Phrygian goddess and also god of vegetation, and in his self-mutilation, death,
and resurrection he represents the fruits of the earth, which die in winter only to rise
again in the spring.
❏ The myths of Adonis and Attis are of Frazer‘s main concern in his monumental work
‘The Golden Bough’ to which Eliot acknowledged his indebtedness for the
construction of his The Waste Land.
❏ He tried to show that the resurrection has been a major mythical motif lying in the
collective unconsciousness of all men throughout different ages, from primitives to
modern men in the very opening lines of The Waste Land.
❏ ‖Shanti‖, magically repeated three times.‖Shanti‖ is the end of an Upanished in the same
way in which this note is the end of the text The Waste Land.
❏ ‖Shanti‖ suggests the necessity of an answer beyond human knowledge,because human
knowledge is expressed by language and this community system does not seem to
apprehend reality, a sign leads us to another sign, a signifier to a signifier.
❏ The position of Tiresias is only one suggestion of the comprehensive disorder of The
❏ The integration of multiple mythologies, historical references, and personality types into
the text of the poem substantiates the extent of their removal from time, space, and order.
❏ In ‘The Waste Land’ Eliot says that the country has become a waste land
due to the kings’ sins. He tells them that regeneration is possible only if
they return to God.
❏ He links up the past with the present and says that sexual sins and
spiritualdecay are responsible for the peacelessness of the contemporary
civilization will be possible only when humanity is prepared to pay the
price in the form of suffering and penance.
❏ The poet refers the waste land of king Oedipus of Thebe and also to the
biblical waste land of the ominous as mentioned in Ecclesiastes and
Ezekiel of the Old Testament.
● Devi, Rekha. “The Role of Mythical Method in T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land.’”
International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, July 2016,
● Harris, Elif. “The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot: Analysis and Various Aspects.”
ElifNotes, 17 Nov. 2021, elifnotes.com/the-wasteland-by-t-s-eliot-analysis/amp/.
● Kundu, Subhashis. T.S. Eliots Blending of Myth and Reality in the Waste Land -
IJHSSI. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention
(IJHSSI), Oct. 2018, ijhssi.org/papers/vol7(10)/Version-2/G0710023842.pdf.