Allusion In Fire Sermon

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Language is so malleable to such an extent that it brings up literary techniques that in turn paints images and reveal allusions. It is the aim of this essay to explore how language, imagery and allusions are used in the except (from T.S. Eliot’s ‘Fire Sermon’ which forms part three of The Waste Land) fosters an atmosphere and an image of a monotonous life that is bleak. The diction used in the extract paints a picture of gloom, a life void of anything interesting. The idea of gloom is emphasised by the repetition of the words “violet hour” (line 215 and line 220) and slight alterations to “evening hour” (line 220) and “sun’s last rays” which carry with them a sense of impending gloom coming to enshroud the lives of people with the coming of night time after sunset. Equally so, it follows that the repetition of the words ‘violet’; ‘throbbing’ and ‘breast’ repeated with its synonym ‘dugs’ enacts the boring and repetitive life people in cities live. Eliot’s words exhibit ambiguity in their usage. His use of the word ‘violet’ denotes the colour of the sun as it sets. The word also connotes the colour of blood and fire, thus one can infer the interpretation of the poem as hinting at biblical sermons. Interpretations of words and images against religious and biblical stories and perceptions herein and thereafter in this essay are unavoidable as it is partially informed by Franscesca B Knox’s research (p.236) as she says “Eliot had been attracted by religious and philosophical
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