Analysis Of T. S. Eliot's Heart Of Darkness

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In “The Wasteland,” T.S. Eliot’s purpose in his poem is to convey a message that intelligence and awareness of the world is becoming more and more scarce. Eliot wrote his poem after reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, which has an underlying message of ignorance. Eliot uses this to create his own message of ignorance through imagery and symbolism. His poem is complex and difficult to understand for a reason: he wants his readers to realize that if they do not understand his poem, then they are lacking the knowledge they should already possess. Heart of Darkness has multiple messages about humankind and imperialism, but its most prominent idea is that humankind as a whole has ceased to involve itself in immense growth. In the novel,…show more content…
Eliot’s poem, titled “The Burial of the Dead,” he uses a lack of water to show the absence of fertility in the minds of modern Europe. Eliot very closely relates his ideas to those in Heart of Darkness. In the poem, the narrator says, “Your arms full; and your hair wet, I could not / Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither / Living nor dead, and I knew nothing” (Eliot 38-40). Water has become quite scarce, but when water becomes available, people remain empty of knowledge. There is water right in front of the narrator’s face, but because the narrator does not take the chance to get to know it, this person remains ignorant. This relates to the river in Heart of Darkness once again, because in both cases the water is available, but the people do not want to be involved. Further, the narrator says, “Oed’ und leer das Meer” (Eliot 42), which means “desolate and the empty seas.” Eliot mentions that there is now a lack of water in this environment in order to make a comment on society. The lack of water represents the idea that society’s minds have become dry and barren. All the water dried up because people were no longer there to nurture it and keep it alive. Eliot wants us to know that because of our own shortcomings, we are leading to our demise. We are not growing, and we are not thriving. We are just simply existing like an empty
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