Modernism In The Wasteland

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1.1 Historical and Cultural Background 1900-1950 The beginning of the twentieth century is considered as the turning point in the history of the world. This change has been wittily highlighted in the themes and techniques of the works of the poet, playwright, essayist, and critic T.S. Eliot. The era from 1900 to 1950 parallels the considerable span of the literary prosperity of T.S. Eliot. His works served as a vernacular to the dramatic change of the society in the shape of ‘futility’ and ‘anarchy’ that accompanied that change in the way of life in the modern society. It is also said that T.S. Eliot brilliantly has represented his age through his works. This thesis examines the themes of futility and anarchy in certain works by T.S.…show more content…
Eliot, The Waste Land (1922) which can be understood as a social document about the spiritual death of Europe. Ulysses (1922) is the greatest novel that defined Modernism, and the masterpiece of James Joyce who used the styles of the stream of consciousness, and the interior monologue to display the fragmented spirit of the individual and to delineate the themes of the remorse of the conscience and the disintegration of the family. The second disturbing factor besides the wars is the revolutionary sense in the colonies such as that in Ireland, the Irish poet W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) in his poem Easter,1916 (1921) mourns the death of the revolutionaries, such dispute draw the main lines for the theme of anarchy of religion that T.S. Eliot involved in his play Murder in The Cathedral (1935). As Jeffares described Yeats’ situation from the uprising standpoint “Ireland was dead and gone had sneered at those who fumbled in a greasy till; now remembering this, he looked back and used a basic idea of early image, put into a dignified guise , to describe how he had seen and undervalued the abilities of the revolutionary leaders” (Jeffares, 1966: 187). Thus, the death of the Irish revolutionaries in some way resembles the murder of Thomas Becket, the chaos and the anarchy in religion and politics is one aspect of the major theme of the poetry of the twentieth century. The 1920’s were an era of psychological release for most the denizens of Europe more specifically Britain and the way the people live for the moment to enjoy the accelerating effects of

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