The Waste Land Poem Analysis

768 Words4 Pages
Mad Men and The Waste Land depict two modernist themes: decay and apathy – the depiction of these two themes are different in each work. The Waste Land is a post-WWI poem that depicts a pessimistic approach on how people ought to live – focuses on European culture. Mad Men is a TV show that explores American culture and takes place during the beginning of the Vietnam War. After thorough scrutiny of the two works, it appears that war is the major cause of the challenging and onerous nature of the modernist period for many people. In The Waste Land, a common English idiom (signifying the closing of a pub) “Hurry up please, it’s time!” is used to show men drowning their sorrows in alcoholic beverages (Eliot, 35). Similarly, the second section of The Waste Land, “A Game of Chess” depicts ennui and decay; showing men of that generation seeking solace in alcohol due to the difficulty of modern life. In Mad Men, Donald Draper and Freddy Rumsen…show more content…
The office then starts to melt, signifying Draper’s weakness and surrender (Vermeulen & Rustad, 342). Subsequently, he starts to fall past buildings showing images of marriage, women, families, and work – the women appear lustful due to their provocative clothing. The surreal images make the audience question Draper’s character and his submission to women. In The Waste Land, the poem attempts to make modern life transparent despite the existence of chaos and fragmentation people face. In an implicit manner, this work delineates the chaotic and fragmented form of society comprising of multiple religions (Alison, 160). In addition to this, The Waste Land also shows several characters experiencing extreme stress and anxiety. “Speak to me…what are you think of? What thinking? What? I never know what you are thinking” (Eliot, 37). Succinctly, The Waste Land is a modern poem that explores human psyche and culture by focusing on how language
Open Document