The Waste Land Analysis

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T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” is a complex and fragmented poem that underwent major revisions before it was published in 1922. The published version we see and read today is considerably shorter in comparison to what Eliot had originally written. According to James Torrens’s article “The Hidden Years of the Waste Land Manuscript,” Eliot had mailed “54 pages of The Waste Land, including the unused parts” to John Quinn, a “corporation lawyer in New York City,” which had shortly disappeared after Quinn’s death in July of 1924 (Cuddy 60). Eliot’s “lost” pages were not uncovered until the early 1950s (Ford). In 1971, a facsimile of the original drafts of “The Waste Land,” edited by Eliot’s second wife, Valerie, was published and revealed how much of the poem was edited and compressed by Eliot himself, along with Ezra Pound, who played a significant role in the editing of the poem, and his first wife, Vivien (Ford). This essay would be examining the major changes made to first, third, and fourth section “The Waste Land” and how the meaning of the poem was not affected. The first section, “The Burial of the Dead” did not initially begin with “April is the cruelest month” (Eliot 1). This part appears as the second stanza in the original draft starting at line fifty-five in which the first fifty-four lines before went unpublished (see Figure 1). In Richard Ellmann’s “The First Waste Land,” he perfectly summarizes what Eliot’s original beginning was as a “conversational passage

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