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Eliot Video Response

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 11 months ago

T. S. Eliot Video Response

By, Laura Barnes


      The video mentioned T. S. Eliot’s unhappy marriage to Vivian Wood which went downhill with Vivian’s mental decline into madness, and eventually ended when Elliot left her. One of the primary themes of The Wasteland is the failure of human beings to connect through communication, and the unhealthy, severed relationships that result. "Burial of the Dead," for example, depicts the mass of men making their way over London Bridge and through the city streets completely disconnected from one another, with their eyes fixed on their feet. "A Game of Chess" presents, first, a wife who cannot illicit any emotional response from her husband in their conversation, and, second, a woman relating the particulars of her decaying marriage to a friend in a pub. "The Fire Sermon" shows the emotional disconnect between two lovers whose relationship has been reduced to inconsequential, indifferent sex. To what extent did Eliot draw from his own experience with relationships, particularly his botched marriage with Vivian Wood, when writing The Wasteland?




TS Eliot Makeup



response from Kimberly Habyk:


I remember in the video one of the critics saying that Elliot made his, "private grief, public grief." They also said that during the writing of the Wasteland he had suffered a nervous breakdown. I feel that when we read the poem it would be good to keep some of his personal issues in mind. These events may have led to the writing of some aspects of the poem, but not all. In closing one of the critics said that, "you can say a lot about the Wasteland, but nothing can really be explained." I feel like part of his personal life came into the writing of the Wasteland and some of it did not. However, I would be interested in knowing how much of his personal life came into the poem as well.




BJ Haffeman's Response -


While difficult, I believe that understanding Eliot's input of his own problems into "The Waste Land" would help us understand the origin modernist movement. I think the video said that Eliot's poem helped define the era, which is huge. A single poem not affecting or altering but definining something as extensive as an era is not only impressive, but is also a sign of a master.


In response to Kim: Not to be "that guy" who points out minor things, but I think the video said that Eliot almost suffered a nervous breakdown before he wrote "The Wast Land." I think this could show that composing this poem might have been one of the therapeutic elements that either brought him out of his negative state of mind, or saved him from himself.




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