• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.


Video Reflection

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


Louie Marven



The commentary on how Eliot viewed his own grief as a microcosm for the griefs of the age was helpful, particularly in understanding the application of his literary philosophy in writing "The Waste Land." It seemed as if Eliot not only knew the tradition of literature so intimately that he could "make it new" but also he understood his present time intimately enough to view his own suffering in terms of the suffering of western civilization. The war between the sexes -- as articulated in our discussion on "A Game of Chess" -- makes sense given that his wife Vivian was drifting into madness. All the discussion of how he made himself into the center of the western universe during their decline did get burdensome, though. Eliot was clearly a great thinker, but he seems whiny with all the talk about his own upperclass white male problems.


I appreciate the one man recalling Eliot's comment that the poet is like a burglar who throws the watchdog meat. While this shows Eliot's wit, it's helpful to think of "The Waste Land" as a culmination of something Eliot "stole" from history while others were distracted. The other man's understanding that the three main strands of the poem are fertility myths, christ and ressurection, and the buddists' reincarnation was also helpful, especially his explanation of the conflicting Buddhist desires to escape the cycle of reincarnation and achieve nirvana while striving to keep on living. I think this tension is helpful in understanding Eliot's bleak view of the world, and contributes to the barrenness he continually references.


Response from Devin Thomas:

I also thought Eliot's line about poet being like a burglar who throws the watchdog meat was helpful in understanding his ideas about the poet's role, particularly in regards to "The Waste Land." I'd had the thought, while reading the poem, that Eliot wasn't fully "creating" in the traditional sense, but stringing together multiple strands in order to create meaning and "make it new."


Sarah Rinko:

    Continuing this line of thought, one thing from the movie sticks out to me. It's the part concerning the indifferent seduction. The man from the video discussed how in Eliot's allusion there was to a woman's cry that repentance for the act would require suicide, but in the Wasteland all the woman does is play something on the gramophone. Not only does it make it new, but it also highlights how "immorality" has become so accepted since Victorian era, etc.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.