Complete Poems: Charles Baudelaire

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What is the tone of the poem "The Waste Land"


nicole l #208925
Nov 09, 2011 10:03 AM

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What is the tone of the poem "The Waste Land"

attitude, irony, emotions.

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Nov 09, 2011 10:06 AM

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First, it's worth noting that each section of the Wasteland has its own character. Where the tone of "Death by Water" is certainly elegiac for the demise of Phoenician, the "Fire Sermon" is notably grotesque when the deformed, carbuncular fellow makes love to a woman. Overall, I'd suggest the tone is foreboding - Eliot seems to be writing as a type of Tiresias himself, prophesizing the end times that have already come to pass. Were it not so wonderfully detailed, you could imagine the crackpot on the soapbox spouting this kind of pessimism. There is irony everywhere, particularly in the way that the world tries to disguise its emptiness. Making love is ugly. Plants growing in the midst of spring are ugly. Water - the salvation from aridity - is what kills the Phoenician. It's chock full of it.

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