Teacher Guide

The Waste Land Lesson Plan

About the Author

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1888. His parents were a businessman and a social worker; Eliot (known as "Tom" in his youth) was the youngest of their six children. The young Eliot was an outsider; born with a hernia, he had a difficult time engaging in physical play with older children. It was said that this sense of alienation had a tremendous influence on his writing.

Eliot attended Harvard University, where he received his bachelor's and master's degrees and published several poems in the college literary magazine. He studied at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1910 and then returned to Harvard, where he intended to do doctoral studies; instead, he decided to move...

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