The Waste Land

Consider the manifestations and consequences of boredom in The Waste Land.

From Baudelaire's Spleen:

Nothing could drag as do those limping days

When, beneath flakes each snowing season lays,

Tedium, the fruit of glum indifference,

Takes on a frightening deathless permanence.

Consider the manifestations and consequences of boredom in The Waste Land.

When The Waste Land was published, I.A. Richards found in the multiplicity of its voices an articulation of "the plight of a whole generation." And though Eliot discouraged interpretations of the poem as a criticism of the contemporary world, he conceded, "A poet may believe that he is expressing only his private experience; his lines may be for him only a means of talking about himself without giving himself away; yet for his readers what he has written may come to be the expression of both of their own secret feelings and of the exultation or despair of a generation."

Eliot's observation is particularly significant in an analysis of boredom in The Waste Land, because while the poem may present to the reader a series of injured episodes that illustrate the gradual breakdown of a paralytic and lifeless civilisation ("Oed' und leer das Meer "), it is more importantly also emblematic of the crisis within the self. This is...

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