The Waste Land

Analysis of the theme of God in the poetry of T. S. Eliot

Among the fragmented layers and voices of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land there is a distinct cry for humanity to accept the comfort of a greater level of intelligence - God. This is dramatically reinforced in the lamenting howl of The Hollow Men. References to religion and differing cultures is a consistent theme within Eliot's work, but the idea of God is one raised through Eliot's internal murmurs, bred from his self doubt that eventually surfaces to draw the reader to the underlying necessity for belief in God. It should be made clear that both Eliot's private torment and emotional turbulence appear in The Waste Land and The Hollow Men, a testament to the fact that the poet was indeed unsure as to his own personal beliefs prior to their appearance in his work, which acted as a forum for him to vent his opinions.

The Waste Land leads to the dramatic conclusion that one must accept, regardless of the reasoning of logic and the routine of the 'seals broken by the lean solicitor,' 'the awful daring of a moment's surrender.' In this moment of surrender Eliot leads the reader into understanding that in an era where the literary world was refuting God and religion, it was again acceptable to put...

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