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The Waste Land Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Waste Land.
This section contains 617 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Overview

From the time it was published until the twenty-first century, The Waste Land has inspired both passion and hatred. Jewel Spears Brooker sums it up best in her entry on Eliot for Dictionary of Literary Biography: "The Waste Land was taken by some critics as a tasteless joke, by others as a masterpiece expressing the disillusionment of a generation. As far as Eliot was concerned, it was neither." As many critics have cited, Eliot viewed the poem as a catharsis, a way to release much of his frustration and stress that had ultimately led to his nervous breakdown.

Yet, while this is what Eliot said, his decision to include extensive notes with the poem, which identified the source of many of the poem's obscure or confusing references, seemed to ascribe great meaning to the poem. The author notes also invited negative criticism. Many critics, like Conrad Aiken, felt...

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This section contains 617 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Waste Land Study Guide
Copyrights
The Waste Land from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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