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T.S. Eliot's “The Wasteland“ And Sept 11th

3 Pages 824 Words

The events of September 11 have forever changed America and on a smaller scale, the way in which I view T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Wasteland.” Suddenly, a seemingly dark and distant poem about death and destruction evokes images of everyday men and women leaping from buildings and running for their lives, and creates an unsettling feeling that it could have been us.
The first section of “The Wasteland,” The Burial of the Dead connected to my feelings and thoughts of current events the most. Death, the most final result of all evils is expressed with little subtlety or compassion. The tone is sorrowful and helpless, just as many felt when the terrorists attacked.
If it snowed in New York today, we may feel an unconscious relief of our worries, just as Eliot suggested. “Winter kept us warm, covering earth in forgetful snow,” (Line 5-6) as the snow blanketed the rubble and physical destruction, sheltering our eyes from the horrific images. We are chilled by fear now, and are reminded of our possible fate every time we see the remains of the World Trade Center. The paradoxical image of winter keeping us warm is actually not that implausible, as our hearts find time to heal from the tragedies that occurred.
America’s struggle to relax, watch a movie, or listen to music are supported by Eliot’s form of relaxation, “we stopped… and went on in the sunlight… and drank coffee, and talked for an hour.” (Lines 9-11) His tone about those activities seems calm, and peaceful, and it can most likely be assumed that the conversation was enjoyable, why else would one talk to someone for an hour?
Eliot reflects about more innocent and carefree days, “My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled, and I was frightened. He said, Marie, Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.” (Lines 14-16) The narrator seems to long for a time like this, just as I long for innocence and untroubled days. He imagines a time when his biggest fear was...

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