The Waste Land
The overt challenge which The Waste Land issues to its readers is that of density and discontinuity. The dense network of historical, literary and mythical allusion is an attempt to depict modern European society and consciousness in the fullness and complexity of its cultural tradition. This allusive method demands that the poem be decoded by a reader constantly alert to subtle counterpoint between text and referent. The historical perspective it provides is both sophisticated and ironic, discriminating critically between past and present, more often than not to the disadvantage of the latter. It is this value-orientation, rather than the density of allusion itself, which raises hackles.
KeywordsLexical Item Dirty Hand Funeral Rite Continuous Present Present Participle
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