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Waste Land Essay: All is Not Well

All is Not Well in The Waste Land

Eliot’s “The Waste Land” doesn’t make sense. No matter how many symbols and allusions are explained by critics or Eliot himself, no matter how many fertility gods and Eastern philosophies are dragged into it, the poem does not make sense. But then, it doesn’t need to in order to be good or to have a purpose. All it needs is to have meaning, and something need not make sense to mean something. The meaning “The Waste Land” holds for me is of something wrong – something so twisted and “rotten,” as to be intrinsically wrong. For me, this wrongness winds itself in and out of the passages and images of the poem and doesn’t seem to have any hope of being righted until the end – in the last few lines.

In every time, in every place in “The Waste Land,” something is wrong. The world of the poem is one where April, the season when growing things return after winter, is “the cruellest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land,” the “son of man” knows only “a heap of broken images,” and there is “fear in a handful of dust.” Each symbol and each allusion contains a grotesque element – one that was already there or one incorporated by Eliot. Lines 72-73 are such a nice, normal way to speak about a garden (“‘Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?/’Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?'”), except that the thing which has been planted is a corpse, and it’s in danger of being dug up by a Dog.

T’ie different ways of looking at life are all tainted. Someone says, “‘I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street/’With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow?/’What shall we ever do’?'” The talkative woman gossips of the problems in another woman’s marriage and of her abortion, ending with the last words of Ophelia, spoken in her madness. Tiresias, the blind prophet, foretells the scene of a woman who endures the caresses of her lover, and, glad when they are over and he is gone, forgets about the incident entirely. She merely “puts a record on the gramophone.”

The descriptions are often shocking and ugly, especially in the midst of a beautiful scene.

Essay About Love in The Road Less Traveled

The Element of Love in The Road Less Traveled

Scott Peck expresses his unusual perspective of love in his work, The Road Less Traveled. Peck’s view of love was a correction to what he thought everyone else thought love was. This paper will be an explanation of Peck’s beliefs about love, a contrasting view on love, and my personal knowledge of Peck’s beliefs.

Peck had a very pessimistic and, at times, a contradicting view of what is believed to be “love” and introduced that in his section on the definition of love. Peck (1978) believed “Love is too large, too deep ever to be truly understood or measured or limited within the framework of words”(page 81). Later on in that same page Peck offers a definition of love as being “The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s personal growth”(page 81). He also breaks down his definition into five comments: First- The definition has a goal or a purpose, Second- The definition given is a circular process, Third- The definition includes self-love as love for the other, Fourth- The definition implies effort, and Fifth- The definition implies a “will” to do something rather than just a desire. Peck believes that lots of suffering can be avoided if a person would take the time out to do away with the common misconceptions of love and came to a more precise meaning of love. Peck’s section called “The Myth of Romantic Love” delves deeper into why he believes that people do not fully understand the meaning of true love. Peck says, “…the experience of falling in love probably must have as one of its characteristics the illusion that the experience will last forever”(page 91). He blames our mentality of this “fairy tale” love on society. In this section Peck also discusses the myth that there is one man for every one woman and vice versa. When a couple falls out of love, “…then it is clear that a dreadful mistake was made, we misread the stars, we did not hook up with our one and only perfect match, what we thought was love was not real or “true” love, and nothing can be done about the situation except to live unhappily ever after or get divorced” (page 91). Peck believes that couples that live by this type of mentality prize togetherness and see it as a sign of a healthy marriage but in actuality it is not.

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