Vivid Episodes, Startling Transition in - The Waste Land

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      (In Outline) Eliot's use of words and phrases are skilful. His literary knowledge was vast and this is evident in his allusions and references. The skill with words help him to present the episodes and pictures in such a way as to leave a vivid impression on our minds. Some passages of The Waste Land easily stand out for their vividity - such as the scene of Madame Sosostris telling the fortune of a client with her Tarot cards, the soulless crowd flowing over London Bridge, the protagonist recognizing Stetson, the scene between Lil and her husband, and between the Lady of Situations and her lover, the mechanical seduction of the typist by the clerk, the violation of the Thames - daughters, and the cities of Europe decaying and disintegrating.

The episodes and scenes are not logically connected or smoothly linked. There are abrupt and startling transitions from one to another. Connecting matter is totally ignored by Eliot who relies on the impression created by each episode in itself, each picture is connected to another in the reader's mind to have relevance to the general theme. The form of The Waste Land is not governed by the usual sense of logical order. The mythical technique gives the organizing principle to it. Thus the totality of the 'broken images' matter more than a smooth transition from one to the next episode. As for allusions, there is no dearth of them in The Waste Land. The allusions are, without doubt, erudite or learned. The range of authors quoted from or alluded to is wide. Furthermore, the mythical allusions form the very basis of the poem, and are most cleverly worked out. Some of the allusions are, however, obscure.
Transition in The Wasteland

      The episodes and scenes are not logically connected or smoothly linked. There are abrupt and startling transitions from one to another. Connecting matter is totally ignored by Eliot who relies on the impression created by each episode in itself, each picture is connected to another in the reader's mind to have relevance to the general theme. The form of The Waste Land is not governed by the usual sense of logical order. The mythical technique gives the organizing principle to it. Thus the totality of the 'broken images' matter more than a smooth transition from one to the next episode. As for allusions, there is no dearth of them in The Waste Land. The allusions are, without doubt, erudite or learned. The range of authors quoted from or alluded to is wide. Furthermore, the mythical allusions form the very basis of the poem, and are most cleverly worked out. Some of the allusions are, however, obscure.

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