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History: E212-M_Eliot

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+ ^::__E212-M T. S. ELIOT QUESTIONS__::^
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+ Assigned: ''The Waste Land'' (2368-83).
+
+ __The Waste Land__
+
+ __I. The Burial of the Dead.__
+
+ 1. What elements of the first section set up the problems that the poem as a whole explores: the loss of a unifying mythic consciousness and loss of individual and cultural vitality?
+
+ 2. To what end does the first section of the poem incorporate historical references, people, and settings?
+
+ 3. Is there a single narrative voice behind the various utterances made in the poem? To what extent do the biblical references help you construct a narrator or to what extent do they encompass the poem's meaning?
+
+ 4. What seems to be the value of Madame Sosostris' the clairvoyant's from 42 through 59? Does she have anything to offer us?
+
+ 5. From lines 60 through 76, who is the "Stetson" addressed by the narrative voice? What sense of London emerges from this stanza?
+
+ 6. If you are familiar with the grail legends of Arthurian romance, what elements of these stories does the first section introduce?
+
+ __II. A Game of Chess.__
+
+ 7. How does this section represent sexuality or sexual reproduction?
+
+ 8. How do you connect this section with the previous one?
+
+ 9. Why might the reference to Philomel be significant in terms of the poet's task in the waste land as well as to the cultural regeneration the poem calls for?
+
+ 10. How do you interpret the references to Elizabethan and Jacobean drama in this section? Is the poem making a statement about the relationship between the present and literary tradition?
+
+ __III. The Fire Sermon.__
+
+ 11. To what extent does this section purge our vision of the scenes in the previous section? Explain.
+
+ 12. If purgation is the theme of this section, what kinds of purgation do you find?
+
+ 13. This section seems to continue the scenes of sexual frustration and apathy from the previous section. But does Tiresias offer a way around these problems? How might Tiresias be considered a purgative or purifying force?
+
+ 14. Why is the mention of Edmund Spenser's River Thames a possible turning point in the poem? Explain.
+
+ __IV. Death by Water.__
+
+ 15. What happens to Phlebas the Phoenician? Does this section advance the plot? If so, how?
+
+ __V. What the Thunder Said.__
+
+ 16. In the course of this section, what is discovered, and what does the discovery make possible? For whom?
+
+ 17. What strategies for survival or at least for understanding do the poem's final three stanzas involve?
+
+ Edition: Abrams, M. H. et al. ''The Norton Anthology of English Literature,'' Vols. 2A-C. 7th ed. New York: Norton, 2000. ISBN 2A = 0393975681, 2B = 039397569X, 2C = 0393975703.

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