The tone throughout the poem. In the

The
Waste Land was written by Eliot with the use of many mythical and literary
references. Eliot is known as a critic-poet, which explains his tone throughout
the poem. In the poem he used Holy Grail, Vegetation and Fertility mythology,
etc. What came upon my attention was there were a ton of Biblical
interpretations that were also established into the poem. There were three
different views on the Waste Land; The wasteland of religion, the wasteland of
spirit, and the wasteland of sex, which become a demand of physical satisfaction
rather than rejuvenation. Eliot successfully communicates to the reader of his
own sense of chaos and uselessness that he finds everywhere in the modern
world. The poem is important because it is based on a document of social
criticism of the world to which Eliot belonged to. Because the land had lost
its fertility, now nothing useful can grow in it; the animals and crops have now
forgotten the importance of their reproductive function which was very
important because they were meant to rejuvenate the land. The reason why this is
negative is because this relates to its lord, known as the Fisher King, who
also had lost his procreative power through illness. This idea links The Waste
Land to the legend of the quest of the Christian Knights for the Holy Grail
which was a repeated theme in the Christian nations. 

The
title of the third section of the poem ‘the Fire Sermon’ is an oriental
tradition. In the Fire Sermon, the Buddha explains to the priests that all
things that are received as impressions through the mind or the physical
senses, are actually on fire. The ritual requires that the priests has to ask
about the nature of the fire and simply the answer was something I found
beautiful and enlightening; it is that things burn with the fires of passion,
hatred, infatuation; birth, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief and
despair. What you put your mind and soul to can set your soul on fire and set
your passions free! For a further understanding of the theme of the title, we
see Eliot mention “In the Fire
Sermon, Buddha counsels his followers to conceive an aversion for the burning
flames of passion and physical sensation, and thus live a holy life, attain
freedom from earthly things, and finally leaves the cycle of rebirth for “Nirvana
“. Again, in the third section, we find the Fisher King Mythology go from
Ritual to Romance. (Eliot 550-551) suggests this mythology, but it becomes modernized
and restructured by placing the ‘fishing king beside a “dull canal . . . behind
the gashouse”. The fire is put out by both the body and the spirit. Both Buddha
and Christ taught that the moral benefit was the means of attaining the highest
entity of life, which was known as the eternal and timeless salvation of the individual’s
soul. Christ was sought out as a salvation in a peaceful eternity while Buddha pursued
it as a way of the final release from suffering through total destruction.

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The
underlying mythologies that Eliot uses to provide a usefulness for “The
Waste Land” are the Fisher King and the Grail Quest. Both of these come to
Christian evolution through the ancient Gaelic tradition. Neither are found in
the Bible, but they were both so important to Europeans that it was a must to
incorporate them into the new European mythology. The most important way that
Eliot uses these underlying mythology’s in “The Waste Land” was to make
a comment on the modern world and describe the modern cultures emptiness within
the context of ancient mythology’s of an epic quest that gives meaning and importance
to life. How did he do it? Eliot points out the simple fact of this cultures
emptiness and its spiritual loneliness and gives hints throughout the whole
poem of where someone can find the remedies to it. “These fragments I have
shored against my ruins,”(Eliot 558). The whole poem can be seen as
“fragments” which provide hints in so many different ways, which made
this story so motivating, especially through the numerous and varied literary
references that Eliot uses to suggest works that the reader can examine to see
how others have attempted to find their own heroes in their lives for a meaningful
and fill fulling life. Eliot uses the scrappy descriptions of cultural
emptiness and descriptions of the past cultural lushness to point out to what
he calls the “disassociation of sensibilities” which is the confusing part
the reader had to figure out throughout the poem, but they had find the connection
of the heart and mind.