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E-ISSN : 2249 - 4642 | P-ISSN: 2454 - 4671



Metamorphosis in T.S. Eliot “The Waste Land” (Modern American Poetry)

Dr. Murthadha Adel Bader

Volume: 13 Issue: 3 2023


The Waste Land was quickly recognized as a major statement of modernist poetics, both for its broad symbolic significance and for Eliot’s masterful use of formal techniques that earlier modernists had only begun to attempt. The critic I. A. Richards influentially praised Eliot for describing the shared post-war “sense of desolation, of uncertainty, of futility, of the groundlessness of aspirations, of the vanity of endeavor, and a thirst for a life-giving water which seems suddenly to have failed.” Eliot later complained that “approving critics” like Richards “said that I had expressed ‘the disillusionment of a generation,’ which is nonsense. I may have expressed for them their own illusion of being disillusioned, but that did not form part of my intention.” Nonetheless, it was as a representative of a postwar generation that Eliot became famous. To compare Eliot’s comments on the poem with the way it was received illustrates strikingly the fact that, as William K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley put it, “The poem is not the critic’s own and not the author’s (it is detached from the author at birth and goes about the world beyond his power to intend about it or control it). The poem belongs to the public

DOI: http://doi.org/10.37648/ijrssh.v13i03.008

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