Monday, February 18, 2019

Waste Land Essay: A Single Protagonist -- T.S. Eliot Waste Land Essays

The redundance Land A Single Protagonist        The idea of a adept and unifying protagonist in The Waste Land was briefly proposed by Stanley Sultan in Ulysses, The Waste Land, and Modernism form.  I would like to survey this topic in greater depth.  Part I presents no obstacles to teaching the poetry in this light. On the contrary, the hypothesis of a individual speaker unit and performer adds shadow, depth, drama, and direction to everything in the movement. It discovers a poem of off the beaten track(predicate) to a greater extent seriousness, profundity, and complexity. Certainly the original working title, He Do the Police in Different Voices, implies the presence of a single speaker in the poem who is gifted at taking off the voices of others--just as the foundling named sluggish in Dickenss Our Mutual Friend is, according to the doubtless biased and get on Betty Higden, a beautiful reader of a newspaper. He do the practice of l aw in different voices. This speaker has a flair for tones of criminality, sensationalism, and outrage--the whole gamut of abjection and judgment or so the title implies. He shows a desire for such tones, he is virtuosic at rendering them. The working title was so itself a harsh judgment on the protagonist (whom it travesties). All diction is abjection? The very impulse to perform voice is suspect? A complicity in the fascination of crime--say, murder? To create and to murder are secretive akin? These severe intimations are of a piece with the contemptus mundi of the poem. The hypothesis of an all-centering, autobiographic protagonist-narrator is not only consistent with the working title it explains the confident surfacing, in the latter part of the poem, of an unmistakable religious pilgrim. Unless this p... ...ough up, a phlegm of talking to. By imbuing his protagonist with his own auditory and vocal genius of participation in the abjectness of his times and in approaches to the Absolute (for the silence must be heard, and speech must edge it), Eliot made his poem a barometer sensitive twain to the foggy immediate air and to the atmospheric pressure high and far off, the thunder of spring over distant mountains (part 5). A group or medley of voices cannot attend to a charged, remote silence for that a single protagonist was necessary, one who could both do the group and find in himself the anguish and strength to leave it, repressing the fatal impulse (as dark-skinned puts it) towards a renewal of human love and seeking, instead, the Love Omnipotent. He Do the Police in Different Voices The Waste Land and Its Protagonist. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1986.  

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