Voices Hollow and Plaintive, Unattended and Peregrine: Hints and Guesses in The Waste Land

  • G. Douglas Atkins


Reading the notes Eliot added as closely as the verses, this chapter reveals the satire present and at work in The Waste Land, a poem renowned for its allusiveness, indirectness, and difficulty. The reader, aware of the satire, works to make the connections that the wastelanders fail to make. In fact, they, and the speaking voice who represents them, stand exposed as variously incapable. Simply put, they desire and seek the wrong thing, including painless relief, escape, and death, instead of the purifying fire available in, through, and by means of the very waste land they inhabit.


Representation Echo Individual Talent Waste Land Western Asceticism Speaking Voice 
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    Qtd. in B.C. Southam, A Guide to the Selected Poems of T.S. Eliot, 6th edn (San Diego, CA: Harcourt, Brace, 1996), 26.Google Scholar
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    From Eliot’s notes to The Waste Land.Google Scholar
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© G. Douglas Atkins 2013

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  • G. Douglas Atkins

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