Historicizing the Feminine: Treatment of Women in T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land
Akash Borchetia
historical, mythological, patriarchal discourse, prehistoric
T.S. Eliot’s monumental work, The Waste Land contains a considerably large frame of reference. The poem, aptly termed as a modern day epic, draws a parallel between the biblical waste land and the modern world of degenerating values, morals and ethical concerns. With a satirical jibe at the corruption, greed and commercialization of modern life, the poem records the trajectory of the retrogression of humanity using several women characters as representatives of different historical segments. The Waste Land features multiple women characters chosen from different historical and mythological periods to stress on the plight of women within the patriarchal discourse down the ages. The Waste Land incorporates a diversity of women characters, both earthly and divine, ordinary and extraordinary, ancient and modern to document how irrespective of class, social position, time and abilities, women have been marginalized and subjugated to a patriarchal order since prehistoric ages. In The Waste Land, the demoralization, the degeneration of humanity and loss of values permeating the world find expression through its women characters who are the victims of a historically persistent male dominated culture. This paper seeks to analyze the treatment of women by T.S. Eliot in The Waste Land and the way they reflect in themselves the perils that the humanity have been facing since ages.
Article Details
Unique Paper ID: 156714

Publication Volume & Issue: Volume 9, Issue 4

Page(s): 547 - 551
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