A short note on Eliot's fourth and fifth sections of "The waste of land"
In the fourth section "Death by water", Eliot contrasts the significance of water in modern times by comparing it to traditional one. Traditionally, water is a symbol of purificationn and regeneration. But in modern waste land, water is a symbol of desolation and destruction. Come to the myth, the Phoenician sailor who died by himself as his business activity of profit and loss gave him no meaning. There is no rebirth for him. By connotation, the modern man is comparable to Phlebas. However, the modern man is to be guided by moral and spiritual values. That is the only way to save him.
In fifth section named "What the Thinder Said", is the most complex section of "The waste land". This section is the climax of.the poem. Eliot projects the theme.of sterility and frustration in the first two sections. In this section he provides a solution to the problem in this section. In fact, the theme of rebirth is introduced in the fourth section 'Death by water'. This section begins with a note of arrest of Jesus Christ. A group of people carrying torches and lanterns lead that arrest procession. This procession is a symbol of terror and horror. This shows that modern civilization has no hope due to sacrifice.of.Jesus. In this section, Eliot uses imagery of.rocks, desert and.the absense of water.
He who was living is now dead.
We who were living are now dying.
These two lines suggest predicament of modern civilisation. The value system is inverted. The first of "What the Thunder said" takes the readers to the climax of the wasteness of modern civilisation. The second half of "What the thunder said" begins with the call of necessity of rebirth of spiritual values. However this is only hope. This hope.gives concrete shape. The Ganga and the thunder suggest the hope of the transformation of waste land into fertile land. Eliot uses Ganga instead of the expression, the Ganges. Because, Eliot knows the meaning of Sanskrit word, Ganga is a sacred holy river. In this concern, Eliot alludes to the mythology of King Bhagirath. Bhagitath who was successful in bringing Ganga from Himavanth. Here Black clouds in the Himavanth shows a hope of rain.
Eliot also alludes to the myth of Prajapathi who was a prophet. According to Indian mythology, Prajapathi imparts education to children. At the end of education, children ask him to give message. The message is a sound DA in Brihadaranya Uanishad which is the noise of thunder. He asks them about the understanding of the sound.
Three disciples perceive it in three different ways, datta, dayadhvam and damyatha
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