The Waste Land Analysis

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T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” is a complex and fragmented poem that underwent major revisions before it was published in 1922. The published version we see and read today is actually shorter in comparison to what Eliot had originally written. According to James Torrens’s article “The Hidden Years if the Waste Land Manuscript,” Eliot had mailed “54 pages of The Waste Land, including the unused parts” to John Quinn, a “corporation lawyer in New York City,” which had shortly disappeared after Quinn’s death in July of 1924 (Cuddy 60). Eliot’s lost pages were not uncovered until the early 1950s (Ford`) In 1971, a facsimile of the original drafts of “The Waste Land”, edited by Eliot’s second wife, Valerie, was published and revealed how much the poem was edited and compressed by Eliot along with Ezra Pound, who played a significant role in the editing of the poem (Ford). In this essay, I would be examining the more major changes made to first, third, and fourth section “The Waste Land” and how it did not affect the meaning of the poem. The first section, “The Burial of the Dead” did not initially begin with “April is the cruelest month” (Eliot 37). This part appears…show more content…
(see figure 3). For instance, in the manuscript there was a stanza that described the typist wearing a “bright kimono” within a room containing “A touch of art” as she lays lethargically on the window seat (Eliot 45). Another portion that was removed was a description of the “expected guest” which is “A youthful twentyone, spotted about the face” with thick, greasy hair with scurf (Eliot 45). By deleting both these parts, have no affect on the meaning of the poem it simply provides the reader with a more vivid description of the appearance of the typist and expected guest. Due to Pound’s edits, the portion of the typist and clerk was compressed down from sixty lines to twenty-eight

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