The Waste Land

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The Triumph of Death


This page contains a list of words that I've seen used in books about The Waste Land. Mix 'em and match 'em and you have yourself a paper.

No, seriously, I really don't recommend your trying to string all these together in one report or theme paper. Your instructor might not recoginize the result as your own work (and you know what that means.) Instead, use this list to pick up a few new words to add to your vocabulary or to refresh your memory ("Oh, right, that's the word that I wanted to express how Eliot wanted us to feel.")

Then again, another use might be to use them on secret Buzzword Bingo cards to hand out before the English literature lecture. Be forewarned - don't get caught!

I plan to organize these buzzwords somewhat someday. Until then confusion rules.

Further resources:

Thesaurus.com - Roget's Thesaurus
Sample: resurrection
Sample: demotic
Glossary of Poetic Terms from Bobs's Byway
Sample: iamb

difficult fragmented interpretation reading scenes styles rhythms
moods connection narrative drama lyric original deceptive
complex confusing images symbols mundane profane anquish suffering
original fragments situations historic contrast ironic passages private
intimate distance observations banal lust  longing desire
emotion personal impersonal
civilization, society, culture
perspectives, views
composed fascinating complete incomplete

framework, stucture, form
sections, parts, passages, sequence, lines, stanzas, cluster, elements
material, pages, phrases, units, paragraphs, syllables, words, ideas
variations on the themes

modernism, symbolism
readers, critics, reviewers

synopsis puzzling edited 

iambic meter pattern

recur, recurrant
musical, lyrical
underlaying properties concern clustered
reappear identified associated linked 
representatives symbols awaited

sensual disturbing
human condition

betray, betrayed, betraying
pattern, rythym, stress, dominant, subordinate
blank verse, couplets, iambic tetrameter free verse
annotate creativity surprise interest alternating

examination impression purpose express

death, decay, rot, rotten

rebirth, resurrection, restoration, transformation, transforms,
transfiguration, regeneration, generation, revivial

demons, devils
dream, nightmare
burdened exorcism communicate
published, wrote, drafted, rewrote, conceived
contains incorporated understanding
context meaning (historial context, symbolic meaning)
satire, parody
narrative, lyrics

degradation, vular, crude, imagery, horror (vular sex)
song, medley, aria
shifts and changes
unify, rend

revulsion, fear, horror, terror,
horrible, terrible

narrator, speaker, persona, voice, meditator, poet, protaganist,
poet-protaganist, central conscience

realistic, surrealistic
allude allure shift memories
poem, work, opus
love, desire, passion, lust
situation memories
weary urban

constitutes, makes up, forms
desolate, desolation, wasteland, desert, sterile, infertile, arid
emphasis significance implication meditative
range of meaning
faith quest tone evoke enigma (matic) hysteria
disconnected love persistent sources
situation, event, dramatic scenes, stream-of-consciousness
humor puns
unity prevailing (meaning, tone)
change hope
composite theme disturbing
heat, drought, deluge, relief

oracle, seer, prophet, herald, sybil, fortune-teller

lost degrade
fruitful, fertile, fertility, creativity
cycle cylic
characters empty crowds unease formal - informal
repitition, variation, 

Related to themes:
    major, minor, primary, secondary, plot, sub-plot,
    dominant, subordinate, central, peripheral, prominent

focus experience dwell
focus focused prominent 
sacred, holy, unholy, profane
casual empty
meets, encounters
depicts, shows, illustrates, demostrates, protrays
synopsis, summing up

sustain, continue developing emotional physical sad ugly

longing spiritual experience permeates sorrow restoration
metaphorically, literally

Conditions of mind:
    madness, insanity, sanity, breakdown, ennui, emotions,
    feelings, aboulie, condition, emotional state, lustful
   guilt, remorse

sterile conclusion purgation
destructive transforms relieves revives 
intriguing phrase speech
soul regrets fooly hope
torture torturous tired indentifiable edition volume hysteria  portrait
composition examination dependence decadence marriage
penetration introduction confessional biographical enigmatic
misunderstood cheap lush paralysis destructive loveless
physic_wound bitterness anguish poignant_memory situation
suggests suggesting suggestive suggestiveness
loss conjured abandoned victims hurt terrible
hurt conceived anatomy body
inspiration comprehended reference repulsion-attraction attachment intimacy
spiritual poetic represent inaccessible paralysis
relationships (man-man man-woman woman-woman)
profoundly identifying conjectural deceive emotional
establish connected revelation biographical appearance
chant song
cluster intense
irony ironic ironically
tortuous twisting winding indirect oblique obscure tortuousity
inevitable acute drawing_on submerging opaque transparent
resentment washed path mythology
conflict, battle
harmony, unification
thrust representative meaningless
committed unspeakable 
cleansing, purification
experience imagination-imaginative- transfiguration obscure tenuous
inspired satisfying (in) comprehended repellent linked pollution
profession exhaustion evokes evocatitive
impact depth breadth descriptive
essence tired

embody express art obsevation remarkable critical vague statement 
discover conceal reveal quote extreme
apparent revulsion
disabling inhibition 

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