Arts and Sciences
Be it as a completed work or as individual sections, the ambiguity of T.S. Eliot’s most famous poem has always been the subject of scholarly debate. Though concrete conclusions are seldom reached in any of these discussions, the mere exchange of readers' ideas is often the most rewarding aspect of the dialogue surrounding the poem. The presented paper attempts to join that conversation through an analysis of the fifth section of The Waste Land and how it may be related to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Through the interpretation of a number of allusions, I propose that there is a journey of sorts depicted in the final section of The Waste Land, and that this journey is rather similar to that seen in the first two thirds of Dante’s epic voyage through the afterlife. In exploring such a connection, new lines of interdisciplinary thought may be inspired in other members of the community, be it in a theological, philosophical, or perhaps even psychological sense. If nothing else, however, the proposed subject matter will draw attention to a potential narrative within the organized choas of The Waste Land.
Balkema, Katherine, "It Falls to Us: Linking The Waste Land to Dante’s Divine Comedy" (2018). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 723.