T.S. Eliot * The Wastelands * What the Thunder Said (V)

“What the Thunder Said” is set in various places. The first three stanzas are set in a desolate and deserted place where it resembles a true waste land, emphasizing the dire need of society for salvation. “Falling towers” and “unreal cities” indicates the destruction and corruption within society. The title of this part has been derived from an Indian legend, which says that all beings, the men, devils and as well as gods, listen to what the thunder says in order to restore life to the “wasteland”.

This part starts off with a setting of a rocky place with no water. Water here symbolizes salvation and hope, thus the beginning of part V reflects on a society where civilization is corrupted, impure, given in temptations – in need of salvation. As the poem progresses, we reach another setting where civilization is engulf in fire which is both a purifying and destructive element and it therefore plays a significant role in the rebirth and regeneration of society. This resembles an apocalypse.Later on, hope is finally coming – re-emergence of water bringing with it the hope of rebirth by the thunder. Thunder plays an important role. When it speaks, Eliot describes it as God delivering three groups of followers -– men, demons, and the gods -– the sound “Da”: Datta for humans which means to give – to curb man’s greed, dayadhvam for devils which means to have compassion and empathy for others, and damyata for gods which means to control for they are wild and rebellious. Together, God gives these three orders which add up to a consistent moral perspective, composure, generosity, and empathy lying at the core, to reach inner peace.


The Wasteland * T.S. Eliot – A Game of Chess (II)


This chapter title is taken from two plays by the early-17th playwright Thomas Middleton, in which the theme of one play is, a move in a game of chess denotes stages in seduction. This poem can be divided into three distinct parts; part 1 from line 77-110, part 2 from line 111-138, and part 3 from line 139 – 172. Each part has a different narrator accompanied with totally different settings, tones, and language usage. Interestingly, they all convey a very similar mood to the audiences. This is the most paradoxical poem in the whole chapter with two sets of opposing scenes.

The first opposing scene is the juxtaposition between the exquisite furnishings inside a beautiful-looking castle from the outside(part 1) compared to paranoid and devastated state inside of the London people after World War 1 (part 2). The second opposing scene juxtaposes two women, one of high-class and one of low-class. The first part of this chapter depicts a very high-class women (seemingly equal to Cleopatra) being placed on a “burnished throne” in a surreal, mystic chamber full of ivory and colored glass. On the other hand, this last part can be any typical low-class gossiper talking about her friend (who is also low-class and should get her teeth replaced) whose husband is coming home from the army.

All of these oxymoron appear as fix differences just in order to cover up the desolation everyone was in. Castle or just dirty London street, the woman in part 1 (which is alluded to many women with fail romance) is drowning and confused in her ocean of thoughts, the state of London is similar with zombified people who don’t have any particular purpose in life. Low-class or high-class, both women are suffering and crying alone helplessly while one hides her desperation in glorious furniture and the other conceals her sadness by speaking like nothing could ever put her down.

Book Reviews

The Old Man And The Wasteland * Nick Cole


The old man in Cole’s novel lives in a postapocalyptic wasteland in the American southwest. Like the other members of his village, he salvages whatever he can find that still has value. He was once a hero, having made great finds, a refrigerator among them, but later he became a symbol of bad luck, cursed for bringing a radioactive radio into the village.

East is curst

Now the old man hunts alone.

‘If you couldn’t read, you wouldn’t have made it past the sentry gun. So you must be civilized. Or no one ever came and the building’s back-up batteries finally ran down, though that shouldn’t have happened for another hundred years after I wrote this. Which means I was the last and these markings mean nothing to you. So go ahead and burn it for fire. At least that might be the start of a civilization.’
‘If on the other hand you can read, it means you are probably from my time; is that the right answer? My civilization. You survived the bombs or knew someone who did and they taught you. I guess.’

Book Reviews Stephen King

The Dark Tower 2 – The Drawing of The Three * Stephen King

The search for the destined 3 continues. King claims that the Dark Tower is inspired mainly by Tolkien and Sergio Leone, but after finishing The Drawing of the Three I definitely have the feeling that he also has read one or two books by Stephen Donaldson. Some of the same ideas that are the foundation of Donaldson’s writing are evident here too, especially the flawed, unwilling hero concept, and there was at least one detail that instantly reminded me of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.