Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song, By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept…. the body is on fire; things tangible are on fire;… the mind is on fire; ideas are on fire; . 1 p. 1, emphasis added). Yet, interestingly enough, Eliot never does the work for us by explaining the meaning of his references or of his text. The second and third stanzas of “Part V. What The Thunder Said” are replete with the word “water,” but the poet concludes by stating that there is none (358); “empty cisterns and exhausted wells” (384) are all that’s left. It seems like a terrible relationship. Et, O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole! Tiresias travels through the streets of London and tells us about her experiences. The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear. After their meal the woman is bored and seems uninterested. He does not give up his love-making and does have sex with him although she is anxious for it to end. A journey along The Waste Land is bleak, and the ending to Eliot’s analysis of society is a harsh truth that we can only hope is not prognostic. These loose references and allusions, however, are prominent insofar as one bears in mind their contextual origin. . Our modern society’s “collective” memory is neglected, and Eliot uses the parts of The Waste Land that precede “The Fire Sermon” to convey a lost sense of memory that has inhibited man from looking beyond his worldly pleasures: Solemn and nostalgic, Part I. This further shapes up the typical relationships that occurred during this time; the sexual interaction between this man and woman was not a real love, but just a sexual assult. This poem opened my eyes about relationships, because it is easy to stay with someone you are with because you are already together and used to being together, however if one person in the relationship is bored by the other person, they should not stay together. Form of the Chapter Line 235-238 describe a sexual encounter between an ugly young man and a woman. By using St. Augustine’s Confessions and Buddha’s Fire Sermon, Eliot is reminding us that the answers to our soul’s depravity are all around us, in our collective culture—the books we read, the places we pass and inhabit, the music we listen to—but that culture can only survive if we remember it and keep it alive in our tradition. The title of this chapter, The Fire Sermon, is a sermon given by Buddha. Eliot uses The Tenth Book of the Confessions, which is the book about memory, in the part of his poem that is heavily reliant upon sensory experience. . the Wasteland, a place with brown land, wet bank, and no humanity. In line 243, Tiresias’ voice returns to say “And I Tiresias have foresuffered all/Enacted on this same divan or bed;/I who have sat by Thebes below the wall/And walked among the lowest of the dead.” I think he is saying that as a prophet he does not get to choose what his visions show. But Buddha ends his Fire Sermon with a proclamation that Eliot is not willing to make. Then,there is a guest that arrives and assaults the typist. This is a refrain from Prothalamion, a poem in the form of a marriage song. Everyone should be in a happy loving relationship if they choose to be. . We explore the relationship between man and woman and how the … As memory is what saves man from depravity and loneliness, so reading the texts of time helps to keep our memory (and therefore ourselves) afloat in a sea of unknowing. The speaker says, “Bestows one final patronizing kiss, And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit.” This shows that all he wanted was sex. A rat crept softly through the vegetation. . Then Tiresias says how he is suffering because he has to watch this scene. He is lost to time and memory because he “forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell/ and the profit and loss” (313-14) and instead only looked forward (320). Nowadays woman and men are claimed to be equal and if one person in a relationship is dominating the other, they might take legal actions against the other individual if they were brave enough. The chapter is, simply, about sexual intercourse. We explore the relationship between man and woman and how the man has the upper hand and the woman is inferior to him. From St. Augustine’s Confessions again. He sees a typist at home performing household duties such as cleaning up from breakfast, lighting her stove and laying out food. The woman didn’t care since she is not concerned of him and he still remains insignificant; “His vanity requires no response And makes a welcome of indifference”(242) Its almost as if she is aware this was going to happen by saying after “Well now that’s done; and I’m glad it’s over”. (252) And also aware that she can’t stop this sexual assault from happening because them men are in control. For within me was a famine of that inward food, Thyself, my God…For this cause my soul was sickly and full of sores, it miserably cast itself forth, desiring to be scraped by the touch of objects of sense… For I was both beloved, and secretly arrived at the bond of enjoying; and was joyfully bound with troublesome ties, that I might be scourged with the burning iron rods of jealousy, suspicion, fear, anger, and strife. Which still are unreproved, if undesired. The woman does not seem to really want to have sex with the man but she does not put up a fight. Eliot presents St. Augustine and Buddha as the exemplars of asceticism for their particular religious culture, but the texts from which he quotes require a separate reading if they are to be understood within the context of “The Fire Sermon” and of The Waste Land, and if the reader is to glean why Eliot emphasizes memory as the bridge over our soul’s depraved void. This is ironic because in scenes such as this one the people are acting the complete opposite. It also stated that he waited until she was tired to make his moves. But because Tiresia is a prophet, predicts what’s going to happen to her after coming home from work; A man comes over and has dinner with her, she is not even happy; “The meal is ended, she is bored and tired”. After the “burning burning burning burning” cadence (308) that follows the reference to Book Three, Eliot makes another reference to the Confessions: Eliot is now referencing The Tenth Book, which is the part of the Confessions that marks St. Augustine’s transition from the autobiographical part of his work to a more philosophical part that begins to delve into the larger implications of his spiritual journey. In Eliot’s “The Fire Sermon” in lines 215-248 we learn a lot about male dominance and we learn about how things were in the household at the time this poem was written in London. The poet in”The Fire Sermon” and in the broader “waste land” is as much dependent on sensory experience in order to recall and describe these places as the reader is dependent on his own ability to perceive that sensory experience and form an idea of the place that is being described. We owe the translation of the title of the discourse known as ‘The Fire Sermon’ to the American translator Henry Clark Warren, whose Buddhism in Translations was one of those pioneering Victorian works that brought the spirit of Buddhism into the west. I sought what I might love, in love with loving, and safety I hated, and a way without snares. This is made clear when Eliot describes that although “endeavors to engage her in caresses Which are unreported, if undesired…. Most often London is looked upon as a female figure, based on the lines 220-248 it speaks of she but I interpreted as London itself, and materialism is given a manly figure. On the divan are piled (at night her bed) Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.” These lines seem to be depicting one of Tiresias’s visions. Eliot’s notes throughout The Waste Land help the reader notice his diverse allusions to texts, stories, thinkers, works of art, places, and even songs. I’m not particularly sold that they are being forced into becoming so materialistic, when the speaker says, “Exploring hands encounter no defence” which if read literally could sound as if the female is being molested, but if taken and read carefully I took is an materialism is slowly seductively winning over London and is falling on what the speaker wants them too do which is to abandon materialism. “Exploring hands encounter no defence”, line 240, tells us that no matter how much he was touching her all over she did not stop him even though she wanted him to leave her alone. After Tiresias was changed to his male self, Hera made a wager with Zeus to determine who enjoyed sex more males or females. Eliot tells us that when the violet hour arrives, Tiresias, a blind prophet, can see images. Eliot converges the physical place, a worldly creation, with sensory experience of past and present, and that in turn permits him to create his narrative. The relationship between the young man and woman seems to be a broken. The woman then gets up as if nothing has happened.
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