40 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2015
    1. impossible criminals with golden heads

      criminals are glamorized with 'golden heads' - justification of criminality as they are normally the 'best minds of our generation'. Giving voice to the marginalized.

    2. What sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?

      Comment on industrialization/capitalism curbing imagination - again reiterating nature vs man-made.

    3. who howled on their knees in the subway

      Natural vs man-made. The action of howling on their knees is extremely primitive and emotional. A subway, on the other hand, is one of the main symbols (within literature of this time) of force, capitalism, movement, industry etc.

    4. boxcars boxcars boxcars

      Repetition mirroring the mind of madness. But also the mind of genius? When an intellectual is sorting out a problem they can obsess over small details and words as much as someone who is mad. What is the line between madness and genius?

    5. Atlantic City Hall

      Throughout the whole section emphasis on place is prevalent. Harlem, Denver, Atlantic City etc. It seems like a common theme within American literature of the time to focus on different places within America and what these places symbolize. For example Atlantic City is know for it's casinos and gambling so maybe could symbolize sin? An ' a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall' may mean the trail of 'sin' the narrator leaves.

  2. Nov 2015
    1. Unreal City Under the brown fog of a winter noon Mr Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants  210 C. i. f. London: documents at sight, Asked me in demotic French To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel Followed by a week-end at the Metropole.

      Although the time of day has progressed from ‘dawn’ to ‘noon’, in the ‘Unreal City’, it is still ‘winter’, demonstrating that progression has been minimal. Furthermore, the symbol of the ‘brown fog’ still runs true, highlighting that such progression is only an illusion. In addition, Eliot uses juxtaposition to emphasise the city as anti-progressive, through the character of ‘Mr Eugenides’. On first look, he is portrayed as important as he proposes to luncheon at the ‘Cannon Street Hotel’. Cannon Street is located in central London, a wealthy area close to important landmarks such as the Tower of London and London Bridge, insinuating his affluence. [https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cannon+Street+Station/@51.5054836,-0.0611949,12z/data=!3m1!5s0x487603542d863109:0x57bb9a6ab420d0d5!4m2!3m1!1s0x487603544f56a4df:0xd1788bb92b67162d]This portrayal is accentuated as he can obviously afford a weekend away at the Metropole hotel, another luxurious hotel in Brighton.

      Image Description

      As you can see in the contemporary image above, this portrayal projects images of modernity, confidence and progression. However, Eliot states that he speaks in ‘demotic French’, which when paired with his ‘unshaven’ appearance undermines his portrayal of class. Much like the ‘brown fog’, his progression is nothing but an illusion. Moreover, many critiques argue that The Waste Land has homosexual undercurrents throughout, and this passage is no exception. Both ‘Cannon Street Hotel’ and the Metropole hotel were places that were contemporaneously linked with secret, sexual excursions as they are described as a 'claudestine meeting place for homosexuals' [as footnoted in file:///C:/Users/Alice/Downloads/558%20Eliot%20The%20Waste%20Land%20(1).pdf]. If this idea is applied, then the city could be portrayed as anti-progressive as homosexuality is forced into secrecy. Though such desires and feelings are real, by suppressing them, Mr Eugenides is living as a distorted version of himself, as it is all the ‘Unreal city’ will allow, linking back to my earlier analysis of conforming to the ‘crowd’. Additionally, Brighton, as a city, is renowned in England as being the most progressive and liberal city so the fact that the Metropole is set here demonstrates that by moving away from these ‘Unreal cities’ allows one to act as they want. Or, in other words, become their authentic, real self.<br> Moreover, the ‘brown fog’ could also symbolize pollution as an anti-progressive factor of the ‘Unreal city’. Firstly, this image physically mirrors the smoke or smog released from modern entities that are found in the city, such as power plants or car exhausts. Pollution, as we now know, is extremely harmful highlighting another layer of anti-progression in the ‘unreal city’. In addition, this pollution could also be metaphorical of pollution of the mind such as the belief that being homosexual is wrong. By repressing, or hiding, his homosexuality, Mr Eugenides is being smothered and choked by such pollution and the only way to escape it is to leave the ‘unreal city’ and breathe more liberal air.

    2. Unreal City,   60 Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many.

      Apart from explicitly articulating the motif of the ‘unreal city’, these lines convey such an image by critiquing cities as anti-progressive and monotonous, deeming them ‘unreal’. By capitalizing ‘City’, Eliot implies that it is a place of importance and progression, yet it becomes apparent that such development is nothing more than an illusion. For example, the image of the ‘brown fog’ is one that distorts perception, as shown in the photograph below, demonstrating that the cities ideals of progression is somewhat distorted. Dryness, throughout the poem, often relates to natural settings in which one has the ability to see clearly, contrasting the image of the ‘brown fog’. For example in lines 331 to 345, Eliot states ‘here is no water but only rock’, followed by describing the ‘mountains’ and ‘sandy roads’ in great detail, thus highlighting the connection between dryness and clarity. However, within the ‘Unreal City’, a blatant juxtaposition emerges as not only does the ‘brown fog’ distort our perception, but its primary state also opposes the nature of being dry. This could symbolize the fact that the ‘Unreal City’ does not allow us to have clarity of sight, demonstrating that the ‘fog’ portrays an idea of illusion which, in turn, leads to anti-progression.

      Image Description

      Another reason why Eliot depicts the ‘Unreal City’ as anti-progressive, is through the image of the ‘crowd’ which diminishes any notion of individuality. This is accentuated by the repetition of ‘so many’, highlighting that the ‘unreal city’ does not create individuals, but only a monotonous crowd. Similar motifs are apparent within Ezra Pound’s ‘In a Station at the Metro’ [https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/station-metro], as he discusses the ‘apparition of these faces in the crowd’, as both poet’s focus on the ‘crowd’, rather than the individual, comments on the sameness of people in such urban settings as the ‘City’ or the ‘Metro’. Furthermore, the word ‘apparition’ is ambiguous as it implies both presence and absence. One definition states it is ‘a deceptive appearance counterfeiting reality; an illusion’ [http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/9527?rskey=7TcRAp&result=1#eid]. If this definition is applied to Pound’s poem, then the ‘apparition of these faces’, have similar connotations of illusion as the ‘brown fog’ in The Waste Land, supporting the idea that the city is anti-progressive due to its deceptiveness. Eliot, and Pound’s, comment on the lack of individualism within the city, and is supported by the ghostly line ‘I had not thought death had undone so many’. The phrase ‘death had undone’ automatically insinuates zombie-like figures, halfway between life and death, supported by Eliot's original footnotes, in which he highlights that this quote alludes to pagans living in Limbo, in Dante's Inferno. This adds an extra layer of conformity to the ‘crowd’, as zombies are often portrayed with similar, un-defining characteristics, unlike the individual. Such images are also apparent within Pound’s poem, if you define ‘apparition’ as ‘an immaterial appearance as of a real being, phantom, or ghost’[http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/9527?rskey=7TcRAp&result=1#eid], presenting the ‘crowd’ at the ‘Metro’ with zombie-like, identical characteristics. Furthermore, the phrase ‘death had undone’ explicitly resonates anti-progression with the word ‘undone’. Additionally, the very fact that these figures, that death has ‘undone’, are still walking around injects a ghostly and unrealistic image. By portraying the citizens of London as such, Eliot demonstrates a link between the unreal and the anti-progressive, as being ghostly is representative of the past. This is supported by the ‘winter dawn’ as Eliot produces a desolate setting, thus building on the notion of anti-progression as nothing can grow in the winter. Additionally, by setting the scene on a man-made entity, such as the ‘bridge’, Eliot highlights the impermanence of the ‘Unreal City’. Throughout the poem, he constantly refers to the nursery rhyme ‘London Bridge is falling down’, highlighting its instability. The word ‘flooded’ also has powerful and destructive connotations, demonstrating the damaging effect of the ‘crowd’, and the lack of individuality that it represents.

  3. Oct 2015
    1. The Negro Speaks of Rivers

      Ironic tone? The title is spoken in a condescending tone that a white person may take. However, the poem goes onto contradict this - the negro does more than merely speak of rivers as he bathes, builds, looks, hears, knows rivers. The negro is not one dimensional. Additionally, this is a poem about rivers, so the negro writes about rivers too

    2. I am the darker brother.

      Emphasizing the importance of race but subverting traditional view to strive for whiteness. 'Darker' is better as 'laughs', 'eats well' and 'grows strong'

    3. Lenox Avenue

      By explicitly stating the location in Harlem, the poem can immediately be associated with the Renaissance and what it stands fotr

    1. But, to my mind, it is the duty of the younger Negro artist, if he accepts any duties at all from outsiders, to change through the force of his art that old whispering “I want to be white,” hidden in the aspirations of his people, to “Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro–and beautiful”?

      The Harlem renaissance sought to express the 'Black is Beautiful' concept in order to demonstrate beauty different to white ideals, but not inferior.

    2. Let the blare of Negro jazz bands and the bellowing voice of Bessie Smith singing the Blues penetrate the closed ears of the colored near intellectuals until they listen and perhaps understand.

      Reminded me of the movement of 'Negritude' which encouraged black writers to assert their own cultural identity, rather than to strive for what has been paved out by white authors or poets. The emergence Jazz and Blues music help assert this positive and yet unique portrayal

    3. An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he must choose.

      This iline reminds me of Frosts' poem 'The Road not Taken', as it demonstrates the tension between freedom of choice and following the path that is already set out for you, because of social/economic/culture etc. In this case because of race. Does it matter if an artist chooses to not be a Negro poet? No matter a poet's choice, it will always reflect living as a Negro poet?

    1. To Carthage then I came   Burning burning burning burning

      Reminder of the cities that are so easily broken

    2. Unreal City Under the brown fog of a winter noon

      Unreal city keeps getting paired with the image of 'fog' - not only a comment on pollution but also that the cities clouds our judgement - anti progressive again

    3. A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many.

      Links with zombies - Cities are actually not progressive, just make us become part of a machine - no individualism

    4. alling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal

      Tension because all these cities are real places yet he has paired them with the word 'unreal'

    5. Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell He passed the stages of his age and youth Entering the whirlpool.
    6. I had not thought death had undone so many

      'death had undone' - does this mean coming back from the dead?

    7. Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,

      What happened in the Hyacinth garden that was so significant?

    8. Only There is shadow under this red rock,

      What is the significance of this enjambment?

    1. Deal own a

      What is being unsaid here, what is the significance of Stein seemingly stopping a sentence half way through?

    2. Pale. Pale. Pale. Pale. Pale. Pale. Pale

      What is the significance of 'pale' being repeated so many times?

    3. love honor and obey I do love honor and obey I do

      Sarcastic/Ironic? Repetition makes it sound like a institutional chant. Maybe a comment on institutionalization within America, especially with the aftermath of WW1. Imitating propaganda and patriotism?

  4. Sep 2015
    1. rescued

      Ironic use of the word rescued? How can one be rescued just to be 'reared by the state'- comment on American propaganda?

    2. the car

      The car represents mobility/materialism/modernity - if no one can drive it, it demonstrates how fast this new modern world is growing. A sense of lack of control

    1. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

      Why has Frost used such a mundane sounding title compared to the poetic language throughout his poetry?

    2. 1916 & 1923 Do the dates that the poems are written play any significance?

    3. I doubted if I should ever come back.

      Why is he doubtful rather than being confident he will return? What is still holding him back?

    1. Be sure, they met me with an ancient air,—

      Hyphen accentuates the image of ' an ancient air'. Adds an element of mystery and fantasy before the next line (shop-worn brotherhood) brings it back to reality. Contrast between two images could represent the difference in imagination and reason?

    2. Tiering the same dull webs of discontent, Clipping the same sad alnage of the years.

      Both lines have 10 syllables demonstrating the monotony of these poets and kings lives. Emphasized by the repetition of the word 'same'

    3. Poets and kings are but the clerks of Time

      Double consciousness of Robinson himself as he is also a poet, making him also a 'clerk of time' A comment on his own discontent?

    1. And why not? Had not votes made war and emancipated millions? Had not votes enfranchised the freedmen? Was anything impossible to a power that had done all this?

      Ironic use of rhetoric questions, almost mimicking American propaganda. Also, the questions are left unanswered much like the problem of racism within America at the time.

    2. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa

      Ironic and sarcastic tone. Mocking America's arrogance. Potentially a comment on how ignorant and arrogant it was of American's perceive African Americans as a lower race.

    3. refused my card,

      The normality of the scene (paying with a card) demonstrates that the racism within America permeates the everyday not just in a wider political scale

  5. Aug 2015
    1. yet his mind was ready to feel the force of all, though the rays were unborn and the women were dead.

      A comment on how easily influenced human minds can be

    2. which was almost exactly Adams’s own age.

      By comparing the machine directly to himself, it almost humanizes the machine. This could maybe be a comment on the rising industrial revolution and the power it is gaining? These machines were so unfamiliar that there was an anxiety of how powerful they could become. Also applicable to modern life with rise of technology.

    1. 'Out of bones' need to sharpen and the muscles' to stretch' Conjures images of a rising army? Almost revolutionary language. 'From my five arms and all my hands' Coincides with images of revolution - use of multiple arms and hands incites images of group mentality. A camaraderie formed, and almost forced, from oppression?

    2. 'Mothers hardening' Almost an oxymoron. Demonstrating that the situation of oppression is so bad that even the most caring, maternal characters (the mother) becomes hardened.