Objective Correlatives of City and Places in T.S. Eliot’s the Waste Land

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Abstract: Although T.S. Eliot is primarily appreciated as a poet, his contribution in the field of literary criticism and literary theoretical discussion are greatly important. The interrelationship between his criticism and his poetic work is marked by many concepts that are materialized in his artistic creation. The objective correlative is a perfect example of this phenomenon, since it is Eliot’s original notion and also because it has been applied to a large extent in his poems. This article aims to investigate the objective correlative from a theoretical point of view and in comparison to other theoretical concepts explicated in Eliot’s critical essays. In addition, the article addresses the use of this literary device in the capacity of urban life, urban ambiance and urban sites in T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, where metropolitan elements provide not merely a setting for the development of the content, but also one of the most recurrently encountered motifs. Eliot’s use of metropolitan details in this poem contributes in the portrayal of modern life by supplying a composite of emotional, logical and sensory reactions, compatible with his description of the objective correlative, which in turn enables a unified experiencing of the poem.

Keywords
: T.S. Eliot; objective correlative; Unreal City; cityscape;

 

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