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Word Count: 1,269
Ceremonies are prevalent throughout TS Eliots poem The Waste Land Eliot relies on literary contrasts to illustrate the specific values of meaningful effectual rituals of primitive society in contrast to the meaningless broken sham rituals of the modern day These contrasts serve to show how ceremonies can become broken when they are missing vital components or they are overloaded with too many Even the way language is used in the poem furthers the point of ceremonies both broken and not In section V of The Waste After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead ll 322-328The imagery of a primal ceremony is evident in this passage The last line of He who was living is now dead shows the passing of the primal ceremony the connection to it that was once viable is now dead The language used to describe the event is very rich and vivid red sweaty stony These words evoke an event that is without the cares of modern life- it is primal and hot A couple of lines later Eliot talks of red sullen faces sneer and snarl From doors of mudcracked houses ll 344-345 These lines too seem to contain language that has a primal quality to it From the primal roots of ceremony Eliot shows us the contrast of broken ceremonies Some of these ceremonies are broken because they are lacking vital components A major ceremony in The Waste
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