Eliot, The Wastle Land; Joyce, Ulysses; Yeats, The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water



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The Waste Land by Eliot
The author is Eliot.
We have a unreal city. It’s London. In the morning, there was a lot of fog. A flowed of people, that walk along London bridge. In this landscape we have a group of people that are on London bridge. This people walk in one direction they don’t talk and they fixed their feet this action represents their live, that is, the condition of people in that period of the 20th century are like machine they are indifferent they are got no ideals are die person; the incapacity of this person of communicate without feelings. The clock stripe the 9 o’clock. The poet sees a friend of his and Stetson he asks him a question about the corps ( cadavere ) he planted the last year. It asked if was bloom ( fioritura ). He advices him that the dog must be away from it because the dog can dig it.
Freud influenced the literature because we have the passage from the traditional novel to the psychological novel ( An example: La coscienza di Zeno, Ulysses ).
1) Story→ It’s a series of events
2) Characters→ that move in the story
3) Setting→ place and time of story
Psychological Novel
In the Psychological Novel isn’t important the story, it’s important what the characters think. The characters expresses their thoughts through a technique called Stream of consciousness ( flusso di coscienza ) or interior monologue.
Ulysses of Joyce
There is a correspondence between Joyce’s characters and Homer’s characters:
Homeric Ulysses: after the Trojan war he travels a sea because he wants to return home ( to Itaca ).
Joyce’s Ulysses or Leopold Bloom: He wanders ( vaga ) around Dublin because he is searching a personal reality where he can survive.
Telemachus: son of Ulysses that has to share his house with his mother’s suitors. He lived in a house but he hadn’t any rights in it.
Stephen Dedalous: he is a young writer, he hasn’t got a house and wanders around Dublin searching an house and a father. He meets Mr. Bloom ( Ulysses ) that takes him into his house.
Penelope: she is the wife of Ulysses. She loves her husband and wants for his return, faithfully ( fedelmente ).
Molly Bloom: she is Mr. Bloom’s wife. She is unfaithful ( infedele ), in fact while Mr. Bloom is out she meets her lover.
Mr. Bloom is the mature man that is aware ( consapevole ) of what life is.
Stephen Dedalous is the young man, he is a dreamer, he is an idealist.

Mr. Bloom’s wandering around Dublin is a metaphor of his travel into life. In fact everything he sees or he does represents an occasion for him to think about life and its problems.
For example, the funeral, he goes to, gives him the opportunity of thinking about death. He sees a beautiful girl on the beach, he admires her beauty but when he realises that she is limp ( zoppa ) he begins to think about the suffering in the world.
Mr. Bloom knows that life is suffering and is searching a way to survive in it. In a reality where suffering is the main component.
Another character in Ulysses is Stephen Dedalous. He represents the young man, the artists, the idealist. He lives for realising his ideals but the consequence is that he doesn’t accept the reality and lives outside it, in a personal world made of illusions.
Mr. Bloom represents the mature man that is aware ( consapevole ) of what reality is.
Stephen represents the idealism.
Molly, Mr. Bloom’s wife, represents love.
At the end of the novel the three characters meet and their union is symbolic because it represents Joyce’s solution to the problem of life → a man must live in the reality, with the consciousness of what life really is ( like Mr. Bloom ), he must dream ( like Stephen ) and must love ( like Molly ).
Love has an important function in life because it represents the link between the two opposite worlds: the external world and the interior one, the materiality and spirituality.
In Ulysses ( like in the psychological novels ), it isn’t important what the characters do but what they think. In fact it is based on the stream of consciousness or interior monologue and through it we can enter in the mind of characters and know what they think about the world and life.
For Beckett, Joyce and Yeats. Everything changes is life ( life is change ) life is a series of birth, growth and death ( nasce, vive, muore ). One by one we die.
The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water
In the 1st line the poet repeats the adjective old to underline that these men have arrived at the end of their lives (laives). These men say “ Everything alters, and one by one we drop away”. It means that, in life everything changes and one by one we die. Then the poet uses two similes, he says that “ they had hands like claws and their knees were twisted like the old thorn trees by the waters” through this similes he wants to underline that they are losing their life.
The water is symbol of life. The poet wants to communicate that even if they are near the water ( they live ). They can’t change their destiny. They must die. In the final part of the poem the old men say “All that’s beautiful drifts away like the waters”. It means all beautiful things died in the everyday life. Beauty is the symbol of life.