14 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2015
    1. What is that sound high in the air Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth

      Throughout the piece Eliot seems to frame the modern world and its denizens against the natural world. It is possible that the "hooded hordes" described in this segment depict the brutal force of the transition into modernity, thundering through nature in the name of progress and at the expense of the natural world. The impact of those hordes on nature is apparent in the other lines that allude to nature's decline - rivers sweating oil and tar, the brown fog, the hole in the mountain. At the same time, the image of those hordes - cloaked, faceless, swarming - suggests that the very process of relentless advancement in itself can be destructive, contributing to adversity and degradation of the swarming hordes in addition to their environment.

    1. The river sweats                Oil and tar
    2. The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water If there were water we should stop and drink Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
    3. In this decayed hole among the mountains In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing

      Perhaps another example of human impact on the natural world?

    4. Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth

      I feel like this subtly captures the natural world vs. modern world hints we discussed last class.

    5. I had not thought death had undone so many.

      In what way are these people "undone" by death, and how can the speaker tell?

    6. I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

      How does fear exist within a handful of dust?

    1. Something about the repetition in the piece, and the sometimes seemingly aimless or roundabout lines remind me of all the truncated sentences or incomplete thoughts one might speak or think over the course of a day, especially a busy day. A lot of talk just kind of evaporates, leads nowhere. There's something frenzied and anxious about the snippy fragments, even though they all end flatly with periods. The repetition of names in particular reminds me of all the times we speak family members' and friends' names for one reason or another.

    2. Not cordially yours sounds like a writer signing off at the end of a letter. Not sooner together in between might indicate some distance between the speaker and the object of her thoughts.

    1. from imaginations which have no peasant traditions to give them character but flutter and flaunt

      For me this was the first clear hint of what feels like a criticism of or ambivalence toward the sort of rapidly changing world that we've been discussing as a catalyst to modernist literature.

  2. Sep 2015
    1. Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim,

      I wonder about this line, and the other that makes both paths seem less different from one another. ("And both equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black.") Is he saying that there are (perhaps really similar) positives and negatives to taking either route?

      It makes me feel that although the speaker is glad he's taken the less traveled route - because he's accepted it as his decision and something he can't change ("I doubted if I should ever come back") - that he could have taken either road and wound up with a mixed experience.

    1. If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do?

      I feel as though this is the first inkling of the narrator's circumstances and her feelings about them. There's a note of desperation and a sense of being confined/restricted rolled into the discolsure of her husband's disbelief.

  3. Aug 2015
    1. I agree that the first couple of lines of the third stanza feel like an allusion to the slow reclamation of earth by nature over time, perhaps paralleling the slow growth and strengthening of the "Lion" thriving in its devastating conditions and inching toward a struggle for empowerment. The rest of the stanza almost seems to shift gears completely - what's with the pig? For me, the line "From the ferocity of pig driven to holiness" evokes the idea of a longtime "sinner" attempting to earn forgiveness/redemption at the eleventh hour, with the action being perceived as too little too late. Maybe the well-fed "pig" represents oppressive forces (or complacent bystanders) only just beginning to recognize the transition into palpable conflict.