Friday, February 8, 2013

Frazer's Ideas on Religion and Science in Relation to Elliot's "The Waste Land"

In Frazer's excerpt "Magic and Religion", taken from his work, "The Golden Bough", he goes into deep discussion regrading the differences in magic and religion. Frazer believes the common bond between human beings is magic because we can’t determine if we are going to Heaven because it’s God’s choice, not ours, so we don’t necessarily believe in religion, instead we believe in magic. If you were to consider a transition from magic to religion, he says that we all came from this same belief and that humans can alter the world and make things happen (this magic seems like religion). I believe Elliot also tries to demonstrate such a belief in his "The Waste Land". This can be seen when Elliot uses Christian references when Perceval, Jesus, God, and baptism. Elliot also makes references to Buddhism, the Upanishads, and the Sermon on the Mount, which are different world beliefs that he combines into one. This can also be tied into what Cassidy said about the cubism of "The Waste Land" and the fragmentation seen in the poem. 

1 comment:

Linz A said...

I think religion is considered an explanation for the things we cannot explain. Basically, when things happen that we can't understand, people go "Oh wow! It's magic!" It doesn't mean there's something supernatural at work, it just means we don't understand it. So then, religion seems as a way to explain magic. Just accepting that we can't understand it and calling it magic doesn't work. Now people refer to magic as the work of a god. "Oh wow! It's the god's power at work here!" Science seems to me another explanation for magic. Perhaps more thorough than religion (god are still explainable). In the end, I seems to me that they are saying that magic, religion, and science are all essentially the same thing - trying to explain the unexplainable.