Saturday, February 27, 2016

My House

After reading section three of the Waste Land, The Fire Sermon, and how the nymphs had departed from the lifeless Thames river, it reminded me of my own street called Dryades, which is like a nymph, but they live in trees. If you have heard of the uptown construction, maybe you saw it during Mardi Gras, you should know what I'm about to talk about. The construction has been blocking my street for four years now and has been done for two. The area is now used to store the machines used to dig up the neutral grounds and whatever else those machines do. There are never any workers and less and less cars pass by now since it is a construction zone. The scenery of my street has turned from a lively short cut, to get away from Newman school traffic, to a lifeless, desolate place were the dryads have departed from, like in Eliot's poem. The construction waste land is taking over New Orleans.


Jack Zheng said...

The construction is also a part of modern life, which Eliot thought was creating a cultural wasteland. At least no churches or historical monuments had to be torn down for it, so Eliot can rest assured without rolling in his grave too much.

The connection between the barren construction zone and Mardi Gras also relates to Eliot's imagery of a swamp with no trash left behind from partying - the city workers clean up every year in a speedy manner.

Madison Cummings said...

As I live pretty close to you, Anastasia, I also understand the struggle of having to deal with the constant construction Uptown. I drive down Jefferson every day on the way to school, and with all of the construction going on that area gets very backed up. I have gotten caught behind several construction trucks (that move painfully slow down the one lane street) that have caused me to be late to school multiple times. It is weird that something that is meant to represent progress and improve the area can also be such a hazard; as it increases traffic and is a constant unattractive nuisance.

madison kahn said...

@Madison... I really like your last comment about how "something that is meant to represent progress can also be such a hazard." I think Eliot was definitely feeling this way while writing the poem. So many things Eliot mentions in The Waste Land are relevant in his modern society due to the fact that they are supposed to improve quality of life one way or another. Two examples I can think of from the poem off the top of my head are: a) the synthetic perfumes--as Ms. Quinet said, the scents were new scientific inventions that people were supposed to love. However, many found them burdensome/overpowering. and b) the multiple references Eliot makes to those "9 to 5" jobs--such jobs are supposed to improve GDP, standard of living, etc. across the economy. However, many times they drain people of their happiness. We can even relate to this concept today. Think of all the new technology--sure it's a great thing and we usually love it, but the truth seems to be that we are becoming too reliant on it. The point I'm really trying to make here is that even though something is supposed to better society, as you said, it can often have the complete opposite effect.