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The Waste Land short response essay

You will write short responses for each of the reading response topics. Lines 21-23 of Eliot’s poem read “you know only / A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, / And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief.” These lines not only present a problem specific to the context in which they are voiced but seem to describe the poem as a whole: a heap of broken images. Such broken and fragmented images without connective transitions between them present enormous difficulties for the reader trying to bring some semblance of coherence and meaning to the poem. This, it can be argued, is precisely the point (or one of the points) of Eliot’s poem. For your reading response, and using the poem itself to illustrate the problem at hand: Discuss why you believe The Waste Land is written in the form that it is. How does its formal structure (or lack of it) mirror the problem(s) found in the world as wasteland? Of course, this could be a rather long reading response, but restrict yourself to a passage or two that illustrates most significantly this problem of the broken image and its relationship to the moral, ethical and spiritual wasteland as Eliot presents it. In approximately 250 words (one page), make a clear, focused argument (thesis statement) that tackles one or more of these questions clearly and directly but also substantively. For our grading purposes, and so that you yourself know your argument, please underline your thesis statement in the final draft you submit. The response will be graded according to this rubric: Max Points: Description 6: Understanding text in relation to the prompt: Demonstrates understanding of key points in the text as well as addresses thoroughly the prompt. 6: Clarity/Strength of Argument: Develops a clear thesis statement in the first paragraph. Supporting paragraphs form points that support the thesis. Other viewpoints are considered and responded to. Summary of the text is kept to a minimum. 4: Appropriate evidence from the text: At least one quote that supports the thesis is included. Additional quotes are kept to a reasonable number and all quotes are an appropriate length for the length of the paper. All evidence is clearly based in the text. 2: Grammar/Mechanics: There are no grammar or spelling errors 2: MLA Formatting: The paper is formatted according to MLA rules and in-text citations are used and appropriately formatted. A works cited page is included if any source outside of the prompted text is used. 20: Total

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