Memory and Desire, Comparing Both the Wasteland by Ts Eliot and John Steinbeck’s of Mice and Men

Memory and Desire both influences an individual’s reaction to events both past and present, therefore positioning one’s expectation of the future Both Memory and desire influence an individual’s response to the nature of events of the past and the present. Like the ebb and flow of the waves seen in 30 Years in the Wilderness Memories also comes back and forth in one’s mind. Both memory and desire shape and inform our human reactions. Memories connect individuals with the past and develop them as an individual for the future.

As humans we test our memory constantly as an indication that we remain mindful and alive. Desire is the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state of mind and when and when an individual finds a meaningful reason to exist. T. S Eliot’s poem the Wasteland explores the centrality of memory and desire and how they both influence an individual’s reaction to future events. Similarly in the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck these ideas are shown as well however through the use of linguistic and language techniques. We engage in the past to come to terms with the present.

Through the use of the sound of the wave movement and the fading of the words “memory and desire” in 30 Years in the Wilderness” the idea of memories being engaged by individuals at different stages of their lives to come to periods with the present. “Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, a crowd so many, I had not thought death had undone so many”. Here the “brown fog of a winter” is portrayed as an unhappy place and indicates that the world is being replaced with complexity. Although they are crowded on the bridge they feel disconnected from each other and isolated.

Europe is a mess especially during the aftermath of world war one. Individuals are depending on their childhood memories to cope with the consequences of war, their memories are a source of escapism and they are immersing themselves in their memories. Similarly in the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck the idea of memories is being used as a source of escapism and is shown through the use of language techniques. George recalls memories of Lenny ruining their American dream several times, “Made me seem God damn smart alongside of him. However as a result both the characters George and Lenny develop as people because they learn from their mistakes they made in the past from processing their memories and fix them for the future. “I could build a smoke house like the one gran’pa had… ” Here George describes his dream lifestyle and twice describes it with term he enjoyed in his childhood. Desire is the natural longing that is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of any good, and impacts to action or efforts it’s continuous or possession. In the Wasteland desire is depicted in a sexual sense. “The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring Sweeney to Mrs.

Potter in the spring”. Here society is modernised and has lost all its purity and turned vulgar. The word “Sweeney” refers to sexual behaviour and shows how the values of sex are such a desire. Section two of the poem titled “A game of chess” is also portrayed as sexual indicating the change from death to sex. The title suggests the movement made by two people in the process of sex parallel to the strategy involved in making moves in chess. Similarly in of mice and men George and Lenny have a desire to be self reliant and independent “Well,’ said George, ‘we’ll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens.

And when it rains in the winter, we’ll just say the hell with goin’ to work, and we’ll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an’ listen to the rain comin’ down on the roof… ” Workers like Lenny and George have no family and no stable lifestyle and they have little control of their lives. Because of the environment they live in they have a desire to live an independent lifestyle and their dream is a source of motivation for them to cope in their current circumstances.

In conclusion we can say that both the texts Wasteland by Ts Eliot and the novel of mice and men definitely show examples in ways we are heavily affected by our own memories and desires. These ideas are also visited in 30 years in the wilderness. Through the use of poetic and language techniques the ideas that memories being a connection of the past and influencing the present and the future and desire as the natural longing that is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of any good that both shape and inform our human responses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *