Allusions in The Waste Land deserve to be considered because Eliot has created a world of formal perfection out of them; moreover, the interweaving of various symbols taken from his major sources, i.e. Miss Weston’s From Ritual to Romance, and Frazer’s The Golden Bough, constitutes the central meaning of the poem, as they are applied to the modern Waste Land. Sometimes quotation and allusion become the very language of the poetry, as we see at the ending of The Waste Land, whose closing lines are a mosaic of literary fragments. Eliot juxtaposes the mythological accounts of life with those of modernist features, by making use of a bundle of fruitful allusions to project the main theme: salvation under the shelter of religion.
Keywords: Allusion; formalism; structure; modernism; irony