Even after we deciphered part of the section in class, the rest of The Burial of the Dead was still elusive and complex. The foreign phrases, “Bin gar keine…echt deutsch,” and “Frisch weht…weilest du,” contributed to the elusiveness. Also, the specific words such as “hyacinth”, “Madame Sosostris”, “Phoenician Sailor” and others also creates distance and confuses the reader as to make analytical work difficult. This just makes me excited to read around the work so that I can understand all of the references, allusions and the inspirations Eliot is drawing from.
With that being said, the section definitely delivers feelings of devastation, desolation, and somberness. From “the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,/And the dry stone no sound of water”, to “I will show you fear in a handful of dust”, and “Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled”, the section is filled with imagery that is just depressing and even if the reader cannot decode the rest of the lines, the section conveys the mood successfully. On a similar note, the section makes a lot of references to death, such as “the dead tree gives no shelter”, “I was neither/Living nor dead”, and “Fear death by water.” This makes sense as the section is called The Burial of the Dead, and as well as representing the voice of the soldiers from the war, the section takes on the voice of the US and seemingly the UK, about how death has haunted the mind of the people.