Orient as Salvation: Beyond Eliotian Chaos and Swiftian Misanthropy
The objective of this paper is to scrutinize the modern western civilization and its social elements that inspired T.S. Eliot to write his widely critiqued “The Waste Land” which laments over the debasement of socio-psychological and moral aspects of humanity. Besides, this paper also delves into finding the possibility of connection between Eliotian chaos and an apparent misanthropy brought forth by Jonathan Swift in his much acclaimed satire Gulliver’s Travels. In both cases, it seems the authors suggest to darker follies of human nature which loom large against the backdrop of a capitalistic and scientifically advanced western world. Initially it seems there is a hidden correlation that inspired both the writers to craft their respective signature works. To put it in simple terms, western belief, pattern of logic, scientific advancement and extreme adherence to rationality often result in nothingness that eventually leads them to chaos and sufferings.
In contrast to this, once hugely stereotyped ‘exotic, sensual, and crazy’ orient suddenly appears with its tranquility and connectedness enough to provide salvation from western chaos and sufferings, although this does not change the orient from its apparent disorderly ordered shape. At least this is what is presented in a 2016 Hollywood movie “Doctor Strange” and a 1980 South African movie named “Gods Must Be Crazy”. In both the movies it seems they provide a veiled harmony which is beyond western way of looking at life, if not the whole humanity. This particular harmony nurtures the belief that modern western irregularities vanishes when set in an oriental context.
Keywords: Orient, Salvation, Western Chaos, Modernity, Waste Land, Gulliver’s Travels
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