For my map of The Waste Land, I chose to locate the locations of places alluded to and the settings of "A Game of Chess." The map that I have created (below) uses blue pins for specific places alluded to and red pins for physical settings of this section. The yellow pins are meant to represent potential sites of the Garden of Eden, which Eliot refers to in lines 97-8. The lines connecting the pins trace the linear order through which the allusions travel amongst the pins.
View "A Game of Chess" in a larger map
The most salient insight that arises from the map of "A Game of Chess" is the disparity between the geographic variation of Eliot's references to the Ancients up to Milton and Shakespeare and the rather localized latter sections that are much more locally focused. Taken in consideration with the temporal motion of this section, which is directly linear from the ancient to modernity, this differentiation could be read as both a comment on post-WWI sentiment and Eliot's larger project in The Waste Land. The highly localized nature of the modern section of "A Game of Chess" in comparison to the geographically expansive section of antiquity could speak to a sentiment undermining the pervasive nature of nationalism in Europe leading up to and throughout World War I. While there certainly was nationalist (or at least regionalist) allegiances in the ancient world, these allegiances never led to warfare on the scale of WWI - they never created The Waste Land. The isolation of modern locals could be read as Eliot dissenting against nationalism. Another reading of the map could focus on the distinct geographic separation between the past and present in this section of The Waste Land. As we discussed in class, Eliot's continual allusions represent a formal embodiment of his project to create a new mythology, a new origin story from those of previous generations. The distinct geographic border (nearly half of Western Europe) between the two geographic groupings could speak to this differentiation that Eliot is seeking to do away with in The Waste Land.