Summary and theme of the poem " Departure and Arrival by T. S. Elliot

In this article, I have given the summary, theme, and critical appreciation of the poem Departure and Arrival written by T. S Eliot. I use simple language so that students can easily understand it. This is a very important poem and included in the syllabus of graduate students of Punjab University. By reading this summary a student can attempt any question selected in the poem.

 Departure and Arrival 

T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)


Departure and Arrival is a thought-provoking poem. It is serious in its nature. It contains a certain message for its readers. It tells us to set a vision and a goal before us. Our life can only be purposeful if we set before us some high ideals. We must strive steadfastly and undauntedly to a get our lofty goals. The poem gives us the message of working selflessly for the betterment of future dangers and hardships. It may contain dangerous rocks. It may bristle the challenges of life bravely. 

The poet believes that the 20th century is very important for the development of human civilization. It has to face new challenges and has to solve difficult problems. It is the responsibility of the people of this century to shoulder the responsibilities of this century They must work hard and sincerely to make this century great. They should provide better facilities to mankind in the field of science and medicine. They should discover new methods to conquer pain and human misery.

They should struggle to out poverty, ignorance, and disease from the world. In this way, they will leave a treasure of benefits to the coming generation. It is hoped that the present age will produce better heroes and better leaders than the previous ages. We can say that the poet pins his great hopes on the victories and triumphs of the present century.

Actually, the writer wants to say that the bright future lies ahead of mankind and it can only be achieved by means of hard work and labor. In order to make this century better than all centuries, we should work hard. It is with the eager heart we can help mold well the fate of this century. We should leave a legacy of benefits and a bright future to coming generations.

Critical Appreciation

Departure and Arrival is a very serious poem and has a great lesson. In this poem, the poet makes us realize our duty as an individual towards the development of human civilization. He urges us to play our role in making human history great. he also tries to encourage us to keep pace with the ever-changing circumstances. He wants all of us to fulfill the requirements which the 20th century makes on us. The poem is full of idealism and optimism as the poet believes that we can achieve this goal.

The poet says that we are standing at the shore of the coming century. We shall have to start our voyage courageously. In this voyage, our knowledge is our only guide. We have not to chart or plan to rely upon. The path to our goal is difficult and full of threats. But we have to make our hope our strength and set out at once for the destination which lies in a bright future for humanity.

The poet says that the 20th century calls us to play our role in making it great from the point of view of the humanitarian value He says that we do not know what fate holds for us in store. But we should be optimistic. We should try our best to overcome human misery and pain. he says that we are the sons of this century ad we must utilize all our energies to make it great. We must try to carve our fate ourselves. It is only then that this century will become memorable and our role in its greatness will be remembered for many centuries to come.

There are six stanzas in the poem and the language of the poem is very simple. The poet gives us the message of hope in this poem. We agree with the poet that we should struggle in order to make this age great and rememberable. The urges us to set high goals and do great struggles to achieve them. The journey may difficult but we have to cover it. We should struggle hard to make this world peaceful and remove the misery of the people but we should not demand any reward for it.

Reference to context

These lines have been squeezed from the departure and Arrival written by T.S Eliot.


In this poem, the poet urges us to work hard, so that we may leave a better future for the coming life. In his view, we are living in a world of uncertainty and doubt. But we should not worry about the difficulties and hurdles which might appear to defeat us. Our journey toward our ideal may be difficult and hard. We can better our future and attain our ideal if we face the hardships of life courageously.

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