T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land Wiki

The Wife Lil[]

The wife in this chapter is refered as Lil, which can be short for either the Lilly flower or Lilith (Adam's first wife in Jewish folklore)

In our present days, when we picture the white fragile lilly flower, we immeditaely think of compassion, innocence and virginity because obviously that is what white represents for.

Ironically, according to Jewish folklore, Lilith is Adam's first wife before she was banished from the Garden of Eden. Lilly was actually the wife that was created from the same time as Adam while Eve was created from one of Adam's ribs. Lil was casted down because she refused God's word that man represents dominance and decided to not be subservient to Adam by insisting to be on top during intercourse.

What could be the author's intention when he named her Lil? Is he foreshadowing, hinting, implying that Lilly will soon be Adam's ex-wife? Is he saying Lilly seems very gentle on the outside but inside she has her own set of thoughts and is just as determined as Lilith?

The Husband Albert[]

Albert is a name that was once very common among medieval German royalty. Albert means bright and noble. This is a well-twisted paradox within the low-class pub and vernacular writing. The author chose this name possibly for a reason that Albert represents the King in the game of chess, where every other a move is just one after another to sacrifice for the King (this concept will be further explained in the poem)


Lilith in the Garden with Adam as she refused to let him be the dominant one