Comparison of T. S. Eliot’s Poem

“A Cooking Egg” and Pink Floyd’s Film “The Wall”

“The Wall” by Pink Floyd is an animated film dated back in 1982 which narrates the story of a rock star by the name Pink. The film borrows a lot or, we can even say, it is based on Pink Floyd’s album that he produced in 1979. He wrote its screenplay in collaboration with Rodgers Waters; Alan Parker directed the film in question. The film unfolds the youth of Pink when he was adversely affected and bruised by the love of his mother. It reveals how he was punished by his teachers, because he has started to write poems; the reaction from his teachers prompts him to build a protective wall from the outside world. However, as the film winds up, we see Pink breaking down the wall to be at liberty.

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“A Cooking Egg” is a poem written by T. S. Eliot. He used the title to bring out a message such that the “egg” is not satisfactory on its own as a meal; therefore, it is always reserved to be cooked and accompanied by other meals. The poem brings out a character who, even though is attracted to a young beautiful girl, still has that feeling of inadequacy such that he cannot be able to cater for her and give her true happiness. This is what prompts him to come to the decision that he will not approach her, because he will be rewarded the same in heaven; meantime, he just has to deal with earthly disappointments. This is a resolution he holds not only for the young woman but also for most earthly providence that he cannot acquire now. Therefore, we are only able to make tangible comparison of “A Cooking Egg”, by T. S. Eliot and Pink Floyd’s film “The Wall” by ensuring that we have prior intensive knowledge about the pieces of work in question. (George 2007)

When we compare T. S. Eliot’s poem and Pink Floyd’s film, we find a very interesting aspect used in them; this is the symbolism in both titles. For instance, in Pink Floyd’s film, title “The Wall” has been used as a symbol. The wall has been employed metaphorically to express the emotional barriers between him and other parties. Typically, as humans, we always have a tendency to create barriers between us and those people who criticize us or maybe because we do not want to bear the blame of our misdoings. The wall is a symbol of alienation; thus, we are made aware of Pink’s first case of isolation at the moment of his father’s death during the World War II. In the first song, there is a blast and the sound of diving bombers followed immediately by the cry of a baby. These sounds symbolize the death of his father. Another point that articulates the alienation symbolized by the wall is Pink’s mother who was overwhelmingly overprotective of him. Such a behavior made it hard for Pink to interact with other people when he was at a tender age supposed to build his social ties with other people which would have enabled him to grow into a man who trusts relationships with other people and not just keeps to himself.

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Worms have also been used as a symbol. Worms have been used to bring out the destructive harmful thoughts born in people’s minds. In the film, Pink brings out the whole idea that if you isolate yourself from the rest, your mind decays. There is a belief that someone isolated from a greater population at a tender age will always feel superior over the others bringing about racism as evident by the reaction of the crowd. Another instance where symbolism has been portrayed is the use of hammers in the film. Basing on the general knowledge, we have seen hammers at play as a dedicated symbol of fascism; in the past, we see an army of Nazis spreading their arms straight like a hammer, and Pink is first exposed to fascism by his teacher who is symbolized by a hammer. The movie at an instance brings out the open display of hatred towards a certain group of people fueling up racism and tribal conflict just like Hitler and the Nazis with the Jews.

Speaking about the poem, the title “A Cooking Egg” is symbolic in that it is trying to bring out an impression of something that is being prepared for a final purpose. It cannot be taken alone but accompanied by others. Therefore, the egg symbolizes the character, and cooking symbolizes his preparation for his final purpose especially when the character says that he will have his desires fulfilled in heaven. Therefore, he is waiting to see them fulfilled since he believes that he will stand a better chance and will be able to get in heaven what seemed impossible on Earth (Gerald 2010).

We can compare the poems based on the various themes that permeate through them. Firstly, in the poem “A Cooking Egg” by T. S. Eliot, the theme of patience is widely evident and well brought out. The poem presents a character who is more than willing to wait for rewards even in another life which he considers noble than just be carried away by earthly providence. For instance, we are presented with a beautiful young woman whom the character is attracted to. He does not approach the young woman since the feeling of inadequacy pulls him back as he is not in a position to make the young woman happy. However, he does not give up; instead, he says that he will meet this young woman in heaven where he can duly provide and cater for her. This goes for other earthly provisions such as earthly honor of the society among other desires (George 1998).

On the other hand, in the film “The Wall” by Pink Floyd, the theme of patience also highly emanates. Pink has gone through many bad experiences in his life. Firstly, we get to know about his father’s death through the first song where his father dies during the World War II. Secondly, Pink is alienated from the rest of the because of his overprotective mother who keeps him under her check not allowing him to mingle with the rest of the folks in the society. This isolation hinders him greatly from developing ideal trust relationships with his peers. In addition, at school, Pink experiences utmost cruelty from his teachers who are very unfriendly to him. All these factors make Pink withdraw and build a fantasy wall to protect him from the outside environment that he finds cruel to him. The bricks of the wall stand for any additional animosity he goes through in his life. However, remaining with only a few spaces to fill, Pink Floyd contemplates about the idea and eventually breaks down the wall when he becomes a rock star and gets married. To have gone through all the tough times, persevered and eventually risen to the hight of a great star, he realizes that it required a lot of patience from him; he is heroic at this moment.


From the comparison of the film by Pink Floyd “The Wall” and the poem “A Cooking Egg” by T. S. Eliot, we can deduce that the two pieces of work have striking similarities and can be compared further the on basis of themes such as abandonment among other factors. We are able to establish their core distinguishing features and therefore deduce meaningful similarities.


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