Themes and message

The main theme of the short story “The Waste Land” by Alan Paton is the decadence of society which is enhanced through sub-themes like violence, pain and fear. Though there are no direct references to society in South Africa, Alan Paton’s message is that South Africans are exposed to violence and anarchy, mostly because of their poverty which, in its turn, was largely a result of the apartheid regime in the country. 

Decadent society

Societies are labelled decadent when their members engage in immoral behaviours and acts. This can refer to any number of attitudes and actions such as greed, violence, loss of family values in favour of deviant sexual behaviours, an extreme focus on material gains, or a loss of all interest in spiritua...

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