Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart.

from T.S. Eliot – The Waste Land on Rap Genius


The speaker is ushering Lil to prepare herself for her husband’s return home from the war. She tells her get “smart” in other words prepare the proper mindset for sex. According to the speaker of the stanza she is nothing more than a pawn- an object used solely for sexual desire and nothing more.

“make yourself a bit smart” also is in terms of beauty NOT intelligence so in other words Eliot utalizes irony to contrast true intelligence with the speaker’s image of beauty replacing intelligence.

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