The Creation of Hope as a Spiritual Solution in T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets
xmlui.mirage2.itemSummaryView.MetaDataShow full item record
T.S. Eliot, the central figure in Modernist Poetry, follows a more religious tone in his poems after his conversion to Anglo-Catholicism in June, 1927. As a poet who witnessed the despair, hopelessness and chaotic atmosphere of the period of the World War I and II, Eliot feels the urge to present a spiritual resolution framed by a religious thought, especially Christianity. Four Quartets (1935 – 1942) is the work of his post-conversion period and it is mostly written during World War II (1939 – 1945). Much of Eliot’s poetry presents the distress and anxiety of the modern world as a result of the rapid changes of the period. Likewise, Four Quartets reflects the hopelessness of modern society, accordingly, the poem focuses on the spiritual dryness of the period and engages with creating a spiritual remedy which will lend a coherent meaning in life. This thesis, thus, analyses Four Quartets as a spiritual poem and argues that Four Quartets with its meditation on the nature of time and the mystical works that the poem uses presents the element of hope in the excessively materialistic and secular period of the twentieth century. In Chapter I of this thesis, the concept of time in relation to temporal time and eternal time in Four Quartets is analysed and it is argued that these two concepts, which are seemingly opposite, actually bring a point of reconciliation for the complete understanding of life. Correspondingly, through the reconciliation point between the temporal and eternal time, it is argued that the temporal time can be used as a tool to achieve the divine vision. In Chapter II, through the influence of mystical works, Ascent of Mount Carmel and Dark Night of the Soul by the sixteenth century Spanish Catholic mystic Saint John of the Cross, and The Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich as well as a Hindu epic, Bhagavad Gita, on Four Quartets it is argued that the temporal experience of humans through discipline of the body and mind enables the connection with the spiritual reality. Accordingly, it is proposed that, through the mystical teachings, via negativa and the dark night of the soul, the spiritual purification of the individual can take place and the person becomes receptive to divine reality. Hence, this thesis argues that Four Quartets, exploring the nature of time and making use of the mystical works, creates the element of hope by reminding us the mortal’s connection with the divine. Therefore, Four Quartets presents a spiritual remedy for the modern society to form a meaningful understanding of life. Key Words: Modern British Poetry, Mysticism, Spirituality, Religion, Christianity, Hinduism, T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets.