Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 4 April 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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T. S. Eliot
A Universal Poet With Appeal to Indian Spirituality

Poornavalli Mathiaparanam, M.A., M.Phil.

A Religious Guest!

"For those who were young in the twenties of this century, T.S Eliot created the meaning of our time." This tribute paid to the poet-playwright is very appropriate when we consider the output of his work and the influence he willed on contemporary literary life. The time he lived delighted in an anti-religious mood and he himself was the victim of distracting claims of friends and alternative careers. Still his whole work can be conceived as his own biography, wherein he enlarged, in poem after poem, on the character of a man who conceives of his life as a religious guest.

A Balance between Realms

Believing that drama, of all literary genres, has the greatest capacity to recreate a complete and ordered world, Eliot became a king of the dramatic structure, to lead the audience to a sense of religious awareness which sought to accomplish by demonstrating the presence of the supernatural order in the natural. His religious concern to integrate the real with the ideal made him carve out for himself a space place in English literature. In each of his plays he has portrayed the plight of the individual who perceives the order of God, but is forced to exist in the natural world and has to strike a balance between both realms.

To portray the impact of spiritual principle
On the lives of man in a form which could be
Artistically ordered without losing contact
With actual experience has remained the basic
dramatic goal in all the his plays (Smith, 1963:31).

Declaring His Faith - Awakened Soul Lightening the Path of Un-awakened Ones!

It was in 1934 with the writing of The Rock that the opportunity came for Eliot to declare sharply his Christian faith by which hope and meaning can be achieved to the infinite cycles of time, the absence of which will draw man farther from God and nearer to the dust. In this work we see Eliot declaring the need to remember death, remember God and build. His church is reiterated and the need for a leader is also set forth. This idea runs through all the plays of Eliot. Eliot portrays the awakened soul lightening the path of un-awakened ones.

The spiritual Quest which begins by a sense of guilt leading to the recognition and acceptance of sin, making a choice and surrendering oneself to the divine order culminates in the realizing of the 'Best self' in the hero or heroine; in the other set of characters and chorus there is the realization of the 'second best' self. Eliot was able to use drama as a vehicle to express his spiritual and religions views since it provided him with objectivity and subdued any manifest moral teaching. But all the plays are attempts to communicate a religious message.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Mean Length of Utterance and Syntax in Konkani | A Study of English Loan Words in Selected Bahasa Melayu Newspaper Articles | Verb Reduplication in Tamil and Telugu | The Relevance and Usefulness of European Literature for Innovations in Indian Literature - A Review | Girish Karnad as a Modern Indian Dramatist - A Study | Code Switching and Code Mixing Among Oriya Trilingual Children - A Study | T. S. Eliot - A Universal Poet With Appeal to Indian Spirituality | Academics' Perceptions of Reading and Listening Needs for English for Specific Purposes - A Case from National University of Malaysia | Perspectives on Teaching English Literature to English Literature Major Students | Myths and Legends in the Plays of Girish Karnad | Acoustic Correlates of Stress in Konkani Language | Compassion - Leo Tolstoy's Philosophy as Seen in His War and Peace | Role of Space in the Narratives of Bharathi Vasanthan, A People's Writer from Puducherry | Teaching English in Multiracial and Multilingual Nations - A Review of Maya Khemlani David's Book, A Guide for the English Language Teacher | HOME PAGE of April 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Poornavalli Mathiaparanam, M.A., M.Phil.
Department of English
PSGR Krishnammal College for Women
Coimbatore 641004
Tamilnadu, India
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