C. S. Lewis and T. S. Eliot: Christianity through the Looking Glass
Abstract: Surrendering yourself to God and in doing so, giving up the natural self, is the act of faith at the core of Christianity. This is the reason why Lewis insists on it in various passages throughout his writings, and he is in perfect accord with the entire Christian tradition when he explains there is no reality outside this system of self-giving. In fact, there could be no morality without this abdication of the self, let alone Christian faith. In this paper, I will try to illustrate how this Christian principle is reflected in the poetry of T. S. Eliot, from his early poems to the poems written after his conversion to Christianity, and I will argue that the differences between them run deeper than one might expect. If the speakers in poems such as “Prufrock”, “Gerontion” and the Wasteland feel trapped within the self with no possibility of escape, in “A Song for Simeon” and Four Quartets something has settled, and the clarity and serenity with which the speakers convey the message suggest they have found a way out.
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