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Puritan Sensibility in T.S. Eliot's Poetry


Dal-Yong Kim

This book studies Eliot's New England Puritanism in consultation with the major works of 17th- and 18th-century American Puritan writers. Eliot's works reflect the literary principles and practices of the Puritans: his linguistic attempt to associate the meanings of temporal words with the timeless Word; his interpretation of modern futility and anarchy in terms of the concept of Original Sin; his insistence upon Puritan piety as a cure for the emptiness and desolation of life; his application of the typological framework of the Exodus; and his mystical impetus for communion with God. Eliot's Puritan conscience caused him to renounce romantic poetry, but enabled him to achieve remarkable authority through his prophetic voice.