Collected Poems, 1909-1962 Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is "more affectionate than hate" in "Lines for an Old Man"?

2. What does the speaker of "The Cultivation of Christmas Trees" say should not be forgotten in later experience?

3. If the eyes spoken of in "Eyes that last I saw in tears" outlast the tears, in what will they hold the speaker?

4. Between what two things were the bells swinging in "The wind sprang up at four o'clock"?

5. In the first chorus of 'The Rock,' what is said to soar in the summit of Heaven?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is meant in "Burnt Norton" by the phrase, "Only a flicker / Over the strained time-ridden faces / Distracted from distraction by distraction"?

2. For what is the ship in "Marina" a symbolic signifier?

3. What is characteristic of the gods described in all of the sections aside from Part IV of "The Dry Salvages"?

4. What is the apparent distinction between the attitude towards Christmas of the child and the childish in "The Cultivation of Christmas Trees"?

5. In the sixth chorus of 'The Rock,' why is it said that men must build with "the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other"?

6. What characterizes the tone of the poem in "Triumphal March"?

7. What is the nature of the speakers "affliction" in "Eyes that last I saw in tears"?

8. Why does the speaker of "Lines for an Old Man" compare himself with a tiger?

9. How is Part IV of "The Dry Salvages" different from the other four sections of the poem?

10. What is the tone of the five parts of the "Five-Finger Exercises" and how is this indicated?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Literature and philosophy have often been considered close and sometimes overlapping disciplines of academic study and Western culture. That T.S. Eliot was well versed in both is demonstrated in his last major poems, the "Four Quartets". Select one of the "Four Quartets" and in a carefully planned critical essay, examine the relationship between its literary structure and its philosophical considerations. What are the philosophical topics approached in the poem? In what way does the poem consider things in abstraction? In what way is the poem a literary structure (operate on the definition of literature as the imaginative creation of character and/or action, according to the laws of possibility and necessity)? How does the literary structure corroborate the philosophical consideration? Wherein does one find the literary significance of the poem? Wherein is the philosophical consideration found?

Essay Topic 2

As T.S. Eliot's character of the "everyman," Sweeney appears in a number of poems and in one of the fragments of the unfinished poem, the "Sweeney Agonistes". Analyze the character of Sweeney as he appears in at least one of Eliot's works, giving an overall portrayal of the character through specific instances. What are his principal traits? What does he lack as a person? In what sort of actions does he engage? How is he representative of modern man? Who and what are used as contrasts to Sweeney as a person and Sweeney's patterns of behavior?

Essay Topic 3

The central theme of the last of Eliot's "Four Quartets", "Little Gidding," is fallen man's redemption. Analyze this theme as it is presented in "little Gidding." Why does man need redemption? From what is man redeemed? How does redemption come to man? What is the poetic imagery that Eliot uses to describe this need for redemption, that from which man is redeemed, and that by which he is redeemed? What does this need for redemption reveal about human nature? What does the manner of redemption reveal both about human nature and about the Divine, according to Eliot's portrayal?

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