Four Quartets Test | Mid-Book 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 does the speaker in Part I of "East Coker" state sleeps "in the empty silence"?

2. Of what does the speaker claim in "Burnt Norton," Part V the detail is movement?

3. What does the speaker state is eternally present in Part I of "Burnt Norton"?

4. What adjective is applied to "Friday" in the final line of Part IV of "East Coker"?

5. Interpretively, what is meant by "those long since under earth / Nourishing the corn"? in Part I of "East Coker"?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the "here" of Part III of "Burnt Norton" described, and what is significant about this description?

2. Who is the "wounded surgeon" of Part IV of "East Coker," and what indicates this within the stanza?

3. What is meant in the lines, "But to what purpose... I do not know," in the first part of "Burnt Norton"?

4. Why is it said by the speaker in "Burnt Norton"'s second part that "the enchainment of past and future / Woven in the weakness of the changing body, / Protects mankind from heaven and damnation / Which flesh cannot endure"?

5. What is signified by the speaker's questioning of the deceitfulness of the "quiet-voiced elders" in Part II of "East Coker"?

6. What is the significance of the first 13 lines of "East Coker"?

7. What purpose is served by the string of paradoxical statements at the end of Part III of "East Coker"?

8. What does the speaker mean by commanding, in Part III of "East Coker," that one wait without hoping or loving, and that "the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting"?

9. What is the significance of the dark, mentioned repeatedly at the beginning of Part III of "East Coker," into which "they" all go?

10. Why does the speaker claim in Part II of "Burnt Norton" that "To be conscious is not to be in time"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Pat III of "East Coker" is eminently concerned with man's feelings of anxiety in the modern world, particularly as he is left with a sense of being conscious of nothing, or the content of the things of which he is conscious being essentially nothing. Examine this prevalence of anxiety as it is presented in the poem. What is anxiety? What does anxiety do to a person? In the face of what is man made anxious? Why does he have these feelings of anxiety? What does this indicate about the nature of the human person? What does this indicate about the nature of the things with which man regularly occupies himself in the world? How is this significant to the meaning of the poem as a whole? How is it significant to the whole of The Four Quartets?

Essay Topic 2

One of the recurring themes, but emphasized in "Burnt Norton," throughout The Four Quartets, is the notion of stillness as perfection. Analyze this notion as it is presented throughout the poems, focusing on the non-conventional ways in which stillness is spoken. What is stillness in the conventional sense? In what sense does Eliot speak of it in "Burnt Norton"? How is this different from the conventional sense? What characterizes Eliot's notion of stillness? Why is this notion of stillness a perfection? In what way is it related to movement? With what images and metaphors is it explicated and exposed? What is its overall importance in the poems?

Essay Topic 3

Recurrent as a character throughout The Four Quartets, Christ is referred to in many different ways. In Part IV of "East Coker," he is called the "wounded surgeon." Analyze this identity of Christ in Part IV, both within its particular analogy and as significant to the whole of the work. Why is Christ called the "wounded surgeon"? What are his wounds? In what way is he a surgeon? What surgery does he perform? Upon whom does he perform it? What is the relationship between health and disease in Part IV of "East Coker"? How is this significant to the whole of the poem? How is it significant to the interpretation of all four poems? How is Christ's role as healer significant to the whole of the work?

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