Four Quartets 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 a synonymous word or phrase for the word "fructify," used in Part III of "The Dry Salvages"?

2. What is said to be "heard so deeply / That it is not heard at all," in Part V of "The Dry Salvages"?

3. The speaker asserts in Part I of "The Dry Salvages" that the sea has many what?

4. Part V of "Little Gidding" states that "while the light fails / On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel / History is now and" what?

5. It is said in the second part of "The Dry Salvages" that when one becomes older it seems as though "the past has another pattern, and ceases to be a" what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is signified by the statement, in the final part of "Little Gidding," that "the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time"?

2. What is an interpretative way to read the significance of the "ragged rock" being "what it always was," at the end of Part II of "The Dry Salvages"?

3. What characterizes the "gifts reserved for age" which the interlocutor of Part II of "Little Gidding" describes to the poem's speaker?

4. What is the purpose of the lines in Part V of "The Dry Salvages" from "To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits," to "Whether on the shores of Asia, or in the Edgware Road"?

5. What is meant by the line, "You are not the same people who left that station," in Part III of "The Dry Salvages"?

6. Why would anyone passing "this way" "have to put off / Sense and notion" in Part I of "Little Gidding"?

7. What does the speaker mean when he states, in the last part of "The Dry Salvages," that "Here the impossible union / Of spheres of existence is actual"?

8. What is meant by the phrase, in Part V of "Little Gidding," "Every poem [is] an epitaph"?

9. What is significant about the speaker's discussion of the strangeness of the sea in relation to man, in Part I of "The Dry Salvages"?

10. Why is the "strong brown god" of Part I of "The Dry Salvages" "almost forgotten / By the dwellers in cities"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout all four of the poems in The Four Quartets, circularity and wholeness are brought to light and the object of hints and vague statements. In the final part of "Little Gidding," they are summed up and the poems are brought into a sort of unity. Discuss the manner in which they are unified and how they are all interrelated, as demonstrated in this final part. In what way is the final part of the work a conclusion of the whole? How does it relate to each of the four poems? How does it contain them all? How is the beginning shown to be in the end? How is the end found in the beginning? What does this indicate about human nature? What does this indicate about the world and about time? How does it relate to the prevalent concern with the universal and infinite that pervades the poetry?

Essay Topic 2

Part V of "The Dry Salvages" sees the speaker discuss the essential, inherent need of human persons for faith. Analyze this discussion in an essay both expository and critical. What is faith? Why is faith important? What sort of things do human persons ordinarily seek as objects of faith? Why do people seek this faith? Why, in the estimation of the speaker, are these common objects and common faiths unsatisfactory? What sort of faith is satisfactory? In what does this sort of faith consist? Who possesses this faith? What does this indicate about the nature of faith? What does this indicate about the nature of the human person in regards to faith and fulfillment?

Essay Topic 3

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?

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