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Four Quartets Questions
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As Eliot grew older, and particularly after he converted to Christianity, his poetry changed. The later poems emphasize depth of analysis over breadth of allusion; they simultaneously become more hopeful in tone: Thus, a work such as Four Quartets explores more philosophical territory and offers propositions instead of nihilism. The experiences of living in England during World War II inform the Quartets, which address issues of time, experience, mortality, and art. Rather than lamenting the ruin of modern culture and seeking redemption in the cultural past, as The Waste Land does, the quartets offer ways around human limits through art and spirituality. The pastiche of the earlier works is replaced by philosophy and logic, and the formal experiments of his early years are put aside in favor of a new language consciousness, which emphasizes the sounds and other physical properties of words to create musical, dramatic, and other subtle effects.
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