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dc.contributor.advisorBurford, William S.
dc.contributor.authorHolliday, Howard Jacken_US
dc.description.abstractT. S. Eliot has enjoyed considerable influence through his criticism since 1920, but comparatively little has been written examining the voice or rhetorical stance which appears in the criticism and which is important in the maintenance of that influence. The end of this study is to determine the nature of Eliot's voice in its major developments from the early criticism to the final lectures. During the period 1917-1920, the rhetoric of Eliot's literary criticism reflects his attempts to dislodge the reputable poetic theories of Matthew Arnold and to establish a theory of his own. Eliot states in The Sacred Wood that Arnold "might have become a critic" had he not addressed himself to other activities. Then Eliot describes the Perfect Critic as one like Aristotle, whose method is that "of intelligence itself swiftly operating the analysis of sensation to the point of principle and definition." Although his rhetoric suffers from occasional dogmatism and exclusiveness, Eliot attempts in these early essays to approximate the Perfect Critic by striving to address himself solely and intelligently to the "problem of the integrity of poetry." From 1922 to 1939, Eliot addresses himself to the problem of "the relation of poetry to the spiritual and social life of its time and of other times." During this period, Eliot appears to have confused his role as literary critic with his interests in religion and society. In most of his literary criticism Eliot imposes his own religious beliefs upon the writer under consideration and makes prejudicial judgments. The more exclusively social criticism does not confuse the two roles, is less prejudiced, and finds its best expression in The Idea of a Christian Society. The return of the literary criticism to a more impartial consideration of writers may be seen by comparing Eliot's two Milton essays. The 1936 essay is offensive, dogmatic, and disorganized whereas the 1947 essay is defensive, subtle, and balanced. These two essays also represent the development in Eliot's attitude toward his audience. After addressing an exclusive audience in agreement with his assertions in 1936, Eliot in 1947 attempts to persuade a wider, more neutral audience. The 1950's reveal a further development in Eliot's literary and social criticism. The social criticism comes to depend more upon a rational appeal and the literary criticism upon an ethical appeal. All of Eliot's criticism, in fact, depends upon an ethical appeal, but after 1950 Eliot recognizes that literary criticism is ultimately personal and that social criticism is rational. With this recognition, Eliot's ethical appeal gains an honesty that it lacked before.
dc.format.extentiv, 148 leaves, bounden_US
dc.format.mediumFormat: Printen_US
dc.relation.ispartofTexas Christian University dissertationen_US
dc.subject.lcshEliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965en_US
dc.titleThe rhetorical development of T. S. Eliot's criticismen_US
dc.typeTexten_US of English
local.collegeAddRan College of Liberal Arts
local.academicunitDepartment of English
dc.identifier.callnumberMain Stacks: AS38 .H62 (Regular Loan)
dc.identifier.callnumberSpecial Collections: AS38 .H62 (Non-Circulating) of Philosophy Christian University

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