Modernist eschatology: T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, H.D.’s Trilogy, and the Second World War apocalypse
University of New Brunswick
This thesis explores the degree to which T.S. Eliot’s (1888-1965) Four Quartets (1936-42) and H.D.’s (1886-1961) Trilogy (1944-46) engage in eschatological discourse. Both Eliot and H.D. treat the Second World War as apocalyptic, prompting each poet to rely on eschatological writing as a means of resisting wartime injustices. Paradoxically, a primary manner in which each poet deploys their eschatology is through a discussion of Incarnational theology. This study relies upon Christian theology as a methodology for understanding the various Christian allusions within each poem, providing a reading that seeks to reconfigure scholarly understandings of Eliot’s and H.D.’s wartime epics.