Wordsworth 's "Spots of Time" and Eliot's Redemption Through Time in The Four Quartets
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Eliot's The Four Quartets voices the despair of the spiritual bankruptcy of modern man stemming from the waning of faith in God. With that comes the sense of uncertainty which immures man in a contingent, purposeless world. Time becomes fragmentary and discontinuous. It is against this sense of time as destroyer trapping man in forlorn indetenninacy that Eliot posits time as the savior, able to forge a timeless pattern in a vectorial way, thus recuperating the schizophrenic self driven by the chaotic time into a vision of redemption. I will explore the theme of time as redemption in terms of the analogy between Wordsworthian "spots of time" and Eliot's notion of time in The Four Quartets. Bumt Norton, East Coker, The Dry Salvages and Little Gidding, like Wordsworth's childhood memory, are all places brimming with spiritual significance, repositories of memory where the linear succession of time is thwarted and in its place rises the renewed sense of time as the way to re-access God, the eternal. Time redeemed through memory becomes the motif that brings Wordsworth and Eliot together to build their own myth of salvation. While Wordsworth achieves his imaginative growth through time by binding his disparate selves in a new way, Eliot, in the same vein, salvages his faith in God imaged as a rose in "Burnt Norton" and as sanctified love in "Little Gidding."