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Echoing Attitudes: The Echoes of Ecclesiastes and T. S. Eliot in Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River

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  • Communication

Abstract

This work focuses on Ecclesiastes, works of T. S. Eliot, and Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River by Thomas Wolfe; looks to Catherine Gallagher’s and Stephen Greenblatt’s idea of social energy creating a connection between Ecclesiastes, Eliot, and Wolfe. By examining Ecclesiastes’ and Eliot’s manifestations in the work of Wolfe, the three can be connected through a flow of social energy. An examination of direct borrowing and allusions, as well as thematic connections link Eliot and Wolfe. Interpreting Look Homeward, Angel, the study examines images, characters, and language and how those elements echo Ecclesiastes and Eliot. Aspects of the novel directly borrow content or attitude from Ecclesiastes and Eliot, as well as offer subtler echoes. This reading of Look Homeward, Angel focused on motifs of death, miscommunication, and afterlife, as well as specific tone and language. Of Time and the River in a similar manner offers direct echoes and more subtle echoes to Ecclesiastes and Eliot. This reading of Of Time and the River focuses on Eliot’s use of October, Wolfe’s Ecclesiastical take on death, and the symbol of the river. These connections create a relationship of similar, but unique influence between Ecclesiastes, Eliot, and Wolfe.

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