Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: T.S. Eliot and the mother : ambivalence, allegory and form
Author: Geary, Matthew Kevin
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 9244
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis is the first full-length study on T. S. Eliot and the mother in thirty years. Responding to a shortfall in Eliot studies in understanding the true importance of Eliot’s poet-mother, Charlotte, to his life and works, it rethinks Eliot’s ambivalence towards women in the context of mother-son ambivalence, and shows his search for belief and love as converging with a developing maternal poetics. Utilising the work of feminist and psychoanalytic thinkers seeking to reinstate the mother against Oedipal models of masculinity, it looks at Eliot’s changing representations and articulations of the mother/mother-child relationship—from his earliest writings to the later plays. Particular focus is given to mid-career works: ‘Ash-Wednesday’, ‘Marina’, ‘Coriolan’ and The Family Reunion. Drawing on newly available materials, this thesis emphasises Charlotte’s death as the decisive juncture marking both Eliot’s New Life and the apotheosis of the feminine symbolised in ‘Ash-Wednesday’. Central to this proposition is a new concept of maternal allegory as a modern mode of literary epiphany. This thesis breaks new ground revealing the role of the mother and the dynamics of mother-son ambivalence to be far more complicated, enduring, changeable and essential to Eliot’s personal, religious and poetic development than was previously acknowledged.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN0080 Criticism