Carrol, many thanks. My understanding of the relational aspect of Eliot's poem is changing. Diana


Diana Manister wrote:
>
>  Still, a trope must serve the whole in some meaningful way.

It must serve some  sub-unit in a meaningful way. (Even this is not
really true, but we assume it for purposes of discussion.) _Then_ that
sub-unit must serve some larger unit, NOT necessarily the whole, and
then those sub-units must relate to form a whole. There is no reason
whatsoever that a trope should _directly_ link to "the whole." Wholes
are always complex, and involve numerous internal webs of relations. You
really can't relate every word, every sentence, every line, directly to
some mystical "whole." In a larger work various images are bound to
shift their significance depending on local context, and a given
instance may not relate to any other appearance of the same image.

Back in the 1930s, especially in Shakespeare criticism, there was an
attempt to analyze imagery in abstraction from local uses of a given
image, but that was pretty much of a flop.

Carrol



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