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    #1

    will be to arrive?

    Hello Everyone,

    The following sentence is part of T.S ELIOT'S poem.

    I would like to know here why Eliot put additional " be to " in front of arrive? And can you tell us what the following sentences tell us or the theme of the sentences?
    ....
    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    ...

    Regards

    Sky


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    #2

    Re: will be to arrive?

    Quote Originally Posted by sky753 View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    The following sentence is part of T.S ELIOT'S poem.

    I would like to know here why Eliot put additional " be to " in front of arrive? And can you tell us what the following sentences tell us or the theme of the sentences?
    ....
    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    ...
    The end will be (something.)

    The end will be the arrival.

    The end will be to arrive.

    The end will be to arrive where we started.
    ----------------------------------------

    I think he is saying that we will go on searching and searching, but at last, finally, when we have finished searching and when we have come to the last place left to discover --
    then we will find that it is the very place we started from --
    but now we shall know this starting place for what it truly is.

    Perhaps this is an example:

    A man begins his life with an uncomplicated and trusting idea of God.
    As he goes through life, he samples various philosophies and cosmologies.
    He switches between Buddhism and atheism and secular humanism.
    But in the end, he finds himself back with his original Christian beliefs,
    only this time, they are sophisticated, complex, well-informed, accurate, etc.

    He has done all kinds of exploring, only to end by arriving back where he started from. But now he "knows" (understands) what that starting place "really" is.

    Another example:
    A young man may love his young wife, but after a few years of marriage, he grows bored and dallies with other women. But after years of this, he ends up back loving his wife -- only this time around he has a true appreciation of her true worth.

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    #3

    Re: will be to arrive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    The end will be (something.)

    The end will be the arrival.

    The end will be to arrive.

    The end will be to arrive where we started.
    ----------------------------------------


    I think he is saying that we will go on searching and searching, but at last, finally, when we have finished searching and when we have come to the last place left to discover --
    then we will find that it is the very place we started from --
    but now we shall know this starting place for what it truly is.

    Perhaps this is an example:

    A man begins his life with an uncomplicated and trusting idea of God.
    As he goes through life, he samples various philosophies and cosmologies.
    He switches between Buddhism and atheism and secular humanism.
    But in the end, he finds himself back with his original Christian beliefs,
    only this time, they are sophisticated, complex, well-informed, accurate, etc.

    He has done all kinds of exploring, only to end by arriving back where he started from. But now he "knows" (understands) what that starting place "really" is.

    Another example:
    A young man may love his young wife, but after a few years of marriage, he grows bored and dallies with other women. But after years of this, he ends up back loving his wife -- only this time around he has a true appreciation of her true worth.
    However, we were taught that " be to do sth." has the implications that something will definitely happen and can't be avoided,like arranged by GOD. In my humble opinion, the meaning applies here, implying that the end of all our exploration must arrive at the place where we start to explore!

    Waiting for your comments here?


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    #4

    Re: will be to arrive?

    Quote Originally Posted by sky753 View Post
    However, we were taught that " be to do sth." has the implications that something will definitely happen and can't be avoided,like arranged by GOD. In my humble opinion, the meaning applies here, implying that the end of all our exploration must arrive at the place where we start to explore!

    Waiting for your comments here?
    Do you mean that old Tommy wants to say that we MUST arrive eventually back where we started?

    That'd be okay with me.

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    #5

    Re: will be to arrive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    Do you mean that old Tommy wants to say that we MUST arrive eventually back where we started?

    That'd be okay with me.
    I mean we will eventually arrive at where we started, not any other place?


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    #6

    Re: will be to arrive?

    Quote Originally Posted by sky753 View Post
    I mean we will eventually arrive at where we started, not any other place?
    Well, poetry has its own rules and imperatives, and is layered like an onion with meanings.

    I do believe that is the gist of Eliot's observation -- that after much roaming, which we are surely going to do, we will end up where we started, only this time, we will understand the starting point for the first time.

    I am reminded of the difference between a circle, a spiral, and a conical helix.

    They all go round and round, ending up back at the place they started from. But still . . .

    If you trace around a circle starting at the noon position, say, you will come back to that spot over and over. In effect, you are having the same experience many times over -- but not gaining or progressing from the experience. The 100th time is just the same as the first.

    But a spiral -- even though it ends up back at noon too -- does make progress. As you trace its path, you end up where you started, but one degree further out from the center. So there is progress; each time you are back at the noon spot, you see it from a different perspective and with more and different experiences under your belt to inform your ideas.
    http://www.t0.or.at/spiral23/spiral1.gif

    A conical helix takes this idea one better. Not only do you arrive at the same spot (only this time it's a different same spot), but in addition, it moves not just around and around, and not just "outer and outer," but three-dimensionally forward through space as well.
    http://plus.maths.org/latestnews/jan...nicalHelix.jpg

    For all I know, this is what Eliot meant too. Anyway, if I were to say so, there'd be no way to deny it.

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: will be to arrive?

    Quote Originally Posted by sky753 View Post
    However, we were taught that " be to do sth." has the implications that something will definitely happen and can't be avoided,like arranged by GOD. In my humble opinion, the meaning applies here, implying that the end of all our exploration must arrive at the place where we start to explore!

    Waiting for your comments here?
    Only in the present tense: "She is to arrive at three."

    In the future, it remains epistemologically uncertain.


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    #8

    Re: will be to arrive?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Only in the present tense: "She is to arrive at three."

    In the future, it remains epistemologically uncertain.


    Ahhh! Thanks, kon.

    I see the meaning of the asker's question. It refers to statements like:
    > You will do your homework right now!
    > You will pick up every single toy on this floor.
    > "It will rub the lotion on the skin."
    ~ serial murderer Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs

    Both British and American English have this expression as a command or an imperative.
    Often the voice is raised to stress the word "will"
    > You WILL stand at attention!

    But the meaning of the passage in the poem cannot be understood as a command.
    Rather it is a prediction of a future event:
    > It will rain tomorrow, the weatherman says.
    > I bet it will turn out that Darth Vader is Luke's father.
    > You will see how well I'm going to do in college. Just you wait.
    > The end of this book will be an anticlimax, I predict.
    > The end of all our roaming will be a return to our starting point, I betcha.
    This use of "will" is in its sense of "to be going to"

    This sentence plays on both uses of the word "will."
    > "You WILL be quiet in this courtroom or you 'will' be held in contempt," said the Judge.



    Last edited by Ann1977; 20-Sep-2009 at 14:49.

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