In her essay, "Regional and National Identities in Robert Frost's and T.S. Eliot's Criticism," Angela M. Senst analyzes Robert Frost's and T.S. Eliot's criticism in order to explore their different concepts of culture and to determine their respective regional and national identities: While both poets stress the necessity of unified cultural entities, Frost is deeply committed to the American principle e pluribus unum, whereas Eliot disapproves of internally heterogeneous societies that strive to level out differences which he considers a prerequisite for the mutual revitalization of cultures. Instead, Eliot promotes the idea of intercultural exchange, whereas Frost credits the experience of immigration with producing and continuously revitalizing the American culture. Considering New England the cradle of the cultural and political American nation, Frost is convinced that his regional loyalty is the foundation for his national loyalty. T.S. Eliot, however, considers a cultural nation to be an organic, and not an artificial, structure. Consequently, he can become a naturalized British citizen without giving up his cultural loyalties to the regions of his childhood and youth, while denying America, as the product of colonization, its claim to being not only a political, but also a cultural nation.

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture is published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University in open access. Please support the journal: Click here for more information and to make your donation online.