Literature Study GuidesSeven Pillars Of Wisdom

Seven Pillars of Wisdom | Study Guide

T.E. Lawrence

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In text

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Course Hero. "Seven Pillars of Wisdom Study Guide." March 29, 2019. Accessed April 20, 2019.


Course Hero, "Seven Pillars of Wisdom Study Guide," March 29, 2019, accessed April 20, 2019,



T.E. Lawrence

Year Published





Memoir, War Literature

Perspective and Narrator

Seven Pillars of Wisdom is told in the first person.


Seven Pillars of Wisdom is written primarily in the past tense.

About the Title

Seven Pillars of Wisdom is an allusion to the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, which says wisdom will build a house of seven pillars. T.E. Lawrence originally wrote an adventure story with the same title in which events occurred in seven cities of the East. He destroyed this work but kept the title. Nonetheless, as more than one critic has noted, there is no relationship between the content in Seven Pillars of Wisdom and its title. In fact, literary critic Angus Calder goes so far as to say it is "wonderfully sonorous, unforgettable—and 'means' nothing, in so far as not a single passage in the text relates to it or serves to explain it." Calder sees the title as modernist teasing, indicating a rejection of the middle-class values that led to WWI (1914–18). Lawrence's memoir originally had a subtitle as well—"A Triumph"—which most critics agree is ironic, since, by the time he wrote Seven Pillars, he was entirely disillusioned with the war and his own country's treatment of the Arabs.


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