Modernist Essay

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T.S. Eliot’s Modernist poem, “The Hollow Men”
After World War I the Modernist era made changes not only in the world but also in English literature. The Modernist era of English literature changed the traditional writing style of the twentieth century. T.S. Eliot was considered one of the most influential twentieth century poets in English literature. His poetry differs from most of the nineteenth and twentieth century poetry. T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” is a classic example of the Modernist poetry because it contains themes of alienation, themes of death, and it rejects traditional writing style. Alienation is defined as emotional isolation or dissociation from others. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” contains the theme of alienation in the following stanza: This is the dead land

This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star. (39-44)
The stanza shares larger ideas about life and death. Eliot shows the idea of Modernist poetry in these lines. Eliot keeps his frequent focus on the psychological factor and alienation of modern man. Themes of alienation can also be seen in the following stanza:

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men. (13-18)
Eliot refers the Hollow Men as the stuffed men. This stanza shows the theme of alienation as it describes how we living beings are seen by Hollow Men. The first line explains that those who have seen the hollow men, remember us in a better way and those who represents something positive and direct are blessed in Paradise. This shows the theme of alienation.

Modernist literature also reflects the theme of death during its era. T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” contains the sense of death. In the following lines: “In death’s dream kingdom” (30), “death” refers to the fear among people...
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