Allusions In The Hollow Men

Topics: Poetry, Death, Life, Meaning of life, Edgar Allan Poe, Suicide / Pages: 3 (607 words) / Published: Jan 24th, 2017
As the characters in T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Hollow Men,” come back to society after experiencing horrid events in World War I they fall into a state of limbo and nothingness. Eliot implies that they can no longer see the good in the world, which leads them to believe they have no purpose in society. A sense of darkness is apparent through Eliot’s allusions. Throughout the poem the allusions are heavy and lifeless. The first line of the poem is an epigraph which states, “Mistah Kurtz--he dead” (1). Eliot’s mention of Kurtz, a character from Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness, signifies what happens to men who become hollowed out from the lack of good in life and religion. As Kurtz became more involved with money he lost his purpose. Kurtz fell into nothingness and ended up dying “Not with a bang but a whimper” (100). Furthermore, as the speaker is falling into his death, “For Thine is the Kingdom” is almost blurted out as if it was his last attempt in believing in something good, yet the words could not …show more content…
After seeing darkness for so long at war, it is hard for the “hollow men” to see the light. In “death’s other Kingdom” the men the speaker is talking about are seen “not as lost / Violent souls, but only / As the hollow men / The stuffed men” (16-20). Eliot suggests that in hell, the hollow men are seen as men who have been hollowed out as they have lost faith in the good in life unlike the rest of society. Although the men cannot see the good, they struggle to believe the world is all-bad. In addition, the speaker attempts to understand life “Between the idea / And the reality / Between the motion / And the act,” but then, “Falls the Shadow” (74-78). Eliot conveys that the shadow represents the hollow men and speaker’s spirits. Despite all the aspects in life, the men still felt nothing. As the speaker lived like everyone else, he still felt detached with no

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