TS Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” is a revolutionary piece of poetry that embodies the post World War I zeitgeist. The post-war society was one of hopelessness and isolation. More and more people began to see the meaningless existence of human life and as a result, became desensitized to human emotion and existed in a state of limbo. Broken into only five stanzas, Eliot manages to capture the spirit of an age in “The Hollow Men.” Immediately in the epigraph, Eliot makes a direct reference (from Conrad’s Heart of Darkness) to “Mistah Kurtz,” a man who realizes the emptiness and futility of his life on his deathbed. By using contrasting diction and imagery, Eliot carries this sentiment of emptiness throughout the first stanza. The first stanza begins with “we are the hollow men” and “we are the stuffed men,” two extremely contrasting statements. Diction here is extremely important because the men are both empty and stuffed. This paradoxical statement illustrates the false sense of meaning men get from life rather than realizing the hollowness of humanity. Eliot then describes additional paradoxical phenomena such “shape without form” and “shade without color” to symbolize the souls that men are missing. Shade can’t truly exist without color just like men can’t truly exist without meaning. Imagery here further emphasizes the empty and hollow shells men truly are. Man is compared to a scarecrow whose head is “filled with straw” and whose dried voices are “quiet and meaningless.” Much like the first stanza, the second stanza also utilizes strong imagery that continues to emphasize the meaningless existence of humanity. Eliot begins by saying that the hollow men see “eyes (they) dare not meet” in “death’s dream kingdom” because they’re so ashamed of their existence. Humans have always considered themselves a superior species because they rationalized instead of resorting to brute force like animals do. However, World War I shattered this illusion
Textual Analysis of T.S. Eliot’s Essay
from Notes on a Definition of Culture: a series of Radio talks.
In his essay from a Definition of Culture Eliot proposes that the English language is the richest for the purposes of writing poetry. He uses this claim to support a second one: each culture is renewed when its fundamental nature of uniqueness and variety is recognized.
This essay is a broadcast, delivered after WWII to the Germans. It has 3 sections, each represented by….
In "The Hollow Men" there is a conflict between an intense longing for a state of edenic purity and the contradictory search for a more lasting form of order through denial and alienation. It can be observed that "The Hollow Men" expresses the depths of Eliot's despair, but the poet in a sense chooses despair as the only acceptable alternative to the false existence of the unthinking inhabitants of the waste land.
The despair of "The Hollow Men" is controlled by intellectual principles, in the way….
T. S. Eliot, perhaps one of the most controversial poets of modern times, wrote what many critics consider the most controversial poem of all, The Waste Land. The Waste Land was written using a fragmented style. This is a style that is evident in all of Eliot"s writings. There are several reasons for his using this approach, from a feeling of being isolated, to a problem articulating thoughts (Bergonzi 18, Cuddy 13, Mack 1745, Martin 102).
What influenced Eliot the most in writing poetry was a book….
The epigraph to T.S. Elliot's Poem "The Hollow Men" creates intertextualiy in that it alludes to the desired meaning which Elliot wished to describe. While the poem creates a certain dreary and hopeless outlook on life, the epigraph could be seen as a prelude for what is to come. Yet in my own opinion I feel that Elliot is rather attempting to clarify his poem's meaning.
I found it very interesting that Elliot places the poem in the first person and as the reader we are an intricate part of the….
Eliot's attitude was reflected in his work. A quote from T. S. Eliot: The Man and His Work states, " Eliot was a man with the highest standards in his poetry, his critisism, and his behavior to others." ( Spender 34). Perhaps much of this can be attributed to his birth toward the end of the Victorian Era. Eliot's background also had a major effect on his writing style. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on September 26, 1888. Though Eliot was born in America, he spent much of his life in England. Although….
a lightning, some was perfect like a statue but had no life in it and some based on illusions and natural images. Whether we like it or not they were created by great men. This pops a question in our mind. If someone hates Metaphysical poetry, should he act like it didn't exist at all? Lucky for us this question was answered by Eliot. He said a poet is not an individual who is separate from the rest of literary history. This statement is the very essence of his essay, traditional bounds should exist….
and critic T.S. Eliot, and certainly with his first major work, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ". Eliot wrote the poem, after all, years before Andre Breton and his compatriots began defining and practicing "surrealism" proper. Andre Breton published his first "Manifesto of Surrealism" in 1924, seven years after Eliot's publication of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". It was this manifesto which defined the movement in philosophical and psychological terms. Moreover, Eliot would later….
T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” to me represents several interpretations of death or “the end”. The poem is split into five parts, each part presenting a different point of view or idea of death. There are several “kingdoms” of death presented in the various parts, intertwining within eachother throughout. I view each part as representing a different member of the hollow men looking at the different “kingdoms” of death. Part I’s presents a dank, dark cellar and is associated with violence….
Write a critical analysis, focusing particularly on what makes your chosen passage a piece of Modernist writing.
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw….
with various different methods. Within Poem 1 and Poem 2 of “Preludes”, Eliot comments on the state of the setting, early 20th century London or Paris. Poem 1 is overflowing with adjectives with negative connotations such as “grimy”, “lonely”, “withered” and “burnt-out” in its description of the setting. With this description, combined with the dreary weather that can be heard throughout, “The showers beat/ on broken blinds”, Eliot has chosen to position his readers to feel uncomfortable regarding this….