The Hollow Men Religion

Topics: Religion, Prayer, World War II / Pages: 5 (1057 words) / Published: Jan 25th, 2017
In response to the social rejection of faith and morality— considering the global devastation of World War I— T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Hollow Men,” indicates the hollowing of mankind generates a loss of substance, purpose, and will result in the annihilation of humanity.
With the aftermath of World War I, men disregard religion and turn to modernistic attitudes— they feel internally empty. Specifically, Eliot’ hollow men parallel lifeless effigies, due to their heads being “filled with straw” (6). Here, the speaker associates mannequin-like characteristics of scarecrows to the hollow men. These men lack their true insides; they are stuffed with meaningless fillers such as materialistic greed.*** As a result, the hollow men reject connection
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When evil imposes its strength, doubt in a divine lord increases. The hollow men reject faith but attempt to follow their religion; they do not believe in God, but they work to follow religious habits in hopes the religion might exist. “Under the twinkle of a fading star,” lies “The supplication of a dead man’s hand” (46, 45). Eliot’s star, while fading, emits a heavenly glow. On Earth, the hollow men beg for forgiveness even though it will not have a large impact— in terms of faith, the hollow men have already died. A “dead man’s hand” cannot receive the same mercy as a lively soul. So with doubt of receiving answers, the hollow men “Form prayers to broken stone” (53). In this case, Eliot suggests the physical destruction of war prompts the breakdown of faith (considering the loss of trust in humanity). Amongst the devastation of World War I, numerous churches crumbled to ruin. As the buildings collapsed, so did the faith of the members— inhumane terrors pull believers from their faith. The hollow men pray to a literal pile of rubble (which promotes a sensation of unanswered prayers, even though faith cannot be physically seen). The hollow men believe communicating with God is similar to communicating with “broken stone;” a meaningless endeavor. Correspondingly, the hollow men are blind in existence. In comparison to the average …show more content…
Throughout the existence of hollow men, they continually deal with the potential to commit sin. Around the beauty of life, “Falls the Shadow” (78). The speaker emphasizes the overbearing force of sin and immorality. The hollow men— who lack morality— confront devilish temptation and easily succumb to its power. Evil consumes men and removes their ideas of faith. Instead of living in the “Sunlight” of God, the hollow men abandon religious values because they no longer regard faith as a benefit in the moment of grace—if it even occurs (25). As a result of decaying humanity, or the combined corrosion of each individual, “the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper” (99-100). Here, Eliot grimly foresees the ultimate conclusion of the world. He envisions the world will die through every individual’s descent into hollowness— versus a momentous, physical explosion. Much like animals, the hollow men “whimper,” a symbolic representation of their overall weakness. The men experience a decline of ethics and do not understand how to survive in their purgatorial emptiness. In a domino effect, humanity will collapse with the defeat of every person.
Because post-World War society rejects faith and morality, T.S. Eliot, in his poem, “The Hollow Men,” insinuates hollow men lack a sense of connection. The modernistic shift in values ultimately leads to the annihilation of the

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