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Comparing T.S.Elliot's "Hollow Men" With Skyclad's Song "Cardboard City"

848 words - 3 pages

Comparative PieceThe piece that I have chosen to compare with T.S.Elliot's, "The Hollow Men", is a song written by the group Skyclad entitled "Cardboard City". As discussed in class, The Hollow Men, is Elliot's response to a survivor's spiritual torpor after a great war. He writes about the fact that even though they escape from death's grip with their lives, they have no meaning anymore. Throughout the entire piece Elliot uses the word hollow to describe the men and writes, "We are the hollow men; we are the stuffed men" (Elliot, verses 1-2). Similarly, Skyclad writes, "And did those feet in ancient times; walk bare upon these lonely streets like mine? (Skyclad, verses 9-10). Both writers set a very depressing mood by describing loneliness and hollowness to show that the characters are simply floating in a void between life and death, yet Skyclad chooses to form it into a question for the reader, while Elliot chooses to state this fact in the first person.Another similarity between Cardboard City and The Hollow Men is the symbol of hope. Both poems illustrate that there is still hope left for society and while Elliot writes, "Leaning together... we whisper together" (Elliot, stanza I, verses 3-6) Skyclad chooses to depict this through the image of a moth, "Hands locked in darkness - a nocturnal greeting; we flutter like moths round the brazier's flame; shrouded in shadow - our clandestine meeting" (Skyclad, verses 1-3). The difference in the authors' lines is that Elliot chooses to use the image of human beings huddled together, while Skyclad uses the image of moths driven to a burning flame. This shows how Elliot and Skyclad both feel that there is the necessity to work together, even if it is just whispers in the darkness, because there is still a flame of hope left for society's restoration.The most prominent comparison left to make between the two pieces is the similarity in the description of the setting. In both pieces, the authors describe a very desolate and inhospitable place where the lost souls of survivors drift. In The Hollow Men, Elliot writes, " This is the dead land; this is the cactus land, here the stone images are raised" (Elliot, stanza III, verses 1-3) to depict this setting, while Skyclad chooses to write, "Chip-wrapper flowers blown onto this cardboard grave" (Skyclad, stanza 5, verse 7). Although the two images of the setting are very different, there are distinct similarities in...

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