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The Hollow Men Essay

1131 words - 5 pages

In the poem “The Hollow Men,” T.S. Eliot immediately gives his work a tone of darkness and desperation. Eliot also uses references of works from Dantes, Julius Caesar, and Joseph Conrad. These three men majorly influenced Eliot on his writings spiritually and intellectually. Eliot was going through a rough patch in his life during with his wife during the time that he wrote “The Hollow Men.” He reveals his views on contemporary life and uses the poem as a cry for relief from his personal troubles (“Explanation of: ‘The Hollow Men’ by T.S. Eliot.”) Also, this poem emphasizes how life was after World War 1 (“Eliot, T.S., 452). In “The Hollow Men,” Eliot reveals images of brokenness, darkness, ...view middle of the document...

(Shmoop Editorial Team.) What is the significance of the repetition of dryness? Eliot is trying to emphasize that the hollow men are so dry, that they do not even have blood pumping through their veins. They are made of dry straw, which highlights their lack of life (Shmoop Editorial Team.) Eliot refers to Heaven as “death’s other Kingdom” in line 14. Is there any significance to this? T. S. Eliot talks about people in death’s dream kingdom. Why does he not want to associate with these people? It’s not that the hollow men specifically do not want any association with the people in death’s dream kingdom, but they want to avoid eye contact with the specifically. This reveals that the men are in a timid and frightful state, and they are afraid of what the people might do to them in their dreams (Shmoop Editorial Team.) Starting on line 29, Eliot reiterates that he wants nothing to do with this “dream kingdom.” He gives an overall description of the people that are there, but what is it exactly about the place that he despises so strongly? The hollow men are making such a big deal out of the people in death’s dream kingdom because of their eyes. Their biggest fear is that the eyes will reveal truth. So in order to hide the truth, they want to keep their distance from the people. In addition, T.S. Eliot suggests that the men are scarecrows multiple times throughout the poem. Why exactly does he choose a scarecrow and not anything else? The image of a scarecrow is used to emphasize the contrast that the men are hollow, yet stuffed. This reveals the men’s lack of life to the point that they do not even have veins. They are so empty that they cannot even stand alone and must lean on each other (Gopang.) In line 40, the land is referred to as a cactus land. What is it about the land that allows it to be categorized as a “cactus?” The “cactus land” shows that the poem takes place in a desert (Shmoop Editorial Team.) What is the significance of the statement “The supplication of a dead man’s hand” on line 43? The dead man is one of the hollow men. In this stanza, the men are not able to make in into the kingdom of death, and they are at a point of desperation...

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