The Hollow No More
(A Response to the Hollow Men)
Hollow, that is what our lives have become, worthless, useless, without meaning. Elliot does a fantastic job in his poem, “The Hollow Men” at expressing this view, of how inhuman the human population has become. In his first stanza he introduces these Hollow Men, their existence is pointless, and they are like scarecrows just sitting without meaning, in a dry deserted area, almost that one hell. They are in a states between Heaven and Hell, they aren’t worth anything to anybody. In the Second Stanza, it is shown that these people are afraid to look at the humans that made it to heaven or hell as though they themselves are just broken things tossed to the side. This is what their world is made out of, broken symbols and images. In Elliot’s third Stanza is used to describe the barren setting that the Hollow Men live in, and that their prayers are to broken stones, or unheard. The Fourth is quite simple sharing how the Hollow Men in stanza two are afraid to look at one another, or be looked at for that matter. The Fifth and final Stanza is modeled around a children’s nursery rhyme, with changed words of course, but ends very drastically, stating the end of the world. Throughout this dreary poem there are a multitude of messages that Elliot has to say about all of the corruption, and where the human species will probably go, the end of the world.
Initially, a very important message that Elliot is trying to portray comes by the means of what the life of a person should be, by comparing these Hollow Men as Empty, yet full at the same time. “Let me be no nearer In death's dream kingdom Let me also wear Such deliberate disguises Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves In a field Behaving as the wind behaves No nearer—“ (Page 1164 Lines 29-36), he relates these people to that of scarecrows, they are full of stuffing but yet they are empty. But how can something be empty and full at the same time? What Elliot means by this statement is that they are full, alive, and able to move but that is it nothing else. He makes this clear that these Hollow Men don’t have what we would call a soul, or something that drives them one way or the other, and that is why they are stuck right smack dab in the middle. This is a metaphor for what these people are going through and how if we don’t change our ways, this is how life might be for the rest of us in the near future, we need to change our ethics.
In the passage, Elliot explains the setting that these Hollow Men are living in, during the time of the story, representing a world all in itself. He explains this place as dry and desolate,...