Analysis Of The Poem ' The Hollow Men ' Essay

1478 Words 6 Pages
In the modernistic poem “The Hollow Men,” by T.S Eliot, the speakers believe that in the push for progress that man has lost something essential for living, chiefly his soul. These speakers seem to be confessing their fears and worries to the reader from their place in a decaying wasteland, indicating that without that soul nothing can live. Images of emptiness fill the first section, of eyes in the second, more emptiness in the third, judgment and salvation in the fourth, and images of innocence and darkness in the last. At the beginning of the poem there is an epigraph that sets the tone for the poem. The quote is “Mistah Kurtz- he dead” from Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness. Kurtz refers to the antagonist of the story who was the reflection or the Shadow of the protagonist and by stating that “he dead” is indicating that he is without a soul. The speakers of the poem, then claim that they are equivalent to Kurtz by stating in the first line that they are hollow and in the second line by saying they are stuffed. These Hollow Men are saying that like Kurtz they have the appearance of life, but are in fact without a soul. They are “leaning together” because their “headpieces are filled with straw” making them top heavy. Their have “dried voices” are “quiet and meaningless” and compared to “wind in dry grass” and “rats’ feet over broken glass.” These lines could indicate that because of their lack of spirit or soul they don’t raise their voice to fight or to live and…

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