T. S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men"



Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri of New England
descent, on Sept. 26, 1888. He entered Harvard University in 1906, completed
his courses in three years and earned a master's degree the next year. After a
year at the Sorbonne in Paris, he returned to Harvard. Further study led him to
Merton College, Oxford, and he decided to stay in England. He worked first as a
teacher and then in Lloyd's Bank until 1925. Then he joined the London
publishing firm of Faber and Gwyer, becoming director when the firm became Faber
and Faber in 1929. Eliot won the Nobel prize for literature in 1948 and other
major literary awards.
Eliot saw an exhausted poetic mode being employed, ...

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to physically and at the same time endlessly
suggestive in the meanings it set up because of its relationship to other images.
Eliot's real novelty was his deliberate elimination of all merely connective
and transitional passages, his building up of the total pattern of meaning
through the immediate comparison of images without overt explanation of what
they are doing, together with his use of indirect references to other works of
literature (some at times quite obscure).
Eliot starts his poem "The Hollow Men" with a quote from Joseph Conrad's
novel the Heart of Darkness. The line "Mistah Kurtz-he dead" refers to a Mr.
Kurtz who was a European trader who had gone in the "the heart of darkness" by
traveling into the central African jungle, with European standards of life and
conduct. Because he has no moral or spiritual strength to sustain him, he was
soon turned into a barbarian. He differs, however, from Eliot's "hollow men" as
he is not paralyzed as they are , but on his ...

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Then the crucial orientation is
developed, towards "death's other Kingdom." We know that we are in the Kingdom
of death, not as "violent souls" but as empty effigies, "filled with straw", of
this religious service.
Part two defines the hollow men in relation to the reality with those
"direct eyes have met". "Direct eyes" symbolizing those who represent something
positive (direct). Fortunately, the eyes he dare not meet even in dreams do not
appear in "death's dream kingdom." They are only reflected through broken light
and shadows, all is perceived indirectly. He would not be any nearer , any more
direct, in this twilight kingdom. He fears the ultimate vision.
Part three ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 7/12/2008 01:16:39 PM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1263
Pages: 5

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