Analysis Of ' The Hollow Men '

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Emma Lynch Mrs. Oliveros British Literature H May 23, 2016 The Importance of Conscience T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Hollow Men,” describes a group of people who do not have the ability to distinguish right from wrong. The ‘hollow men’ fall in between those who commit morally right deeds and those who commit morally wrong deeds. Eliot once commented in The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism, “But the essential advantage for a poet is not to have a beautiful world with which to deal: it is to be able to see beneath both beauty and ugliness; to see the boredom, and the horror, and the glory.” It is evident that Eliot illustrates this statement throughout his poem, particularly the aspect of boredom. “The Hollow Men” demonstrates Eliot’s assertion by showing how the modern movement was slowly moving away from religion and goodness. In order to fully understand this movement, one must know beauty and ugliness to know what fits in between. Eliot is able to see beneath both beauty and ugliness to first see boredom. In the beginning of the poem, Eliot describes the ‘hollow men’ as, “…stuffed men / Leaning together / Headpiece filed with straw…” (Eliot, lines 2-4). These men demonstrate boredom when they meet together, as if they meet in silence, “We grope together / And avoid speech” (Eliot, lines 58-59). These men live such boring lives that they have nothing to talk about. It is unfortunate that the ‘hollow men’ feel weary as a result of being unoccupied. The boredom continues
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