Human Deficence In T. S. Eliot's The Hollow Man

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Another famous and influential work from T.S. Eliot is The Hollow Men. Likely influenced by World War I, T. S. Eliot portrays a disconnect from humanity and a disillusionment with typical beliefs as a source of human despair in The Hollow Men. The “hollow men” that the work is centered around are depicted devoid of any human qualities that might provide them a relief from despair, such as hope or faith. As is written in “T. S. Eliot's Indigenous Critical Concepts and 'The Hollow Men'” by Muhammad Khan Sangi and others, “In this poem the human beings have been shown devoid of the qualities of faith, moral strength, of personality, determination and that of humanity; they are like empty bodies, lacking all human virtues” (Sangi et al para 4). No matter how these qualities were lost to the individuals, the result is constant and predictable: the individuals feel an inescapable despair. When one has nothing to anticipate in life, no expectations or hopes, then life loses its meaning. This is the world that the hollow men live in perpetually. The entire work, as Sangi describes, “is a cry of despair unrelieved by hope. The peculiarity of the poem is that it is an inner drama with the utmost economy of words. The images echo the deadness of sensibility and the emptiness of hollow men who, like the effigies, are fit only for burning” (Sangi et al para 5). Again, the hollow men are depicted as worthless, insofar as they are compared to effigies, the only purpose of which is to be

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