Many People Throughout The Centuries Have Wondered What

1490 WordsApr 29, 20176 Pages
Many people throughout the centuries have wondered what will happen after they take their last breath. "The Hollow Men" (1925) is a poem by T. S. Eliot that is divided into five parts, totaling 98 lines that reflect on this very idea. The so-called “Hollow Men” are afraid to speak of Heaven by name. Though they are curious about what Heaven is like, they also fear the "eyes" of heavenly souls and the final judgmental that God will deliver. Eliot’s portrayal of the unknown that is the afterlife shows how hopeless his life felt before converting to Christianity. On a first read-through of the poem, it is difficult to understand what is happening. The Hollow Men are dead people, but at first they come across as living, albeit…show more content…
The Hollow Men describe their whispers as "quiet and meaningless / As wind in dry grass" (7-8); this is also partially true about the entire monologue. This poem is often associated with Eliot 's most famous poem, “The Waste Land,” because both works are set in Hellish environments and concern people whose lives are fragmented and incoherent, written around the same period in Eliot 's life. Compared to “The Waste Land,” this poem reads much quieter and drier. In “The Hollow Men,” the short length of the words and phrases from the Men creates frequent pauses, as if each line were an ghostly gust of wind, changing directions to later return to the same place. The poem would be considered free verse because no meter, rhythm, or rhyme scheme is apparent. Eliot does not use a strict meter such as iambic penta- or tetrameter, which he uses in many of his other poems. “The Hollow Men” is similar to a dramatic monologue by the collective group of Hollow Men, but the verses are not consistent like a traditional monologue. The five sections in the poem also vary in total length and stanza length. The lines throughout all five sections are short, causing the speech to be staccato, as if the Men run out of breath before getting a complete thought out. The Men never raise their voices, even when describing serious matters such as eternal suffering. Even when singing the men do not sound
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