Modernist Elements in the Hollow Men

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Introduction:
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS
NOT WITH A BANG BUT A WHIMPER
T.S.Eliot, The Hollow Men (95-98). The end of The Hollow Men can only be the beginning of a deep and long reflection for thoughtful readers. T.S. Eliot, who always believed that in his end is his beginning, died and left his verse full of hidden messages to be understood, and codes to be deciphered. It is this complexity, which is at the heart of modernism as a literary movement, that makes of Eliot’s poetry very typically modernist. As Ezra Pound once famously stated, Eliot truly did “modernize himself”. Although his poetry was subject to important transformations over the course of his
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The reader must participate in the making of the poem or story by digging the structure out and create coherence out of the seeming incoherence. Therefore, the search for meaning, even if it does not succeed, becomes meaningful itself. Modernism is also characterized by the use of fragmentary techniques. Compared with earlier writing, modernist literature tends to omit explanations, interpretations, connections, summaries and distancing that provide clarity and continuity in traditional literature. The ideas of order, sequence, and unity are abandoned because they are considered by modernist writers as only expressions of a desire for coherence rather then truthful reflections of reality. A poem or a novel is built through an assemblage (or collage) of fragments, and a short work is a fragment itself. This fragmentation is meant to reflect the modern reality, a reality of flux and alienation. Fragments are drawn from diverse areas of experience. They can be vignettes of contemporary life, chunks of popular culture, dream imagery, religious symbols or symbols from the author’s own life experience. These various levels and different kinds of materials enable the modernist work to move across time and space, shift from the public to the personal and respond to different sorts of concerns of a larger audience. There was
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