Poetry Analysis

For the poetry analysis I did the Hollow Men by T.S. Elliot.

When I first started to read this poem, the first line struck me: “we are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men” This creates such and interesting imagery of a sort of soulless breed. The image is haunting and tinged with a satirical tone. As my mind wrapped around this image, I was suddenly struck with the idea of soldiers, possibly pointing towards World War II and Nazi’s who had been brainwashed: “Headpiece filled with straw.” The line “shape without form, shape without color” is very interesting. This presented an image of a mass of soldiers, marching into battle, simply one shape, no individual “form” or “shape” as they march towards “death’s other kingdom”

The Second Paragraph is seemingly layered with what seems an individual soldiers guilt of his victims: “Eyes I dare not meet in dreams.” The second paragraph seems to be referring to a battle and how unearthly it is: “Deaths dream kingdom” as in the remains from the battle is just a feast for death, because so many have died. The Third stanza seems to further the battle scene, but it gives a holier image, one of the dead going to heaven, leaving earth because they gave their lives: “are raised, here they receive. The supplication of a dead man’s hand, Under the twinkle of a fading star” The fourth stanza then left me with the impression that the men who are left behind, to deal with “The broken jaw of our lost kingdom” I asked myself: “Is Eliot saying its better to be dead ┬áin the world of war than alive?” and the last line of stanza 5 points to that “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a whimper” This “whimper” presents a pleading sort of tone, as in the person or people are begging for death instead of resisting it “with a bang”

Overall, Elliot chooses strange imagery, but it leaves one with a feeling that it has a several meanings and choices behind each word. This is a stunning technique that leaves the reader haunted but craving for more explanation.

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