Manual Hollow Men

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If man does not recognize himself, he cannot fulfill the object of his creation. Life without knowledge, wisdom and love is worthless. In these lines,, the poet points out such type of deficiencies. The poet says tha 'we do not have knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, we are worthless men. We are stuffed men like puppets or dolls. We try to follow one another.

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We do not have knowledge and wisdom to lead others. We do not have ability to listen to realities of life. We have nothing to say because we know gothing. That is why our speech, is no more than the voices made by the grass or the rats. The poet means to say that having no knowledge and wisdom we have no ability to lead others.

We have no ability to listen to the good things and to convey valuable thoughts. In this poem, the poet condemns the' jitual emptiness of modem man. He says that we fre hollow, empty men. We lack passion and erlthusiasm. Our efforts are fruitless like the running f rats or rustling grass. We have formless shapes, are just hollow and stuffed men. We have no form and no colour. We have force but we do not know how to male its best use. Therefore, we have paralysed force. We do not know anything good. We do not know how to learn and how to convey,The poet condemns the spiritual emptiness of modern man.

He says that we are pollow, empty men.

The Hollow Men

We lack passion and enthusiasm: Our efforts are fruitless like the running of rats or rustling grass. The poet talks the dead persons. He also talks about wan's ignorance and dullness. The poet says that those who have already departed from this life do not know of our being frustrated or not. We have no ambition in our life. We are not anxious to get something. Eliot Mistah Kurtz - he dead. III This is the dead land This is cactus land Here the stone images Are raised, here they receive The supplication of a dead man's hand Under the twinkle of a fading star.

V Here we go round the prickly pear Prickly pear prickly pear Here we go round the prickly pear At five o'clock in the morning. The Heart of Darkness was written and said to be referenced to several pieces of works in literature, but the first two lines in the poem directly allude to Kurtz from Heart of Darkness and to Guy Fawkes, an attempted arsonist of the English house of Parliament, "Mistah Kurtz - he dead" and "A penny for the Old Guy" respectively. The entire poem resembles that exactly of Kurtz, Marlow, and the other characters portrayed in the novella.

He wants to conceal his being somehow from the probing eyes of Paradiso , for justice may happen in the final meeting and hollow men can only delay it but can't escape it, for their fate it is.

They have some faith in gods to transcend them to the other kingdom but their hope is diminishing with every passing moment, for those who can't help themselves how could they help them? Hope continues to fade, their eyes left them, the torch bearings of their beings are not with them anymore. They grope together one last time, the justice of God may send people Paradiso or Hell but for our hollow men, even the scorching gates of Hell do not make way for they are just effigy s.

The hope they have is as hollow as our hollow men.

The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot (read by Tom O'Bedlam)

They have ideas but cannot bring them into reality, for some shadow always falls like an iron curtain to block their intentions, their existence doesn't begets essence for always the shadow stands in between. Perhaps that's how world ends, for a bang not required to end it, as one may expect, but a little whimper is good enough to pull curtains and put end to the drama of life on the stage of being and nothingness. There is a deep despair here, a horror; the horror of nihilism staring up at you from the darkness; a deep black gulf of nothingness. The idea, that one is imbecile to confront the reality of life; and his existence is just a shadow of a being which is apparently hollow is very frightening; one keeps on struggle with realities of his inauthentic existence, the nihilistic horror one confronts through the probing eyes of The Other robs him from any sort of comfort his inauthentic existence may beget.

Eventually, when the illusion of hope is ripped apart by the harrowing absurdities of life, he may come to make amend with the harsh possibilities in life and in effect may accept the perpetual end of life. The poetic style of the verses marked by verbal austerity and relentless negation forms a structural counterpart to a thematic strategy that repudiates the validity of human experience at every level.

In this respect the poem expands upon the theme of denial explored as part of the individual's search for meaning in The Waste Land. The negation of life ultimately leads to stark encounter with nothingness wherein every sort of inauthentic existence may be shredded in pieces which then may lead to birth of faith in God, as per religions or madness as per nihilistic reality or even to absurd and fully conscious existence as per Camus and Sartre ; Kierkegaard may say that simultaneous fear and intense awareness of nothingness, opens up the possibility of faith in an infinite beyond human comprehension, the negation brings the individual to a terminal point marking the boundary between the finite and the infinite.

Excerpts We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw.


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Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats' feet over broken glass In our dry cellar This is the way world ends This is the way world ends This is the way world ends Not with a bang but a whimper. View all 7 comments. May 17, Traveller rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-by-men , modernism , poetry.

Though The Hollow Men is more stark and elegant than Eliot's complex poem, The Wasteland, one could still end up spending hours if you were to dissect this poem line by line. Whether one agrees with Eliot's sentiments and his personal philosophy or not, his imagery is simply superb. Bleak bleak bleak outlook. One has to applaud the sheer force of the imagery. What could be more disturbing than a procession of brainless, shuffling zombies?

Possibly a horde of sightless, shuffling strawmen, hollow Though The Hollow Men is more stark and elegant than Eliot's complex poem, The Wasteland, one could still end up spending hours if you were to dissect this poem line by line. Possibly a horde of sightless, shuffling strawmen, hollow at the core, leaning against one another to remain upright, whispering with dry voices, whispering, whispering, with arid voices like the rustle of wind through the dry grass Can you see it in your mind's eye?

The sheer subtle genius of passages such as: Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; and Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow and Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow and Between the desire And the spasm Between the potency And the existence Between the essence And the descent Falls the Shadow Eliot was apparently pretty depressed when writing it, and it shows; even more than with The Waste Land.

Note that he speaks of The Hollow Men as "us". So he is including himself here, possibly his whole generation. If poems were to be classified into the same genres as prose, this would be one of my favorite horror poems; it is darker, certainly, than anything Poe has written. Noting what some critics 'see' in this poem, makes me smile a little, but then, the poem lends itself so well to possible allusions, and of course, Eliot is known as very allusive poet; an image which he himself was quite eager, it seems, to enforce.

No doubt most of the allusions were deliberate, and of course many clues were planted by the erudite Eliot in person. But even if this poem contained not a single literary reference or allusion; just as it stands by itself, it already oozes a frightful, horrific genius sheerly via its evocative power alone. Since I do think Eliot himself was at a pretty low point psychologically when he wrote this, it sort of touches one with its notes of personal anguish too. So, for me, this poem can be read both on a personal and on a societal level. View all 40 comments.

Sep 22, Florencia rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry. I read this, and get hit by countless images, multiple voices and associations, and a sense of closeness, being all part of the hollow individuality, the shape without form, shade without colour, paralysed force, gesture without motion ; oblivious to the bang and the whimper. Way to go, Eliot. View all 18 comments.

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Feb 08, Amy Other Amy rated it it was amazing Shelves: apocalypse-now-and-then , before-gr , creepy-dolls , x-free-in-public-domain , reviewed , 5-stars-favorites , , poetry. 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. Certain phrases are always echoing in my mind, and this is one of them. Whatever else may be said of my useless high school years, they got the meditations of one T. Eliot into my head. In high school, I loved to pick Eliot's poems apart, running every allusion back down to unlock the 'true' meaning.

Rereading this for a group read, I am gratified to find that the imagery its 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. Rereading this for a group read, I am gratified to find that the imagery itself arrests me now in a way it has never done before. Once I have devoured this again for the first time, it gets a proper review. Only it is impossible for me to really review this poem, because it is one of my all time favorites. Hard to review the things that made me what I am.

So here is more of an experience of it, an appreciation of the imagery, if you will. Eliot would hate this for annotation and anachronism, but that's what you get for being a poet who stands the test of time. I strongly suggest you read the poem yourself first before proceeding to the images I am about to attach to it. It is quite readily available online here, for instance. Here we go. Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats' feet over broken glass In our dry cellar Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom Remember us-if at all-not as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men.

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams In death's dream kingdom These do not appear: There, the eyes are Sunlight on a broken column There, is a tree swinging And voices are In the wind's singing More distant and more solemn Than a fading star. Let me be no nearer In death's dream kingdom Let me also wear Such deliberate disguises Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves In a field Behaving as the wind behaves No nearer- Not that final meeting In the twilight kingdom This is the dead land This is cactus land Here the stone images Are raised, here they receive The supplication of a dead man's hand Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this In death's other kingdom Waking alone At the hour when we are Trembling with tenderness Lips that would kiss Form prayers to broken stone. The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars In this hollow valley This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms In this last of meeting places We grope together And avoid speech Gathered on this beach of the tumid river. Sightless, unless The eyes reappear As the perpetual star Multifoliate rose Of death's twilight kingdom The hope only Of empty men.

Here we go round the prickly pear Prickly pear prickly pear Here we go round the prickly pear At five o'clock in the morning. Lousy image, but the concept was too good to pass up. View all 8 comments. Nov 30, Ali rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry. The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars The main problem with this poem as Bukowski pointed out in his day is the ending: it was poetic and clairvoyant That ending ruins the whole experience of the poem for me, as the flawed intuition that it is.

Since that last verse couldn't be more wrong, instead of being insightful it sounds pedantic three repeated lines preparing us for such a lack of vision! Pretty much everything that happens in our lives may end with a whimper, from our relationships to our very The main problem with this poem as Bukowski pointed out in his day is the ending: it was poetic and clairvoyant Pretty much everything that happens in our lives may end with a whimper, from our relationships to our very own lives themselves, but the world Jan 13, B.

Rinehart rated it it was amazing Shelves: 20th-century-modernist-stuff , poetry-stuff. Eliot poem. I mean it is giving you everything and very little. To get the full effect of this poem it has to be recited out loud or to your self--but it has to be recited. In it we are given a descent into the underworld s a la Dante which is standard of most Eliot's work try to name a volume of Eliot's poetry that does not allude to Dante and it gives a very short but beautiful imagery of becoming and of being undone as "hollow men" often are.

The fact that this poem can be matched perfectly with The Divine Comedy and is one the most persistently quotable poems in pop culture history increases its value and importance. View all 4 comments.

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Sep 18, Marzieh Torabi rated it it was amazing Shelves: ebooks , poetry , english. Apr 12, mwpm rated it it was amazing Shelves: poetry. Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats' feet over broken glass In our dry cellar Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom Remember us-if at all-not as lost Violent souls, but only As the ho Mistah Kurtz-he dead A penny for the Old Guy I We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw.

II Eyes I dare not meet in dreams In death's dream kingdom These do not appear: There, the eyes are Sunlight on a broken column There, is a tree swinging And voices are In the wind's singing More distant and more solemn Than a fading star. Let me be no nearer In death's dream kingdom Let me also wear Such deliberate disguises Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves In a field Behaving as the wind behaves No nearer- Not that final meeting In the twilight kingdom III This is the dead land This is cactus land Here the stone images Are raised, here they receive The supplication of a dead man's hand Under the twinkle of a fading star.

IV The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars In this hollow valley This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms In this last of meeting places We grope together And avoid speech Gathered on this beach of the tumid river Sightless, unless The eyes reappear As the perpetual star Multifoliate rose Of death's twilight kingdom The hope only Of empty men.