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The Hollow Men

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Carlie Earl

on 17 December 2012

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Transcript of The Hollow Men

T.S Eliot The Hollow Men T.S Eliot The Hollow Men We are the men who are hollow and empty.
Like stuffed scarecrows,
our thoughts are dry,
and so are our voices.
When we whisper,
our voices mean nothing.
We are as meaningless
as wind in dry grass
or a rat walking over broken glass
In a dry cellar. We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
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 Poetry Explication Project-Carlie Earl The Hollow Men This is the dead land
This is the 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 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. Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men. 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. • Lived from September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965
• Eliot was born in Missouri.
• As a child, he had a hernia; this made it harder for him to participate in many activities.
• Shortly after moving to England when he was 25, he started going to the Anglican church.
• Eliot published his first poem in 1905 at the age of seventeen
• Later on, in 1948, he won the Nobel Prize in Literarure. The Situation Tone Poetic Voice The Hollow Men -Paraphrase We hardly exist. We exist only as much as shape can exist without a form, shade without colour, a force that is paralyzed, or a gesture without motion Those who have seen heaven ( or Paradise)
Remember us- if they remember us at all- not as anyone important. They only remember us as the hollow men. I do not want heaven's eyes to see me.
I don't want to see what I have become.
The eyes will be able to see
that I am barely anything at all.
Everything is distant and solemn. I do not want to get any closer to heaven.
I disguise myself, but I still float around,
With no purpose or meaning.

I do not want the day to come
with the final meeting in heaven . The land around us is dead
The only plant is a cactus.
We pray to stone gods
to bring us hope
but our hope disappears
like a fading star.

Is it any different in heaven than in this place? Lips that could be used to kiss, are only used to pray to stone gods here.
Heaven's eyes are not watching us here,
Now our vision is gone too.
All hope is fading away
in this dry barren land
that is our quiet useless kingdom.

We gather together
on the beach of the river
that crosses over to hell. We can not see
now that heaven's eyes are gone.
We want the eyes to reappear
Like the stars in the sky.
We realize now
that we cannot save ourselves. Here we go round the cactus
cactus, cactus
Here we go round the cactus
At five o'clock in the morning Between thinking of an idea
and making it reality,
Between moving
and creating an action,
A shadow falls, preventing anything from ever happening Between forming a plan
and going through with it,
Between the emotion
and the response
The shadow blocks anything from happening again. Life is very long For Thine is the kingdom No matter what occurs,
the shadow blocks whatever follows,
ensuring that nothing ever happens.


For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the For Thine is the Kingdom 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 • The tone of this poem is very despairing. The hollow men seem to have absolutely no hope.
• "Our dried voices...Are quiet and meaningless" (lines 5 and 7)
• The last 4 lines
"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" • The speaker of this poem refers to himself as "I".
• The speaker also refers to himself as being one of the "hollow men"
• It is clear that the speaker is upset with the situation he is in.
• He does not appear to be speaking to anyone in particular, just expressing his feelings. Structure of the poem Title/ Form Free Verse- This poem is made up of five sections. These five sections are made up of 18 stanzas in total. Each section varys in length and each line is generally pretty short. Line Length The line lengths that stand out are in the last stanzas. "For Thine is the Kingdom" and "Life is very long" show that the hollow men tried to pray but could never finish. Also "For Thine is /Life is/ For Thine is the" shows even shorter fragments supporting that they had a hard time keeping on track. The title "The Hollow Men" is very appropriate because the poem is based completely on the idea of these men. Movement Throughout the poem, the hollow men change. In the beginning, the idea of the eyes watching them seems terrifying. However, when the eyes leave, they see that they are a sign of hope and wish for them to return. Syntax and Punctuation Eliot uses only 8 periods, even though there are many more sentences than that.
There are a few places where he has used dashes to off set important phrases that he wanted to emphasize.
There are a lot of repeating ideas throughout this poem. The landscape being dry is one of them, along with "death's kingdom" The Language- Diction Although the language used in this poem is easy to read, there are many different meanings of what Eliot could have meant for the over all message of the poem. Around the time he wrote "The Hollow Men" he was going through a rough patch in his life. This poem may have been a result of that, which would explain why it is so depressing. Literary Devices Allusions The poem starts with two epigraphs: ``Mistah Kurtz—he dead.`` and ``A penny for the Old Guy`` These epigraphs are both allusions. The first one, Eliot got from Joseph Conrad's short novel ``Heart of Darkness``. The epigraph is referring to Kurtz, a character in the story, who dies. The second is referring to Guy Fawkes Day which is a holiday in England where children set off fireworks and light scarecrows on fire that, represent a man named Fawkes. The poem then opens with "We are the hollow men/We are the stuffed men." This is also refering to the same scarecrows. In section five, Eliot refers to the "beach of the tumid river." He is refering to an Italian poet, Dante's, Epic Poem, Inferno. Eliot refers to another piece of Dante's work when he writes about the Multifoliate rose. This rose is Dante's description of Paradise. Another allusion that is used is the children song "The Mulberry bush", with the words changed. The last important allusion is the Lord's Prayer with "For Thine is the Kingdom" repeating at the end of the poem. Personification/ Metaphore "We are the hollow men"
"We are the stuffed men"
"lost/Violent souls"
"Our dried voices"
"the wind's singing" "the eyes are/Sunlight on a broken column" Symbolism There are a few different symbols that Eliot used to portray his point. Dryness is one of them. Eliot describes three different things that are dry in the first stanza. This shows the lack of life. Another prominent symbol in this poem are eyes. The hollow men seem to be afraid to look "death's kingdom" in the eye. Sound Devices There is no Rhyme scheme to this poem. The free verse helps contribute to the serious tone of it.
Repitition is a big part of "The Hollow Men". The symbols are repeated over and over. Although the poem is fairly easy to read, the word choices that Eliot uses makes the poem a little bit confusing. He uses words such as "death's kingdom" but never tells you exactly what he means. It makes it interesting to read because you can decide for yourself what the poem means. Discussion Questions What could Eliot mean by "death's kingdom"? What could he mean by the eye of death's kingdom? What does ending the poem with
``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.``
do to help the poem? Mistah Kurtz-he dead
A penny for the Old Guy This poem starts out with two epigraphs. Both are allusions and help show the tone of this poem.
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