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"Heart of Darkness" and "The Hollow Men": Comparisons

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Mariah Newman

on 7 May 2013

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Transcript of "Heart of Darkness" and "The Hollow Men": Comparisons

By Mariah Newman "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad and "The Hollow Men" by T.S. Eliot: Symbolic and Thematic Connections. Devoid of Humanity and Emotion Living Conditions in Meaningless Environments The Hollow Men Afraid of Self-Reflection The Hollow Men "The Hollow Men" "The Hollow Men" Relative to "Heart of Darkness" -The poem tells of a group of "hollow men", whose whispers are "quiet and meaningless." The men are not satisified with their "hollow" and void personalities and their barren and insignificant living conditions.

-The men are described to be being haunted by shadows that are preventing them from forming a soul and a respectable existence

-These men are afraid of the eyes of "death's other kingdom" or, in a biblical sense, Heaven's angels viewing and judging them. 1. Kurtz, the store manager in "Heart of Darkness" lacks humanity, thus, there is nothing inside him but an empty soul. The hollow men also lack compassion, hope and humanity.

2. Both Kurtz and the hollow men live in meaningless, lifeless landscapes.

3. Kurtz and the hollow men are afraid of going to hell and therefore being judged by a "God." They are both aware that their lives weren't anything to be proud of. The Hollow Men Kurtz - These men are "Shape without
form, shade without colour,
paralysed force." - Marlow stated "Kurtz was an impenetrable darkness" (64). Shortly after - Thee man experienced haunting
shadows prevented them from
completing their intended tasks,
"Between the emotion and response
falls the shadow.' -Kurtz had a voice, or a "shadow" in his head that haunted him, "It rang deep to the very last. It survived his strength to hide in the magnificent folds of eloquence the barren darkess of his heart" (63). - Shortly after Mr. Kurtz's death the
manager's boy said- "Mistah Kurtz-
he dead" (64). Little did the boy know that Mr. Kurtz had spiritually been dead for a long time, much like the hollow men. - In the title of the poem reads
"Mistah Kurtz- he dead" to symbolize
how Kurtz was very similar to the
hollow souled men that were depressed
by how their lives had turned out.
. Kurtz - The hollow men live in "the dead land..the cactus land."
- They "grope together.. on this beach of the tumid river." They are in a "valley of dying stars" and Eliot wrote that their home was the "broken jaw of our lost kingdoms." There is no inspiration or hope in the future where they abide - Kurtz lived in an African territory among natives.
- "There was nothing either above him or below him.. He had kicked himself loose of the earth" (61). He got caught up in his greed for ivory and success that he truly lost himself in the shuffle - The hollow men worship
"stone images" or fake idols and
gods "under the twinkle of fading
star." In other words, while they
believe in this gods, their hope and
their true savior is fading away
in the form of a star. - Kurtz and his men practically worshipped ivory and thought of it as their savior or god. "The word "ivory" rang in the air.. you would think they were praying to it" (18). Kurtz got absorbed by this fake idol and lost all the hope he had in his future. Kurtz - The hollow men are portrayed to not possess any literal eyes in the poem so that they don't have to view themselves and self reflect on their lives. "The eyes are not here, there are no eyes here." - Kurtz had eyes that were cold and transperant, like he didn't have a soul and as if you could look straight through him and not see any good qualities within him. - Kurtz's last words were "the horror, the horror!" He was ashamed of his life and disappointed in himself. This line is important because it defines Kurtz's soul and how much he depised the choices he made that let to his hollow, pathetic existence. - The hollow men didn't want God's angels (from death's dream kingdom) to view their lives because they were too abashed by them."Eyes I dare not meet in dreams, in death's dream kingdom."
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