The Hollow Men by T. S. Eliot. Part I: Bruce (591201311) Part II,III,IV: Sara (591202250) Emily Tian (591202092) Part V: Rachel (591201610). Dante, Paradiso Dante, Purgatorio. < http://pages.slc.edu/.../ blocks/poetry-asthetics.htm>.
Emily Tian (591202092)
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
THE HOLLOW MEN: On the situation and the
atmosphere, cf. Dante's account (lnferno III) of Hell's
entrance where dwell in "the starless air," in "air forever
dark," and "without hope of death," those "who never
were alive“—"the wretched souls of those who lived
without infamy and without praise" because they were
not positive enough spiritually to be either good or evil.
Our dried voices, when 5We whisper togetherAre quiet and meaninglessAs wind in dry grassOr rats' feet over broken glassIn our dry cellar 10Shape without form shade without colour, Paralyzed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed With direct eyes to death's other Kingdom Remember us--if at all-- not as lost 15 Violent souls, but only As the hollow menThe stuffed men.
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams20 In death's dream kingdom These do not appear: There, the eyes are Sunlight on a broken column
Eyes: In the Purgatorio, Beatrice’s eyes are a symbol
of spiritual reality.
20: the image of heaven
23: a traditional graveyard memorial for a premature
There, is a tree swinging25 And voices are In the wind's singing More distant and more solemn Than a fading star.
Star: a symbol of both naturalistic flux and
eternal spirit in the world.
Let me be no nearer30 In death's dream kingdom Let me also wearSuch deliberate disguisesRat's coat, crowskin, crossed stavesIn a field35 Behaving as the wind behaves No nearer --
Not that final meetingIn the twilight kingdom
Scarecrow: a symbol of spiritual looseness of the speaker. 32-34: The speaker conceals his lack of possibility.
37-38: The speaker may meet the eyes in the real world of the dead.
This is the dead land40 This is cactus land Here the stone images Are raised, here they receiveThe supplication of a dead man's hand Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Deathlike/ lifeless images: cactus/dead land, a fading star~ The hollow men are like themselves.
43: The speaker views himself as dead or dying and prays for getting out of emptiness and lifeless.
45 Is it like this In death's other kingdom Waking alone At the hour when we are Trembling with tenderness50 Lips that would kissForm prayers to broken stone.
46: The speaker’s empty life is another form of death.
51: whispering meaningless is just like a broken
IV The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars55 In this hollow valley This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting placesWe grope togetherAnd avoid speech60 Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
The eyes that may reappear beyond the river portend salvation. 54-56: the image of emptiness and death
The water: A symbol of cleansing grace.
58-60: The image of the lost souls belongs to a boundary motif.
Sightless, unless The eyes reappear As the perpetual starMultifoliate rose65 Of death's twilight kingdom The hope only Of empty men.
63: A symbol of the Holy Virgin
64: Dante’s Celestial Rose made of light
65-67: The hollow men remain sightless unless the rose
reappears, love along with powers of creation and
repentance is still sought in the world of nightmare.
Here we go round the prickly pearPrickly pear prickly pear70 Here we go round the prickly pear At five o'clock in the morning.
Between the idea And the reality Between the motion
75 And the act Falls the Shadow
ForThine is the Kingdom Sex
Between the conception And the creation80 Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Sex and the creation
Between the desire85 And the spasm Between the potency And the existence Between the essence And the descent90 Falls the Shadow
For Thineis the Kingdom
Sex, creation and salvation
For Thine isLife isFor Thine is the
This is the way the world endsThis is the way the world endsThis is the way the world endsNot with a bang but a whimper.
Eliot, T. S. “The Hollow Men.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M. A. Abrams. 7th ed. Vol. 2. New York: Norton, 2000. 2383-86.
---, T. S. “The Hollow Men.” 24 Nov. 2005
A Hypertext Version of T.S. Eliot's “The Hollow Men.” 26 Nov. 2005 <http://www.aduni.org/~heather/occs/honors/Poem.htm>.
Jimaine. Hollow Men. 2004. 26 Nov. 2005