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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. < blocks/poetry-asthetics.htm>.

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the hollow men by t s eliot
The Hollow MenbyT. S. Eliot
  • Part I: Bruce (591201311)
  • Part II,III,IV: Sara (591202250)

Emily Tian (591202092)

  • Part V: Rachel (591201610)
dante paradiso dante purgatorio
Dante, Paradiso Dante, Purgatorio

< blocks/poetry-asthetics.htm>

the hollow man
The Hollow man


  • Total rejection of all religious and moral belief.
  • Belief that nothing really exists.
  • The Hollow Man is one of nihilism work.
  • Eliot made his style in writing The Hollow Man.
four major sources of reference
Four major sources of reference
  • The historical account of “The Gunpowder Plot”
  • Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness
  • Dante’s Divine Comedy
  • Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
i mistah kurtz he dead a penny for the old guy
IMistah Kurtz-he dead. A penny for the Old Guy.
  • Epigraphs: Mistah Kurtz he dead: In Conrad's Heart of Darkness, this is the phrase used by the black cabin boy announcing Mr. Kurtz's death.
  • Mr. Kurtz, a European trader, had gone into jungle ( The Heart of Darkness) with high intentions, but was soon barbarized by his own greed.
  • "The wilderness ... found him out early....I think it whisper to him things about himself which he did not know—and the whisper ... proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core." Describe his hollowness.


We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

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.

  • 13-14. Those... Kingdom: i.e., those who stood for something positive, either evil or good, and so can really die, as the hollow men cannot.
  • Hollow men  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.

part ii iii iv
  • The eyes, the rose and the star are
  • equivalent the “Grail” of The Waste Land.
  • The repetition of the same words, like
  • “eyes,” ”broken,” ”death kingdom,” “a
  • fading star,” makes powerful images.
  • The hollow men appear as the “distraction,
  • delusion, pretence” of the unenlightened
  • people and each one of them is a “fugitive
  • from reality.”

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.

works cited

Works Cited

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 <>.

Jimaine. Hollow Men. 2004. 26 Nov. 2005


works cited1
Works Cited
  • Eliot, T.S. “The Hollow Men” 1925. T.S. Eliot: The Complete Poems and Plays,1905-1950. New York: Harcourt, 1958. 24 Nov. 2005 <>.
  • Picture Dante, Paradiso and Dante, Purgatorio. 27 Nov. 2005 < blocks/poetry-asthetics.htm>.
  • Giuseppe C. Di Scipio. Ravenna. The Symbolic Rose in Dante’s Paradiso 26 Nov. 2005
  • Smith, Grover, J. Hillis Miller, David Spurr and Robert Crawford. On “The Hollow Men.” 24 Nov. 2005