"The Hollow Men" - Thomas Stearns Eliot – Summary: Analysis, critical comment, themes and main features of the poem
The poem was composed in London by T.S. Eliot between 1923 and 1925, after the writing of the major work "The waste land".
The title of the poem comes from the fusion (so we notice an effective contaminatio by T.S. Eliot, who was often inspired by other works) of the titles of two works: "The Empty Earth" by Morris and "The Broken Men" by Kipling.
The protagonists of the poem are hollow men, or men without a soul, with "the head full of straw": hollow men have no personality, faith, humanity, or characteristics that distinguish them from each other; They simply roam around as ghosts on earth.
The figure of hollow men is modeled on that of the Dantesque ignorant: in fact, Eliot writes that hollow men can interact only with the dead, of which they share the condition of spiritual death.
Hollow men are remembered by those who died not as evil people, but as puppets, unable to act and to experience feelings, the objective correlative of a humanity who in the 19 th century lost the sense of its existence and allowed it to take place Immanent tragedy, or the First World War.
From a stylistic point of view, text has the characteristics of funeral lamentation: the hollow men who speak are no longer part of the world of the living and seem to turn to someone away from them in time and space. However, in comparison with the classic model of funeral inscription, in which the deceased recall some of their features, I am a relevant episode, the reflection of hollow men takes place without any suspicions, without giving details, re-circulating their immutable condition of non-life , Expressed in the initial and final verses.