Modernism In The Hollow Men

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ART VERSUS RACISM: T.S ELIOT’S THE HOLLOW MEN AND BLACK IDENTITY BY S.A OGUNPITAN, PHD DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY, LAGOS, NIGERIA BIODATA Dr. Stephen Adebayo OGUNPITAN is a senior lecturer in English at the Lagos State University, Ojo. He is the immediate past Head of the department of English and the current Director of the Lagos State University External System (LASUES). Phone no 08033250088 Email address:,, ABSTRACT The Anglo-American poet T. S. Eliot refers to Joseph Conrad 's Heart of Darkness, among other literary and historical sources in his well-known poem entitled The Hollow Men. The link of this poem to his earlier works in the neo-Metaphysical…show more content…
S. Eliot has employed modernism in The Hollow Men to dazzle every generation of English readers, who totally fail to appreciate the depth of his language and meaning. Compared with his earlier masterpiece, The Waste Land, this poem is a highly successful "drama of modern life" centred on more or less the same "furnished flat sort of people" who always recur throughout his writing (Bush 1985, 81). But nobody has yet explained whose portraits are exactly suggested by the characters on this occasion, or why no appropriate names are given to them as modern life 's special representatives good enough to justify any separate treatment for us. The truth is that the blacks in North America who come up for scrutiny really have no serious appeal to T. S. Eliot and his prospective readers as Anglo-Catholics, Tories, and Classicists with whom he shares a lasting political and socio-cultural sympathy. Intellectually, of course, the poet is alienated from his contemporaries to such an extent that he can tease them at all levels and get away with his ingenious method. As in John Dryden 's and Pope 's poetry, the use of form and style in The Hollow Men triumphs over moral nonsense or “dullness: which is the work’s authentic but disguised theme (Bush
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