Modernity In The Hollow Men

1381 Words6 Pages
A modern writer and forbearer of postmodernity in poetry, T. S. Eliot’s poems are dark, existential, and gritty. They take a deep look into the human mind and condition and paint Eliot’s perspective on humanity in general. Poems like “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Hollow Men” take a look into the bleak potential for humanity to amount to nothing. The poems confront the reader with the harsh reality that much of life is squandered or lived superficially. To gain value from these poems, one must examine the criticism that each offers. One must heed the poems’ collective warning against wasting one’s life, and he must take action, living meaningfully and in the moment. In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” the title character delivers a dramatic monologue to his romantic companion on a night out. It is a monologue that rambles and takes twists and turns from Prufrock’s plans for their night out to his philosophical beliefs and fears. The poem offers a vivid picture…show more content…
The two poems contain complimentary warnings with Prufrock’s being in real time and the Hollow Men’s coming after the decline of humanity. In Prufrock’s love story, we see the consequences of indecisiveness in the context of one man: the realization life has been purposeless and devoid of meaning. But the Hollow Men’s cautionary tale depicts the effects of societal inaction and indecision: a world devoid of reality and meaning with its whole population bound up, blind and immobile. The men failed to use their voices and now are mute. They failed to use their eyes and now are blind. The two tales work together to demonstrate that when you fail to take action when you have the opportunity, you submit yourself the will of nature or others or chance until it is too late. The reader can relate to Prufrock, yet he may fail to see the extent of Prufrock’s failure. But in coordination with “The Hollow Men,” the message is
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