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T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men: Exploring Self-Realization

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  1. The immediate response
  2. The symbolism
  3. Relating the poem in two different ways
  4. The analytical psychology's
  5. The condition of realization
  6. An inherently symbolic: Life
  7. Section V
  8. S capitalized as is Kingdom
  9. Conclusion

When reading ?The Hollow Men?, by T.S. Eliot, one's immediate response might be to consider it against to context of which it was written. Such context may be purely historical or may revolve around the author's social life. All of these accounts may prove significant in assessing the poem correctly or even way off, such details often vary, but what is certain is that it is difficult to find a poem or any work of art that does not give insight into the artist's life experience.

[...] The bang seems to emphasize the crude and physical of the death we expect where as the whimper seems to illustrate that self-realization comes upon acknowledgement of the darkness of the self, the shadowy aspect, a part of us that brings to light the whimpers and sadness of some bleak, emotional dimension. Section V is definitely the most enigmatic part of the poem, but I find it interesting to consider the structure of the section as parallel to its content. [...]


[...] In occult teachings, it is said that the astral plane is inhabited by spirits of evolutionary capacity, which is to say of the same sterility as the hollow men. Carl Jung referred to complexes as a network of ideas linked together by an emotional stimulus. He often referred to such complexes as essentially autonomous (Jung 580). If there is a connection between the unconscious and the spirit world (the latter being often referred to symbolically by way of projections of the deceased), then it is possible that Eliot was referring to his complexes when he says, ?voices are in the wind singing more distant and more solemn than a fading star.? Perhaps he is referring to his own capacity to be as dead as the hollow men, the fading star being contrary to the ?perpetual star? referred to near the end of section IV. [...]

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