Aren’t we all bunch of hollow men, wandering above this wicked planet? Looking for salvation in the simplest things, maybe “An eye“, “A kiss” or something else. Bunch of people full of sins, full of mistakes, dreams maybe or hope. Gazing at the “Death’s other Kingdom” eyes full of timid hope, legs trembling between marching forward to paradise and retreating backward to netherworld. But like our ancestors, The Hollow Men, we have frozen in our places year after year, like scarecrows.
All the literary influences in the life of Eliot, have led to this masterpiece. Where its profoundly metaphorical lines, force you to imagine the smallest detail in the lives of these hollow men. Land of nothing but dust and cacti, a mud river maybe. Men reciting their final lullaby into the ears of other generation of hollow men. However, those men completely understand their condition, they are unhappy, full of regret, full of lust, perhaps they want to turn back the time so that they may find salvation in it, for their current situation. You can’t actually know if god has forsaken them or they have forsaken him, the situation in which they are in, I believe, is a sacrifice from both parties.
Eliot’s succeeded in creating a state of physical and psychological suffering, so the reader can realize that those hollow men are aching from the inside and out, like the Dead Men in Pirates of The Caribbean. The narrative talked about a shadow that prevent them from doing things that they want to do, but chew on this; aren’t we all have that shadow? Dogmas, families, money, physical pain, lake of imagination, lack of knowledge or experience, lose of a loved one, anything. We have that shadow right behind us. Some have the courage to face it and put an end to it, while some just leave it roaming around them and build a prickly wall of fear wrapping their lives.
I’m developing the idea of a hollow man. What makes a person hollow? I think every single person on this earth is missing something; and the thing that he misses makes him hollow in a way or another. Some people are philistine, talentless, with disabilities, with high IQ or low IQ, too sensitive or too solemn. Anything that we lack could make us hollow. Moreover, I do not lean to the idea that “Death’s dream kingdom” is heaven per se; maybe it’s the thing that we aspire to complement our lack, our weakness, and our inability, which makes us less hollow.
“Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us-if at all-not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.”
Here, I do believe that the hollow men do not want us -the next generation of possible hollow men- to be like them, they want us to learn from their mistakes and do much better that what they have done. I can’t but salute Dante and whoever helped with giving influence to Eliot so he can come up with this brilliant ode.