“We are the Hollow Men, We are the stuffed men” In this poem by T. S. Elliot, he uses symbolism, mixed with a quick tempo at the beginning, moving to a slower one at the end to describe how a man’s life generally goes by. In the early stages of a man’s life, he is constantly being filled with information and qualities that society deems necessary and desirable. He will spend no time dwelling on the innermost insecurities that we, as humans, all have. He is a Hollow Man.
As we go through the motions of life, we rarely spend time in our early years to contemplate and delve into the insecurities and emotions, the thoughts and feelings that make us who we are. We are content being ignorant to the deeper things; the things that make us think about the greater workings of the Universe, and the smaller workings of ourselves. We know those things exist; we simply don’t want to hear them, because, as we’ve all heard at one time or another, ignorance is bliss. “Eyes I dare not meet in dreams” As we move further into the journey of life, we begin to understand that something is missing.
We begin to come to the realization that there are things about ourselves we don’t want to know. We are ashamed that we have gone this long, and have not sought out the greater meaning we inherently know is there. We know we’ve done wrong, but don’t want to face it. We fear what we will discover about ourselves. It is easier to look in a mirror and see your reflection just as being your reflection, and not contemplate the person you see. It is easy to say “This person has blonde hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. ” It is difficult to say “This person has feelings, beliefs, insecurities, and a deeper meaning. “At the hour when we are Trembling with tenderness Lips that would kiss Form prayers to broken stone. ” This stanza represents how at the end, we know that our lives of passion, where we have done nothing for a greater purpose than for our own personal comfort and entertainment, were insignificant. We know, maybe for the first time, that there was more to living than just existing. We know that we are nothing, and that we have nothing. We know that we are coming to the end, and we are willing to do anything to keep that end from coming.
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We pray, and beg, and plead, just wanting a chance to have done something truly worthwhile. “This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang, but a whimper. ” When that final end comes, it will not be in some grand event of chaos and hellfire, It will be much worse. It will be a personal revelation that what you have done did not matter. It will come as a quiet, internal battle, with nobody there to console you but yourself. You will have to face your life with a new sense of understanding that only comes with the end.
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