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Robinson and Eliot Essay example

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A surprising statistic from an MSNBC online article claims that nearly fifty percent of Americans hate their jobs more than ever before in the past twenty years (msnbc.com). This quote relates to the fact that some Americans workers are no longer living their dreams, and they have no purpose or meaning in their lives. The poems “The Hollow Men” and “Miniver Cheevy” also have the same theme. The poem, “The Hollow Men,” by T.S. Eliot, is about the emptiness that determines the way people live their lives. Similar to this, “Miniver Cheevy,” by Edwin Arlington Robinson, is about a man constantly dreaming of living back in the Medieval times as he struggles to find meaning in his life. Although different types of images are used, both poems use imagery to create a similar message - that a life where pointless things are pursued is worthless and unfulfilling.
Many people in the world who are unhappy with their lives can connect with the emptiness the hollow men feel in Eliot’s poem. “We are the stuffed men leaning together headpiece filled with straw” indicates an unoriginal quality that all the men share. Their goals in life are alike because they are not fulfilling. In “The Hollow Men,” the image of scarecrows represent people’s empty lives and their vacant pursuits. The hollow men’s lives have no point or meaning.
“This is the dead land this is the cactus land” describes a vacant, dead environment. Eliot uses the barren desert to show the lifelessness of the hollow men, despite the fact that they are alive. The lack of life in that environment perfectly describes the lives of the people with no dreams that Eliot is trying to describe. Truly, the men lack any spirit and life, which Eliot showed through the imagery and characteri...


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...l problems influence every part of his life. Even after “Miniver thought, and thought,” he gave up and continued to drink. His impossible dreams always lead him back to alcohol and self pity, which lead him nowhere. Moreover, the ending line of the poem, “Miniver coughed, and called it fate, and kept on drinking,” confirms that Miniver Cheevy has given up, along with the hollow men, and his purpose for life is diminished.
Although the imagery in each poem is distinct, the similarity of message in both poems is evident. The poems are similar in that the narrator’s lives are empty and contain no passion for pursuing anything. The ideas reflected in these poems are seen even today, in such things as listless living and job-related apathy. Both poems suggest that a life where dreams of meaningless things are pursued will end without purpose or significance.







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