His use of “allegorically abstract text nevertheless achieves a remarkable unity of effect in terms of voice, mood and imagery” (Morace 948). Before the poem starts, there are two epigraphs; “Mistah Kurtz – he dead. / A penny for the Old Guy” (lines 1-2). Eliot alludes to these two epigraphs because their themes are developed throughout his poem. “The first epigraph is from Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” a story …that examines the hollowness and horror of lack of faith, spiritual paralysis, and despair” (Bloom 61), just like the “hollow men” in his poem.
The author uses the image of death in every paragraph of the poem. It is one of despair and gloom. Dylan Thomas uses the words "night (1.1)" and "dark (2.1)" to describe the certain outcome of the father. Thomas declares "Rage, rage against the dying of the light (1.3)" to generate the feeling that death is unpleasant therefore forming a grim image for the reader. The author also uses numerous literal undertones throughout the poem to produce a melancholy attitude in the reader.
I will be discussing how Eliot constantly uses death and creation images to strengthen the theme of the poem. Throughout this entire poem, there is an ever-present theme of death. There is not a single stanza where there is not something that is “dead.” The beauty of his verse makes even darkness and death sound appealing. “Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion.” This verse alone gives a beautifully haunting image of darkness and death. This is a descriptive adjective for the kingdom of death in which the hollow men reside.
People believe Kurtz is chosen for this passage because the poem is set up after the time of his death. Therefore, the men in the poem are referred to as “hollow,” like Kurtz (Shmoop Editorial Team.) Eliot also refers to the men in the poem as hollow and stuffed. Considering those words are two completely opposite comparisons, how are these men both hollow and stuffed at the same time? These men are lacking of something essential in their lives.
Israfel "Israfel" is a mesmerizing poem, the beginning of which was first set down by Poe during his days at West Point College. (Allen 233) The poem itself is a direct contrast to Poe's usual poetry, which usually deal with death and dark thoughts or other melancholy, Gothic ideas. Poe's idea of the death of beautiful woman being the most poetical of all topics is here, nowhere to be found. This proves that Poe, when so inclined, could indeed write about something other than opium induced nightmares and paranoid grieving men who are frightened to death by sarcastic, talkative, ravens. Besides "Israfel", Poe's other poetry, "To Helen", as well as "Annabel Lee" and others, are virtually unrecognizable to the everyday reader as being works by Edgar Allan Poe.
Frustration and Disillusionment in T.S. Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' T.S. Eliot, a notable twentieth century poet, wrote often about the modern man and his incapacity to make decisive movements. In his work entitled, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'; he continues this theme allowing the reader to view the world as he sees it, a world of isolation and fear strangling the will of the modern man. The poem opens with a quoted passage from Dante's Inferno, an allusion to Dante's character who speaks from Hell only because he believes that the listener can not return to earth and thereby is impotent to act on the knowledge of his conversation.
By use of gripping words and vivid descriptions, Owen paints incredible pictures of what World War I was really like. He tears away the glory and drama and reveals the real essence of fighting: fear, torture, and death. No longer are we left with good feelings and pretty phrases like "Liberty and justice for all!" Instead, our hearts grieve over what these soldiers had to suffer through. Every line of the poem rebuts the Roman poet Horace's quotation: "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori--It is sweet and becoming to die for one's country."
Combining the theme of descent and decline with what is known of Poe himself, one can conclude: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Haunted Palace” is an allegory that alludes to his own perceived decay and descent into madness. (How does “The Haunted Palace” use allegory to convey that the poem is actually about a man?)
Eliot’s allusions give a familiar literary and popular basis to the setting, while the symbols and lyrical progression convey the futility and spiritual "brokenness" of the men. The poem’s initial epigraph, "Mistah Kurtz-- He dead" is the first of many allusions to Conrad’s novel, Heart of Darkness. Eliot uses the references to draw the reader’s attention to the moral situation of Kurtz and the others "who have crossed/ With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom." These men and Kurtz defined themselves through their actions, whether or not they were good. In Baudelaire’s words, "So far as we are human, what we do must be either evil or good; so far as we do evil or good, we are human; and it is better, in a paradoxical way, to do evil than to do nothing: at least, we exist" (Drew 94).