The Hollow Men Summary & Analysis by T. S. Eliot

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“The Hollow Men” is a poem by the American modernist poet T.S. Eliot, first published in 1925. Uncanny and dream-like, “The Hollow Men” describes a desolate world, populated by empty, defeated people. Though the speaker describes these people as “dead” and the world they inhabit as the underworld (“death’s twilight kingdom”), the poem shouldn’t be read simply as a description of life after death. It's also a reflection on the sorry state of European culture after the First World War. For the speaker of the poem, the horrors of the war have plunged Europe into deep despair—so deep that European culture itself is fading away into nothingness.

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