Depiction of the Post-wwi Europe in the Poems the Hollow Men and Babylon Revisited

August 25, 2021 by Essay Writer

The poem “The Hollow Men” was written by T.S Eliot in the year 1925, which is considered to be primarily focused on post World War I in Europe. Eliot is said to have despised that the poem was featuring World War I (“A Short Analysis of T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Hollow Men’”). Some critics urge that the poem is also highlighting the difficult hope and religious conversion; whereas “Babylon Revisited,” is a poem written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1930, that displays a character that was suffering from great depression and how he had to adapt his life to it (Guides, and Revisited).In the poem of “The Hollow Men” T.S Eliot portrays a modern man as a person who suffers from spiritual paralysis and spiritual decay. In part I, “Shape without form paralyzed force,” modern life has brought a modern man to such a state that he has become a straw figure, like a scarecrow (part II). Which, when the wind blows, it moves, otherwise it doesn’t have dynamism. In the poem, the person says: “This is the dead land. This is cactus land. Here the stone images are raised.”

Modern man has become stone-hearted. Vacuity, emptiness, and nihilism have grasped modern man (“A Short Analysis of T. S. Eliot’S ‘The Hollow Men’”).The modern man has completely lost his spiritual sense. This is shown when the speaker says, “Our dried voices when/we whisper/are as quiet and meaningless/as wind in dry grass.” That portrays the loss of structure and purpose that modern man is experiencing as a result of lack of spirituality, which according to the writer, gives life meaning and purpose. This portrays fragmentation in modern society due to loss of faith in their governments and the church after World War I. Loss of purpose and spiritual sense has also been described when the writer uses dry and barren land imager (A Short Analysis of T. S. Eliot’S ‘The Hollow Men’”).

In the poem “Babylon Revisited,” Fitzgerald portrays a modern man with the same view as that of “Hollow men” by Eliot. After World War II, much was written about where humanity was going to, this was after what was held as fundamental had been shattered. The poem of “Babylon Revisited” shows how several elements of Modernism are present. They include the following (Guides, and Revisited).Charlie Wales lives a hedonistic and impetuous life in Paris. However, later things change drastically for him after the crash of 1929.

After some years, Charlie Wales became financially stable, but his life was an absolute wreck due to previous years’ engagement in alcohol abuse. Random Act is displayed when Charlie’s wife walks in the cold rain which led to tragic results (Guides, and Revisited).Charlie not only dismissed important issues but also rationalized his drinking problem. “The depression of yesterday was gone” Charlie’s former friends, Schaeffer, Lorraine Quarrles and Duncan seek to “draw certain sustenance from his strength,” by doing this, they were destroying his chances of regaining custody of his daughter Honoria. They only consider Charlie joining them for drinks and partying as the most important thing (Guides, and Revisited).Charlie tries to avoid his friends Lorraine and Duncan as a way of escaping the past. Instead, he fails to convince Marion that he has changed. This shows that he lets his friends and alcoholism control him. Charlie also engages in the interior monologue whereby he vows to “come back again someday” simply because, he wanted his child and nothing was good for him then.

Later, Charlie understands that he should create his own destiny. Therefore, he promises never to revisit Babylon the next time (Guides, and Revisited).Charlie’s thoughts are intermixed with the third-person narration in most of the passages in the story. This portrays modernist stream-of-consciousness and interior monologue. For instance: While in Paris, Charlie had never eaten at a really cheap restaurant, Five-course dinner, four francs fifty, eighteen cents, and wine included. For some unknown reason, Charlie wished that he had. Charlie also told his friends that he would come back someday; that they couldn’t make him pay forever. But the truth is that he wanted his child and nothing was much good then. He was also sure that Helen wouldn’t have wanted him to be so alone (Guides and Revisited).

Although both poems show how Modern man has changed and how his changes have caused havoc in the modern World, there are some points whereby they differ with each other concerning how they describe the behavior of modern man. In the poem of “The Hollow Men,” the writer describes modern as “paralyzed” someone who has completely lost hope, stone-hearted, spiritually decayed and compared with a scarecrow. The writer from the first stanza to the last one doesn’t show any hope of change in modern’s man life. He describes the modern man as someone who has completely lost direction and there is no hope of changes (“A Short Analysis of T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Hollow Men’”). Nothing good is seen in modern man. From a writer’s point of view, modern society has completely lost faith in their governments and the church, especially after the First World War. This has led the modern society to lose purpose and spiritual sense; this is portrayed when the writer uses dry and barren land imagery. The writer doesn’t see any hope of change in modern man in the future (“A Short Analysis of T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Hollow Men’”).

In conclusion, although both poems describe how modern’s action has caused havoc, the poem of “Babylon Revisited” later shows that there is still room for change. Even though worse things have happened in the past, modern man is still working for the better. It is possible to change for the better.

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