A Thematic Investigation into T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men:” With Reference to Textual Approach

Document Type: Original Article


English Dept. College of Basic Education, University of Sulaimani


The current paper provides an analytical study of Eliot’s poem, “The Hollow Men.” The methods that have been employed in this research are textual and reader-response analyses. The poem has been explored from both approaches in order to know the first impression of the researcher of the poem and backed by critics’ notions of the poem. The study thus intends to shed light on two main themes including religion, spirituality, meaninglessness and nothingness. It also tends to demonstrate how Eliot portrays his own view on the modern men and the modern life through this poem. Eliot believes that modern men are hollow from their insides, and they are empty yet filled with straw just like a scarecrow. The paper tackles the critics’ views on Eliot, Eliot’s view on modernity, and the role of tradition and intertextuality in Eliot’s poetry. The paper finally depicts major themes in the poem. Eliot, in his quest for finding a satisfying religion, penned “The Hollow Men” as a mirror to the conditions of the society after the World War I which caused suffering from lack of faith, religion and morality.