Eliot and Gatsby

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

This use of imagery reminds me of a graveyard, and I imagine a bunch of dead people in a desert. The description of a dry land, or desert helps emphasize a meaningless life. Imagery in the story sets the mood for a still, boring life. The dead men are stuck on one side of the river and cannot get to the other side of death. The uselessness of life is characterized through the image of useless people living in an environment where few things grew and not much happens. Using this imagery helps the reader see what the author is emphasizing and Eliot shows how people’s lives are just like a desert- boring and meaningless.

Eliot and Fitzgerald had similar beliefs. They both describe how meaningless life can be when there is no hope for the future. While Fitzgerald creates this theme through the development of each character in a novel, Eliot uses straight imagery to make the setting resemble the attitude of story. Each author’s tone is not cheerful or depressing but just solemn and there seems to be not much emotion in either of their tones. When the hollow men in The Hollow Men cannot get over the river and they are stuck on one side, it reminds me of when Gatsby was stuck on one side of the Bay when he knew Daisy was on the other end. Gatsby felt so close but yet so far away from his goal and the hollow men were so close to the other side but yet far away because they could not cross.


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