The paper "A Theme of Truth in Poetical Works - The Hollow Men by Eliot and Song of Myself by Whitman" is a good example of an essay on literature. Poetical works always try to bring out different themes relating to situations of the period when they were written. Walt Whitman wrote “ Song of Myself” among other poems and classified them in his work Leaves of Grass published in 1855, but took the title Song of Myself in 1881. Hollow Men was written in 1925 by T. S. Eliot and seem to be concentrating on the outcomes of World War I.
The poem consists of 98 lines categorized into five parts. This document will compare the theme of truth in the two poetical works and how it has been used to depict social situations and how they influence the readers. In the poem “ Song of Myself” Whitman uses his self and truths in his life with an attempt to make him heard. He travels through the entire universe and uses his own naked body to represent some fusion with the universe (Whitman sec.
1). This is how he comes to show us the aspects of truth in his poem, stating that all truths wait in all things. In life, we interact with different people and things, and even become part of them and conform to fit their ways. This represents how we collectively need each other to be complete in our own souls. People collectively form a self different from each individual. Here, Whitman uses the togetherness to show the truth when people join to form a group with the same ideas (sec.
2). Another explanation of the truth in Whitman’ s work is the democratic freedom one has in his/her own self. When the child asked him what grass is, he did not have a direct answer but ended up telling how a dead grass still has a connection with the rest. People need to come together in order to be politically sound. Whitman says that he sees the democratic self in young men and old women. These are the less heard people when it comes to politics in our society, but when they come together as one, their democratic voice becomes one, which can help them in the political arena.
The Democratic field has inconsistencies: injustices, self-centeredness and the influence of the majority are undermining its perfection. This depicts the truth about the current situations of the democracy of our society, which seems to undermine the unheard (sec. 42) On the other hand, Eliot in his work also depicts the truths in our society, considering our efforts to fulfill what we want by all means possible. For example, the servant of Kurtz’ s death symbolizes that no matter the state we rank ourselves, we all fall victims to death.
In our normal everyday lives, we are faced by two realities which we are forced to conform to heaven and hell (Eliot II. 30). Eliot seems to criticize how our spiritual leaders fail to give a proper direction to the society, stating that “ the eyes are not here” (III. 8). The truth is that society cannot differentiate where they are supposed to head unless those who know about it show them the way.
Another truth Eliot tries to put across is the infringement of minors in society. Just like Whitman describes the democratic voices of the unheard, Eliot also states the voiceless in the society trying to give out their ideas and opinions, but who are not given any attention. The tree that does not swing shows how people have been denied their freedom. Eliot claims that they have dried voices (I. 5), which are quiet and meaningless (I. 7). The society gives no attention to the low class among them, trying to be heard too just like the rest.
This also depicts the non-democratic state of the government. They are ignorant of their voices, only caring about the agendas of the mega-corporations who pay them so they can amend bills and laws to suit their illegal transactions. The truth is how meaningless our lives are when we are left powerless, and when we are alienated and denied important aspects to express how we think and feel. Our spiritual being keeps conflicting with our human understandings of how we view our existence. This accelerates our weaknesses in a society filled with self-centered leaders ignorant of how hard we try to lift ourselves from the doomed humanity.
But the final state will make us equal eventually, and we need to liberate ourselves from being the stuffed men (IV. 65). The two poems use the theme of truth mainly to show the current flopping state of our political and religious environments. Those in the forefront have developed a non-caring state for those behind them who have upheld them and given them the responsibility to lead and show them the right directions.
Contemporary society has a population that has been denied the ability to air their sound. They are empty vessels – voiceless just to be seen – and lack spiritual faith due to their spiritual leaders’ neglecting their purpose, which eventually causes a great failure in humanity itself.