Identity In The Loved One And The Hollow Men

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While humankind may fear to admit it, one is not born with an identity. The government gives classification to infants by stamping their ink covered foot onto a paper with names and long numbers. At sixteen they classify by hair and eye color, weight and height, although these make identification easy, none of this is a person's authentic identity. A real identity comes with experiences, by living a life without irony. Without this identity, humans succumb to a crippling hollowness. Dennis in Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One and the targets of T.S. Eliot’s "The Hollow Men" claim that finding meaning in the outside world is impossible, through juxtaposing imagery and a desensitized view of death they teach one to disregard the corrupting influence…show more content…
At the end of The Loved One, Dennis’s love, Aimee, kills herself. Instead of lying down and weeping as many others would, Dennis simply picked “up the novel which Miss. Poski had left on his desk and settled down got his loved ones final combustion”(___). Since he searched for his identity through Aimee, instead of looking into himself, he lost certain parts of him that made him human, such as empathy. His entire identity was what Aimee desired. His poetry was written with only her in mind, his career was changed for her. Everything that Dennis was, changed with Aimee. His shifting identity was equal to the lack of one. Similar to Dennis, empathy is also lost to the Hollow Men in T.S. Eliot’s poem. Since the Hollow Men also lack an identity, they lack compassion. Their overall look on life is bleak, their “eyes are not here,”(_______). This is the way the “hollow men” look at “death's dream kingdom” as well(______). In this kingdom, hollow men “grope together” and “avoid speech,”(____) they lack the compassion needed to discuss and understand death, they have lost their innate ability to empathize with those around them. Empathy makes one human, it gives one substance. Without it, Dennis and the hollow men have no authentic

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