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Comparative Analysis: "the Hollow Men" and "the Great Gatsby"

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The poem, "The Hollow Men" and the book, "The Great Gatsby" both have many similarities and connections. My very first connection that I made is about the fourth line down, "Headpiece filled with straw..." Reminded me of the part in Gatsby which mentioned "The head of ashes" which is also relevant to the "valley of ashes" on the first paragraph of chapter two. There is a lot of imagery in both pieces of literature (and not just in that one paragraph of Gatsby). In the eight line of the first stanza it states, "As wind in dry grass". This mentally photographs a field of overgrown, brown, dead, dry grass flowing sideways in the wind. Also, in the first and second line of the third stanza it says, "This is the dead land, This is cactus land", which is a fairly self explanatory form of imagery. In Gatsby at the beginning of the paragraph, it reads, "...the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is a valley of ashes- a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the form of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air." That sentence takes up a large fraction of the entire paragraph but it is just completely soaked with great imagery. As you go on reading this sentence, it's like seeing a movie in your head with each word being a different frame and that's how picturesque these words are when put together. I can also sense imagery in the very first line, "About half way between West Egg and New York..." In my head I can see a map with West Egg and New York with a red dot marking the mid point between the two locations. My last comparison is that both pieces have a very intense, somewhat dark tone to them. That's a very enjoyable style of writing because its as if you're left on your toes for the next part to arrive and when it does it makes your mind tingle on account of the depth of the writing.



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