Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #4

NAGG
Kiss me.
NELL
We can't.
NAGG
Try.
(Their heads strain towards each other, fail to meet, fall apart again.) (1.145-147)

This scene must have happened countless times before. Why does Nagg still want to try? Is their failure to kiss still better than not having tried at all? Does it seem demoralizing for them or heartening?

Quote #5

HAMM (exasperated)
Have you not finished? Will you never finish?
(With sudden fury.)
Will this never finish?
(Nagg disappears into his bin, closes the lid behind him. Nell does not move. Frenziedly.)
My kingdom for a nightman!
(He whistles. Enter Clov.)
Clear away this muck! Chuck it in the sea!
(Clov goes to bins, halts.)
NELL
So white.
HAMM
What? What's she blathering about? (1.231-233)

Why is Hamm never directly cruel to his mother? He often engages his father and insults him to his face, but his mother he only criticizes through Clov or generally. Does this betray sympathy for her? What might have come between them?

Quote #6

HAMM
Yes, one day you'll know what it is, you'll be like me, except that you won't have anyone with you, because you won't have had pity on anyone and because there won't be anyone left to have pity on. (1.379)

Does Hamm really think that he has shown Clov pity? Is his desire for Clov to go blind and to get stuck sitting down really a sign of sympathy or is he just wishing his ill will upon those around him? Does Hamm's narcissism leave any room at all for genuine sympathy?

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