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The Great Figure

The Great Figure

by William Carlos Williams

Visions of America Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

The Great Figure (title)

In addition to its spiritual connotations, the title also sounds a bit like an advertisement. (Step right up, ladies and gents – see "The Great Figure." Only two bucks a pop!) The poem makes technology and the American city sound mysterious and exciting.

Quote #2

Among the rain
and lights (lines 1-2)

The beginning of the poem combines a natural image (rain) with man-made city lights. The city isn't just some impersonal, anonymous place. It's a living thing that changes like (and with) the weather.

Quote #3

I saw the figure 5
in gold (lines 3-4)

The golden figure combines traditional religious imagery (think gold crosses or the halos of saints) with American showiness and the suggestion of money.

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