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The Hollow Men

The Hollow Men

by T.S. Eliot

Exile Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms (lines 52-56)

The landscape is a no-man's-land of broken things, dying stars, and death. Like the Hollow Men, the setting is also characterized by absence: the lack of "eyes."

Quote #5

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning. (lines 68-71)

The circular motion of dancing around a spiny cactus symbolizes the lack of direction in the existence of the Hollow Men. The souls of Heaven, by contrast, moved in a straight line toward God's justice. In this revision of a children's song, Eliot substitutes a dry, bare plant ("the prickly pear") for a lush, green plant (the mulberry bush).

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