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The Hollow Men

The Hollow Men

by T.S. Eliot
 Table of Contents

The Hollow Men Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Mistah Kurtz—he dead. A penny for the Old Guy(epigraphs)


The epigraphs identify the Hollow Men with the character Kurtz from Heart of Darkness, and the English traitor Guy Fawkes; it suggests that they are dead souls.

Quote #2

We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men (lines 1-2)


The first two lines make the Hollow Men sound like one of those scary-looking animals that hunters sometimes hang on their walls. They have the outward appearance of being human, but inside they are just lifeless matter.

Quote #3

Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats' feet over broken glass In our dry cellar Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; (lines 5-12)


The Hollow Men have an incomplete identity. Their "voices," "shape," and ability to "gesture" resemble qualities of human beings, but they have no meaning here. They are like shadows without the real object that creates the shadow.

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