Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Study Questions

The Hollow Men Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Is there any possibility for salvation for the Hollow Men? Are they capable of saving themselves? Does the poem contain any signs of hope?
  2. Eliot once described the newspaper editors and politicians of his time in a way that made them sound like "Hollow Men." Does contemporary society have its Hollow Men? Would you associate them with a particular social group?
  3. Do you find it offensive or arrogant of Eliot to judge other people so harshly? Does the fact that he does so with an imaginary group in a poem make a difference?
  4. Where are the Hollow Men's eyes?
  5. Do you think the Hollow Men will make it across the River Styx, or are they trapped forever in the desert?
  6. Do you agree that people who are too timid to do bad things and who only look out for themselves are more despicable than people who actively commit evil? Do you see a difference between the two forms of badness?

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