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The Man-Moth

The Man-Moth

by Elizabeth Bishop

Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

He thinks the moon is a small hole at the top of the sky (14)

This is a pretty good hint that the Man-Moth may not be all there, but it also points to his identity as someone distinct and separate from the Man in the first stanza.

Quote #2

Just as the ties recur beneath his train, these underlie
his rushing brain. (35-36)

We should be thankful that the Man-Moth is more of a failed superhero than a villain because this constant drumming would drive a weaker man (or moth) totally bonkers.

Quote #3

[...] Then from the lids
one tear, his only possession, like the bee's sting, slips. (44-45)

We have a hard time thinking about a bee without thinking about her sting, and, if a bee were conscious enough to understand her own mortality, she would probably feel the same way about herself. The sting is both the bee's power and her weakness. The Man-Moth experiences the same thoughts about that tear.

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