Day 2

The Waste Land Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    How can the figures in the poem be both "hollow men" and "stuffed men"?

    The men may have been emptied of anything of substance, anything that ties them to life, and are therefore "hollow." However, they are filled with the "straw," the false and foolish problems of society, and therefore "stuffed. Alternatively, both adjectives may simply be a way of conveying artifice of daily life, men either sculpted and therefore hollow, or made of fibers and therefore stuffed.

  2. 2

    What is the significance of nature in the poem?

    In "The Hollow Men," natural settings—whether the field, the desert, or the river—represent both escape from the usual pattern and the threat...

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