Last Updated on August 14, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 362
With the other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.
The second section of the poem takes place in the morning, when people are getting ready for the day's activities. These activities are called "masquerades," implying that they are a kind of charade, or show, that people put on during the day. The meaningless quotidian activities that characterize people's activities are represented by people raising dirty shades in furnished rooms, meaning in rooms where the furniture is supplied. The details about the rooms being furnished and the shades being dirty imply that people are struggling to make a living in a world characterized by endless daily toil.
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands
In the third section of the poem, the subject, now the second-person "you," struggles with insomnia. The night shows this person sights that make up his or her soul, and when the person looks out, he or she sees a strange vision of the street. This implies that the person's view of the street is distorted, as his or her vision of reality is distorted while overtaken by insomnia. The person's view of reality would not be recognized by the world, as it is personal and somewhat delusional. However, these images recede as the world wakes and daylight returns.
I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling
In the last section of the poem, Eliot includes images of hands and feet and their motions, such as tramping down the street or stuffing a pipe. People carry out these actions of everyday living with "certain certainties." This phrase, which features repetition, emphasizes the way in which people carry out the actions of everyday living without really thinking about their actions. However, the speaker is also interested in the larger stories and realities of these images. In other words, the speaker sees the stories and emotions that motivate these everyday images, and they are not merely physical to him. The choice of the word "curled" means that the stories hover over and surround these everyday actions, giving them color and a deeper reality.
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