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Enterprise Summary & Analysis
by Nissim Ezekiel

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"Enterprise" was written by the Indian poet Nissim Ezekiel and published in his 1960 collection The Unfinished Man. The poem follows a group of people on a "pilgrimage" whose long trek begins with a strong sense of purpose but ends in devastation and disillusionment. The pilgrims, who come across as idealistic yet somewhat naive and ill-prepared, get so beaten down by their journey that, once they reach their destination, they don't even remember why they're there. The poem has been read as an allegory for a number of things (including the journey of life itself, India's emergence from the grip of colonial rule, and the flaws of organized religion). Above all, it speaks to the way that idealism can falter in the face of reality, the divisive nature of pride, and the value of focusing on the journey rather than the destination.

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