What is the theme of "You are Old, Father William" ? How is it present?
The poet of the poem "You are Old, Father William", Lewis Carrol takes generation gap as the theme. He brings this theme for our focus sarcastically through the dialogue between old man and young man who represent older generation and younger generation."And yet you incessantly stand your head"
Do you think at your age, it is right"
So we come to understand the fact that young people think that, when people become old, they become very week. But we know that all are not like that. The old people sometime stronger than younger. We also understand that the young man can't stand on head through the above lines. It is really shows the gap between the older generation and younger generation.
not only that, the answer given by the old man caused to win from the conversation."I feared it would injure my brain;
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none"
This answer generate humor and satire.And also we see that old man is matured enough to remark an answer like this, but the younger shows that he isn't matured through asking questions again and again. We understand that the younger man should be ashamed of old man's answer. But he can't understand it. It's a gap between old generation and young generation and also it generates humor."And argued each case with my wife"
We know that in modern society, people surrender to their wives. But this line shows that old people weren't like that and husband was respectable. So it generates humor and scars m because younger men surrender to their wives.
To bring the theme in a vivid manner, he uses some devices.When we study the poem we see the old man in our minds as a strong, healthy one and also the young one as a lethargic, ill healthy person.So he uses visual images.
The poem is given as a conversation between two men and also in questioning and answering pattern. because of this dialogue pattern and visual images, the poem has become high dramatically.
The poet also uses ab ab rhyming pattern. The rhyming words are said-head, white-right, son-none, brain-again, before-door, fat-that, locks-box, supple-couple, weak-beak, suet-do it, law-jaw, wife-life, suppose-nose, ever-clever, enough-stuff, airs-stairs.
So we realize that poet takes generation gap as the theme and uses humor and satire, visual images, dialogue pattern, questioning, and answering system, dramatic effects, regular rhyming pattern as well to bring the theme in a vivid manner.