Free Wordpress themes and plugins

June 9, 2011

Published 12:09 AM by Jason Oxenham with 12 comments

Theme (Discussion) You are Old, Father William

 This Discussion also I thought to continue in question and answer mode.

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.

    email this


  1. this is not an important theme

  2. we can find another theme through this poem;the children always ask questions from adults so the adults must answer to that questions. but in this poem the old man chased his son by telling the fault of him.so i think it gives big theme.the adults must understand behaviors of the children and be with them.so it is the important theme which can find from this poem.

    1. Though you say that the poem depicts of cruelty towards children, the poet actually intends to explain the age gap. Understanding the behavior of children is not the main them. This poem is a parody appeared on "Alice's adventure's in Wonderland". The original poem was first published 1799 by 'Robert Southy'. That too discusses the generation gap. Check Wikipedia or any other review of the poem and you'll find that it is still, related to age gap

  3. Its very informative . Thanks

  4. this is not an important theme.that is right.but good answer
    however than you

  5. thank you for the informations.but I think there is a more deep theme connect with the riligious issues.anyway thank you.this is a good blog.

  6. especially this poem provokes fun by ambiguity. But it gives a theme of old is gold and ever.........

  7. Good descrition on poem !

  8. Replies
    1. Yep , It is Brilliant