The Tower Questions and Answers
by William Butler Yeats

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Describe the major theme of the poem "The Tower."

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The poem's central theme is the process of growing old. The poem is a reflection on the poet's life, work, and legacy. In the poem, he inhabits an old tower. Some of his neighbors are already dead, among other reminders that nothing lasts forever. The aging process reflects our mortal frailties and that the characteristics of the immortal, or the superhuman, are merely reflections of our flaws and weaknesses.

Yeats touches on the subject of mirroring qualities in the poem by listing the great achievements of western civilization and of his own personal memories that evoked the feeling of godliness (i.e. "memories of love"). These, he realizes later on in life, are fleeting, and physically growing old brings us back to reality.

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