What is the analysis of Pope's epigram "We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow; Our wiser sons, no doubts, will think us so"?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pope is presenting a vicious circle type of situation, recognized by succeeding generations throughout time.

Most children go through a period of being convinced that their parents and other elders are hopelessly out-of-date, stupid beyond belief, and incapable of understanding how the world has changed while they've remained stuck in old-fashioned ways and ideas. Pope expresses this certainty that the youth have grown to be smarter than their seniors in the first part of the saying - "We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow."

The problem is that when the speakers have children, those children will grow and, at a certain age, will come to think that their parents (the speakers in the poem!) are hopelessly out-of-date, stupid beyond belief, and incapable of understanding how the world has changed while they've remained stuck in old-fashioned ways and ideas. "Our wiser sons, no doubts, will think us so."