What themes are present in D.H. Lawrence's poem "Conceit"?

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boomer-sooner | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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The poem "Conceit" contains several themes including arrogance, self-worth, and personal action.

Lawrence attacks the idea of societal arrogance and conceit in the poem.  He states it is our conceit that inhibits us from being gods.  It is the characteristic that ironically keeps us mortal.  He remarks our images of ourselves have created an environment where we cannot be free to act as our individuality demands.

In the third stanza, Lawrence remarks on the ability to truly know yourself.  He claims you can only know about yourself.  The theme of self-worth begins to appear.  The poem suggests a person can know what they want to do in life, but never understand why they want to do it.  Lawrence states it is not important to know why and it only leads to conceit.

The last stanza introduces the theme of personal action.  The poet wants to be himself.  It is a command and a request of the society.  The implication is that being himself will allow him to become a god because he will not be burdened with over-thinking existence.

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