Themes of the Poem The Panic of Growing Older by Lenrie Peters
The themes of Mortality The Panic of Growing Older
The poem is primarily centred on the mortality of human existence. We are born, we move about clothed in our various ambitions, quite buoyant and vibrant. Then, we step into a sober life of domesticity followed by a period of self-evaluation of where we may have done well and where we had performed badly. Our share of age is 70 although science promises “twice three score and ten.” But this is only a promise, nothing to hold on to as it has not yet materialized.
2.The Theme of The twist in human fate The Panic of Growing Older
Life is full of expectations. Man creates for himself these expectations. Life starts with strength and activities and ends with closetness/domesticity and a plummeting sense of satisfaction. Age comes with lots of hope, of what is to be achieved. One leaps up and down in an effort to achieve these hopes. But age is a period of self-assessment which may not be fully satisfying. Age comes as a contrast between optimism and the practical outcome which may not be as had been anticipated. In this way, life may after all be a movement from activity to docility, from high hopes to be realized to ordinariness
3.The Theme of Anxiety associated with ageing in The Panic of Growing Older
The “panic” having to do with growing old is tied to what one had set out to achieve and the reality of one having spent or about to consummate one’s span of existence. Although there are people who had come into this world achieving so much for themselves and for humanity, the poet’s persona is a failure, and so the lots of much of humanity. It is about such people that the poet formulated his poem Thus the poet writes “on the average” what happens in human existence. In other words, the initial excitement in youthfulness does not often last into old age.
4. The the of Man engages the world as in a contest in The Panic of Growing Older
In the poem, it is as ifhumans are engaged in a contest of will with the world or with life. Youthfulness is imbued with lots oflife and energy. However, with age this energy dissipates with little or noachievement to credit to life itself. What man achieves is no more than what does not require a specialist’s effort to achieve. Thus, it is as if man sets out to conquer the world but has himself been conquered by the
world: “From now on the world has you.”