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Prayer for Tradition In the poem A Song for Simeon TS Eliot uses ambiguity and religious allusion to convey decay and death of the old order to make room for modernity Examining the imagery in the poem and the tone used allows for a better idea of what the speakers attitude is toward these changes and perhaps a hint of how the author himself feels The view the speaker takes toward the changes he believes are to come is one of fear He feels threatened by the thought of the way of life he knows ending and seems to prefer that his life which he feels to be complete already end before he can witness that end Looking at the poem as a whole two main themes stand out First the focus of it changes from beginning to end The first stanza of the poem gives a broad view of the world itself with little focus on the speaker while the last stanzas focus is almost entirely on the speaker and what he does or does not want This change toward egocentrism may be an attempt to convey that people in the future will be more concerned with themselves than the world as a whole The second theme is the change away from traditional ways that occupies the speakers mind It is as though the traditional ways are a rope that the speaker feels is beginning to fray As the rope of tradition frays a new rope will be created modernity that provides a different route to climb through life People will continue to climb the rope of tradition until only one strand of the rope is left to support the very few people left clinging to the old ways while the new rope continues to be strengthened allowing more people to climb it In Song for Simeon TS Eliot uses many images to represent the change from the traditional to the modern In
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