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Beware of Ruins Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 20 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Beware of Ruins.
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The word "echoes" is the first indication that "Beware of Ruins" concerns memory. As ruins are a kind of echo of time past, an echo is a kind of ruins of time passing, an original sound decaying. The poem speaks to the problem that memory interprets the past as better than it was, perhaps because it is easier and more pleasurable for the mind. As eyes graze over ruins, trying to imagine them once again intact, so the memory (one's past eyes) grazes over one's past (ruins) and attempts to reconstruct it. What Hope finds is that while he accurately remembers a past scene he experienced, it is much more difficult to imagine himself as a younger man in the scene. Why? Because it is painful? Because he is ashamed of who he was in the past? These choices seem unlikely because of the word, "alas...

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This section contains 925 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Beware of Ruins Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Beware of Ruins from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.