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Themes in To a Steam Roller

Themes Examples in To a Steam Roller :

To a Steam Roller

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"without the application..."   (To a Steam Roller)

Moore sets forth the poem’s central theme in the opening lines: that there are two approaches to the world. The first is an experiential approach to the world in all of its beautiful detail. The second is a theoretical approach in which the specific details of the world are lumped into broad generalizations, and thus lost. The addressee of the poem—the “you”—is someone who takes just such a theoretical approach. The speaker is interested in “illustration”—capturing the world as it is. The addressee is interested in the “application” of ideas to the world.

"Sparkling chips..."   (To a Steam Roller)

The noun phrase “sparkling chips” is a metaphor for that which is unique, such as people, ideas, art, etc. The steamroller wants to crush all of these unique elements into one “parent block.” The “parent block” can be interpreted as a standard through which all unique elements are judged. In other words, the steamroller believes that it can create one standard that will apply to all things, rather than viewing each “sparkling chip” as a unique individual that cannot be reduced to a uniform pattern.

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