Study Guide

my father moved through dooms of love Principles

By E. E. Cummings

Principles

The speaker's father sounds like a real stand-up guy. Throughout "my father moved through dooms of love," the speaker talks about his father like he was the most generous person in the world. Dad was there for people who needed him and even helped those who wouldn't lift a finger to help him. Overall, the speaker holds his father's life up as an example of what living by the principles of true generosity really looks like.

Questions About Principles

  1. In what ways does the speaker's father demonstrate his generosity?
  2. Are there any downsides to the father's generosity presented in the poem? Why do you think so?Ā 
  3. Do you think the philosophy of individualism conflicts in any way with the principles of living a generous life? How might the speaker answer that question?

Chew on This

Foes, schmoes. The value the speaker places on being generous, even to one's enemies, places the poem in a context of Christian values.

Heads up, gang. The acts of generosity that the speaker describes in his father cannot be taken at face value. The speaker is blinded by his nostalgia for his late father, and so he can't be trusted.

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