Looking At Nature In William Wordsworth English Literature Essay


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Be it resolved that William Wordsworth, like many poets of his time, sacrificed reality for artifice by making nature the focus of his work. In another of his poems 'I wandered lonely as a cloud', Wordsworth's fantasies are shown. In the poem he felt detached from the world as his thoughts were far away, in a daydream like state. In the third stanza he stated, 'For oft when on my couch I lie…….. They flash upon that inward eye'. In these three lines the poet contemplates quietly on his couch about his memories of nature. He is elated and pleasantly entertained by the thoughts of Daffodils dancing in his memory. Daffodils? Doesn't Wordsworth have any relatives, a spouse, anyone? Wordsworth is stuck in a dream but he needs to wake up. It's left to our imagination to think if Wordsworth was having an intimate relationship with nature. These so called 'intimate' relationships are just imaginary as Wordsworth has to admit that he is part of the World. He somehow helped to cause some of the destruction of nature. Papers are made from trees. Didn't Wordsworth write his poems on paper or didn't he read the newspaper?

In 'The World is too much with us', the reality the people think is 'getting and spending' is not natural but artificial. The things people own, things they dwell in so much are no longer seen as natural but artificial since their obligations to nature is no longer there. 'Little we see in nature that is us'. In this line it can be shown that humans don't value nature for what it is. They ignore the aspects of nature and so nature to them does not exist. Nature is not real if people do not see the importance of it since there is no materialistic gain from it. The phrase 'sleeping flowers' is also suggested in the poem. When someone is sleeping they normally are dreaming. The people in London could be referred to as sleeping flowers. While asleep, they are dreaming and in that dream is where they are destroying nature. So the destruction to nature could be an illusion of the mind, in the form of a dream. Also in the poem, Wordsworth's reverence to nature is demonstrated. He makes references to Greek gods, Triton and Proteus, now this is purely artificial, as to me and other people they did not really exist! Can you imagine seeing a 'god' looking half human and half animal? Wordsworth wished to be a pagan as he prefers to hold old views in pagan gods since the people nowadays who are supposed to be Christians are the ones destroying nature. It has occurred to me that Wordsworth thought he was perfect. He thought he never did anything to harm nature in anyway.

'London 1802' comments on the corrupted people of London who were disconnected and distracted from nature by things of the world. Let's be realistic. Wordsworth is human and he too sometimes gets distracted and things of nature do pass him by without him even realizing. Also in the poem, Wordsworth calls out to Milton to save London from all its corruption. If it was going to take one man to restore England than that must mean that the man is supernatural. Milton is not God! Even if Milton possessed the qualities of purity, holiness, etc, the fact still remains that he is dead; he cannot come back to life. Wordsworth should start looking for hope in things or persons present in reality and not otherwise.

In some of Wordsworth's poems, he presents nature through persons, such as his daughter or Lucy. He also presents nature through daffodils as spoken about earlier. The poem 'Song' speaks of a 'perfect' girl, so pure, untouched and uncorrupt. No one knows who this girl, Lucy, is. It can even be suggested that Wordsworth conjured this girl to emphasize the link between purity, holiness and virginity to nature. She might not even be real. Even if she was real, people did not know she existed so technically she would not be real to them only Wordsworth on whom she had such an impact. Wordsworth elaborates in the poem when he says, 'Fair, as a star…… only one….. Shining in the sky!' There is no one star in the sky, in fact there are millions that all shine. Even if Wordsworth was referring to Lucy as being the only pure, untouched girl in London among the thousands of others, it is still not real as there must have been other persons in London that were pure or even appreciative of nature the way Lucy and Wordsworth did. It just might have been the case that Wordsworth was ignorant to the existence of such persons.

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