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Beauty and the Beast
Romantic writers could be the Disney writers of “Beauty and the Beast.” Their “beauty” shows in their love of nature and their will to preserve it; the “beast” is not the writer but their audience. The readers were monsters in the writers’ eyes because of their lack of love and appreciation for God’s great creation, Mother Nature. William Wordsworth’s works, such as “The World Is Too Much with Us” and “Nutting,” show his love for nature and his will to protect it; he uses word play and creative approaches to show the deep appreciation he has for the beauty of nature.
William Wordsworth’s “The World Is Too Much with Us” paints the perfect “beauty and the beast” portrait. New York comes to mind after reading this work.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,…
The first line depicts everyone rushing to work because they are “late” and they also want everything as fast or as “soon” as they can get it. People have become very impatient and ignore or take out their anger on those around them. In this case nature has become abused and neglected.
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
Everyone wants to spend their hard earned money; however, they cannot spare ten minutes to take a walk through Central Park and reconnect with nature. The great appreciation of nature that our ancestors had is being lost. Our great power has been tossed aside or “wasted” as Wordsworth has put it. Line four:
We have given our hearts away,…
shows how human have lost their love for nature. Wordsworth wishes we still had a dependant love for the earth. Humans once relied so much on the earth that they would never think to destroy it. Now our minds are focused on more materialistic things.
…we are out of tune;
It moves us not.—Great God!
Our world is like an old piano playing out of tune when the world is not taken care of. People’s actions create a cut in the earth’s skin that may never be repaired. Wordsworth, like other Romantic writers, expresses how upset he has become with people for building
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our nature over Mother Nature. This work also shows how much he loves the world, Mother Nature, and cannot understand why people do not recognize nature’s wonders that are right in front of their face. People today forget to “stop and smell the roses.”
Wordsworth takes a different approach in “Nutting” to express his deep appreciation of nature, a more exotic approach. This work uses sights and sounds found in nature; however, their true meaning is hidden. The hidden forms of natural words used have a deeper meaning, more sensual or sexual. For example, phrases such as “…fairy water-breaks,” “…dragged to earth,” “…shady nook,” and “…spirit in the woods” all have to do with some element of nature. When those phrases are paired with other phrases such as “…Through beds,” “…Forced my way,” “…Tall and erect,” “…virgin scene,” and “…Voluptuous” seem to give this work of an innocent young man venturing into the woods to gather hazel nuts a more sexual meaning. The following passage is a perfect example of Wordsworth mixing nature and sex.
…but the hazels rose
Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung,
A virgin scene!…
This work also shows harm as a way to save. For example, the young man broking the branch to let light hit the floor of the woods. The young man harmed the tree by breaking the branch; however, he saved many other plants and insects by allowing light to hit the floor of the woods. This has been depicted in the following passages from the work:
…Then up I rose,
And dragged to earth both branch and bough,
And merciless ravage:…
I felt slight pain when beheld
The silent trees, and saw introducing sky.
The young man could be seen as a “beast” for harming nature, but in this case he is not because he was saving other natural elements. “Nutting” not only shows Wordsworth’s love for nature in a plant and animal aspect but it also shows human nature. Humans are sexual and that is secretly expressed in the word choices Wordsworth used. Wordsworth’s appreciation for nature is shown in the “colorful” words he uses to bring the work to life.
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The Norton Anthology states Wordsworth’s works “Both insist that nature—the external world experienced through the senses and the containing pattern assumed beyond that world—offers the possibility of wisdom to combat the pain inherent in human growth.” That sentence combines all of Wordsworth’s ideas of the natural world with human nature or growth. He shows anger towards those destroying the world’s natural beauty; however, if destruction of natural beauty is needed to help another form of nature survive than destruction is called for.
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