Ideal Image of Nature in William Wordsworth's The World is Too Much With Us

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Ideal Image of Nature

The World Is Too Much with Us by William Wordsworth represents modern humanity's lost spiritual connection with nature, in which he believed could only be preserved in memory. This poem is a sonnet that through images and metaphors offers an angry summation of the theme of communion with nature. Wordsworth repeats the fatalistic theme of humanities progress at the cost of preserving nature throughout the sonnet. The symbolism created by the images and metaphors represent Wordsworth's deep passion about the conflict between nature and modern progress.
William Wordsworth was raised amid the mountains in a rustic society and spent a great deal of his childhood outdoors, in what he would later remember as a pure communion with nature. The life style that he led as a child brought him to the belief that, upon being born, human beings move from a perfect, idealized realm of nature into the destructive ambition of adult life (Phillips). Wordsworth's deep cynicism to the materialistic ambition of the Industrial Revolution during the early nineteenth century is evident in this sonnet. Images and metaphors alluding to mankind's greed, nature's innocence, and the speaker's rejection of accepted principles all serve to illustrate the speaker's passion to save the decadent era of the early 1800s.
The first part, the octave, of "The World Is Too Much with Us" begins with Wordsworth accusing the modern age of having lost its connection to nature and everything meaningful: "Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; /Little we see in Nature that is ours; /We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon" (2-4)! The idea that Wordsworth is trying to make clear, is that human beings (adults) are too preoccupied in the material value of things ("The world┘getting and spending" (1-2)) and have lost their spiritual connection with Mother Nature (childhood).
"Little we see in Nature that is ours;" (3) Wordsworth is expressing that nature is not a commodity to be exploited by humans, but should coexist with humanity, and "We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon" (4)! he pronounces that in our materialistic lifestyles, nothing is meaningful anymore. He says that even when the sea "bares her bosom to the moon" (5) and the winds howl, humanity is still out of tune.
These lines (5-7) suggest that nature is helpless and unknown to the destruction man is doing. "For this, for everything, we are out of tune;" (8) proposes that even in the spectacle of a storm, human beings
(adults) look on uncaringly implying that we, humans, don't realize the damage we are inflicting on helpless nature.

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