The world is too much with us Essay

The world is too much with us Essay

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During the industrial revolution of England, humans engaged in monotonous work and lost harmonious unity with nature. In the nineteenth century, when the poet William Wordsworth wrote his sonnet “The world is too much with us,” the aspects of industrialized society had changed a factory worker’s life, leaving no time or the desire to enjoy and take part in nature. In his Petrarchan sonnet, Wordsworth criticizes humans for losing their hearts to materialism and longs for a world where nature is divine.

In the first four lines, Wordsworth angrily addresses the theme of the sonnet, which is that the modern industrialized age has lost connection with nature. He states that humans are doing too much to the world. In the past and recently, humans have been using their powers of choice to choose to destroy nature. They have also been engaging in monotonous activities such as “getting and spending” (2). The parallel structure “late and soon” (1) and “getting and spending” (2) is an example of how mankind’s actions are progressively worsening over time. The suffix –ing adds a monotonous tone to the activities of “getting and spending” (2). The caesura in line 1 after the word “us” (1) gives the reader a chance to feel and reflect upon the weight of the world that is resting on humanity’s shoulders. “Too” (1) and “soon” (1) have a long “oo” sound, which suggests that the exploitation of nature had been occurring for a long time before Wordsworth wrote this sonnet. Humanity’s “powers” (2) have gone to “waste” (2), which in this context means that they have been destroyed. However, another connotation for the word “waste” (2) is a barren, uninhabited wilderness, so the power that humans have to destroy nature reduces lush forests to barre...


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...e cannot be destroyed, unlike Wordsworth, who has lost all hope in reviving nature. Hopkins also believes that the Christian God is great, whereas Wordsworth scorns the Christian God and wishes that society would believe in pagan gods instead. These beliefs are drastically different due to Hopkins’ optimism for the future of humanity and Wordsworth’s pessimism. While Wordsworth is “forlorn” (12), Hopkins believes that “nature is never spent” (9). Even though man has “trod” (5) all over nature and exploited it for man’s own economic gain, Hopkins believes that there is always “freshness” (10) within everything that will burst to life once more with “bright wings” (14). The only way to truly be in harmony with nature is to accept it for what it is and to try not to have an optimistic or pessimistic view about it – instead, one should view the results in due course.

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