The World Is Too Much With Us
The Analysis Of William Wordsworth’s Poem, ‘The World Is Too Much With Us’
William Wordsworth’s poem, The World is Too Much With Us explores the results of distancing man from the natural world due to the societal obsession with materialism. My media product, The People are Too Much Without Themselves is a creative interpretation of this theme and it is about how humans obsession with technology is distancing them from each other. My media product is uses aspects of the poems content, style and structure to help accurately represent it.
William Wordsworth lived through the Romantic time period which heavily influenced this poem. Romanticism was a period of great change and revolution from a more scientific view of the world to a natural world. This was an “age that felt a new appreciation for the sublime in the natural world.” (Victorian Web 1) However, this was also a time for the industrial revolution and this gave power and wealth to individual who had the most material wealth. Wordsworth displays the clashes between these two ideologies in a very apparent manner. In the speakers eyes the world is simply “getting and spending” and is laying waste to its “powers” (Wordsworth 2). This represents the idea of commodification and how humans are so focused on attaining power through material wealth that they are wasting their true talents and usefulness in order to do so. The speak also feels that society sees “little in Nature” and this shows how society does not appreciate and distances itself form nature (Wordsworth 3). I portray this idea in my media product by having a character in a game give up his heart in order to get a coin. In a game coins are not as rare as hearts and hearts are much more useful as they can provide healing, but the character still choses to accept this exchange. This entire scene is displayed on a Gameboy which can only be operated by someone. This symbolizes how we as humans are doing this to ourselves and by doing this we are distancing ourselves form each other, much like how the speaker feels society is distancing themselves from nature.
The structure of this poem is also carefully chosen by Wordsworth to further emphasize the theme. He uses rhyme to emphasize and add meaning to nature. He rhymes “boon” with “moon” and “hours” with “flowers”, and in this way by rhyming words that are about nature he creates an emphasis on them (Wordsworth 2-4). In my media product I represent nature through the people and I showed this sort of emphasis by having everything in dark and dull colours other than the people, which are in bright and vibrant colours, in order to emphasize their importance. This rhyme scheme is created through the sonnet structure Wordsworth uses and this is another very important choice he makes. The sonnet structure is very rigid and has many fixed rules. This clashes with not only Wordsworth “simpler, more conversationalist” style but also the poems theme of being free and natural as well (Robinson 20). By doing this in such a subtle way Wordsworth attempts to show how we are in a false consciousness. We are willing to accept this consumeristic view of the world not knowing the limits and barriers it puts on us and nature. In my media product I have large black bars which cover the video. Although most do not notice them they actually take away from the viewing pleasure and cover a considerable portion of the video. Both the sonnet form and the black bars in my video are subtle structural changes that take away from the overall effect of the product but are accepted by the viewer or reader simply because they are unaware.
Wordsworth has a variety of stylistic choices which all enhance the theme of the poem. He uses very powerful and well-chosen words in this poem and overall has a very strong emotional impact. He feels so strongly about humans distancing themselves from nature that sees it as a “sordid boon” (Wordsworth 4). When something is called a “sordid boon” it creates a very strong emotional response of contempt and this shows how impactful his diction is, in my media product I show this by creating a scene where two people are busy on their Gameboy and walk past each other. When they walk past each other their souls reach out for each other but cannot reach because they are being pulled away. His allusions also have a similarly strong emotional impact. His allusions of him becoming a “Pagan” and then seeing “Proteus rise from the sea” is like a call for revolution. (Wordsworth 10-13). Becoming a Pagan would mean that he would be an outcast from society but that was fine with him as long as it got him closer to nature. However, he takes this notion further by saying that he sees “Proteus” rising which symbolizes nature and all those who support it rising against the materialism of mankind and its supporters. In my media product I display this sort of idea by having an Aboriginal tribe dancing and chanting, and then a crow flying out of the video. The Aboriginal tribe symbolizes Paganism as they did not use technology and so they would be outcasts in today’s society, and the crow symbolizes Proteus as in Aboriginal lore it is said to be a symbol for change and power. The crow flies out and breaks the black bars which shows it breaking free from the world’s false consciousness. Both the crow and Proteus are calls for revolution against this society.
A Quick Review Of The Poem ‘The World Is Too Much With Us’ By William Wordsworth
“The World Is Too Much With Us” by William Wordsworth Response
William Wordsworth’s poem, “The World Is Too Much With Us,” relates unexpectedly well with what is happening today in the world. Writings about nature were very popular during the late 18th to early 19th century and Wordsworth is known to focus heavily on it. Since his childhood in rural England he became obsessed with what nature has to offer and what humankind has to the ability to ignore in nature. He says clearly from the title, and the first line, “the world is too much with us…getting and spending, we lay waste out powers,” meaning that mankind cannot handle nature and will remain focused on getting more and more stuff, wasting all of our energy up. What I believe he was witnessing was the development of industrialized England, whose focus was an increased rate of production, not a focus on the wonders of nature.
If William Wordworth were alive today he would be heartbroken. Not only are we out of tune with nature because of the focus on, “getting and spending,” but we are intentionally destroying it and clearly don’t care that we are doing so. He criticizes people for how mindless they had become, to only care about what they can “own,” rather than the simple things in life (in nature). Wordworth saw the future and our present, and just like us, he didn’t want to believe it. While mythological Gods are a fun topic for the classroom, I don’t recommend the world’s governments taking it up in order to paint the beckoning shitstorm a nicer color.
From climate change with the ice caps melting, to the vast number of threatened or endangered species, and even ozone layer depletion, when will we open our eyes to see that the world isn’t just doing this on its own? Every day the world is one step closer to a huge catastrophe and not just because of the political and social injustices, but because we have been taking advantage of something we need to survive.
William Wordsworth’s Portrayal Of Romanticism In ‘The World Is Too Much With Us’ And ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud’
Wordsworth’s Poem Essay Response
William Wordsworth, author of I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud and The World is Too Much With Us, highlight important elements of Romanticism. The exotic, nature, emotion and individuality are perfectly embodied within these two poems. While carefully identifying each one, I’ve perceived Wordsworth’s message much more clear. His portrayal of romantic elements made me feel as if I were actually Wordsworth experiencing either bliss or outrage. Wordsworth wanted readers to connect with him through important romantic elements and successfully did so.
In one of Wordsworth’s most famous poems, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, he writes, “Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.” (Stanza 2, Line 6-12) After walking through valleys and hills, Wordsworth finds himself in an abundant crowd of daffodils stretching out in front of him. As he glances at them, he realizes it’s just like the Milky Way. It seemed there was no ending for both. Nature is the romantic element Wordsworth significantly uses.
In another one of Wordsworth’s poems, The World is too Much With Us, he writes, “It moves us not. –Great God! I’d rather be a Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;” (Line 9-12) Wordsworth expresses his aggravation towards those who value materialistic possessions rather than nature. He wishes to be a pagan at this point. By Wordsworth being a pagan, he will only see glimpses of the world that wouldn’t make him feel sad and lonely instead of how unappreciative the world is with nature’s beauty. Wordsworth only uses one, but very conspicuous romantic element, emotion.
Throughout Wordsworth’s poetry, romantic elements are used as an important tool to express himself and connect with his readers. After analyzing just two out of four romantic elements, Wordsworth’s message was quite more interesting and meaningful. His poems were simple, but spoke to me on a louder level. The exotic, nature, emotion, and individuality encouraged both Wordsworth and I appreciate the world’s beauty and bliss.