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Posted by Sam K. on January 28, 1999 at 19:07:07:
In Reply to: Re: theme of childhood!!!!!!??????!!!!!!!!William Wordsworth posted by helen gillis on December 18, 1998 at 16:31:30:
here is a paper a wrote, tell ma what you think. I am 17 and am taking english 4 in high school. Here it is, please tell me what you think:
This paper is on lit devices.
The Worth of Wordsworth's Words
William Wordworth, a founder of the Romanic movement, is one of the most important
and original poets, and is particularly known for his poetry about certain aspects of nature. The
sonnet "The World Is Too Much with Us" takes place, like many of Wordsworth's poems do, by
the sea. He very commonly writes about some point in nature; in this case, his frustration with
others' regards to the values of nature. William Wordsworth uses imagery, figurative language,
and sound devices to affect his tone and mood in "The World Is Too Much with Us."
In "The World Is Too Much with Us," Wordsworth creates his frustrated tone by the use
of great imagery. Imagery is the use of the senses, and Wordsworth makes sure that the reader
uses them all. First of all, the sense of hearing is very prominent in "The World Is Too Much
with Us" It is apperant in line 6: "The winds that will be howling to the moon..." This produces
a sound of wind breathing softly but loudly enough so the reader can hear it. Another example
of the sense of hearing is found in line 14: "Or hear old Triton his wrethed horn." This
makes the reader consider the sound coming from a hollow shell found on the beach--a loud but
low sound. He sums up hearing in line 8: "...we are out of tune." This basically says to the
reader that observing nature requires hearing it also. Since "we" have stopped using our gift of
hearing nature, our hearing is out of the tune, and has little value in nature. This makes
Wordsworth very frustrated at not only the person of whom he is speaking, but also himself. The
sense of seeing is also apparent in this poem in line 7: "And the up-gathered now like sleeping
flowers..." (this paper was done by me, Sam K.) This creates the illusion of seeing a flower slowly getting closed up at the end of the
evening when the sun drops.
Great is Wordsworth's figurative language in "The World Is Too Much with Us." In
line 4, an example of an oxymoron is present: "sordid boon". The word "sordid" means
"distasteful"; "boon" means "reward". This creates two opposites, and thus, an oxymoron.
Wordsworth puts in this oxymoron for emphasis on his frustration. As in many of Wordsworth's
poems, many things can be personified. For example, in "The World Is Too Much with Us",
both the sea and nature itself are personified. Wordsworth makes nature a person in line 3:
"Little we see in Nature that is ours..." Sea is personified in line 5: "This Sea that bares her
bosom to the moon..." Not only is this Sea called a woman, but it is given female features.
These examples of figurative language show that Wordsworth is trying to appreciate Nature with
respect, but the majority thinks differently.
Although not as abundant as in his others, Wordsworth puts plenty of sound devices in
this poem. Alliteration is most prominent in "The World Is Too Much with Us". The most
useful, in regards to achieving his tone, is the repetition of the letter "w". This is apparent in
lines 1-6. (this paper was done by me, Sam K.)The sound that the "w" makes is a sound that is used for desperation and frustration.
Another sound device that is present in this poem is onance. An example of this is found in
line 14: "Or hear old Triton his wreathed horn." The vowel sound that is being repeated
is the "o". This is a slow sound, and Wordworth most likely uses it to show his desperation to
the fact that no one is appreciating nature. A well-placed anastrophe is in line 3: "Little we see
in Nature that is ours..." The word "little" is placed in front of the clause to point out just how
minute the amount is. A hyperbole is found in line 4: "We have given our hearts away..." This
is an overexaggeration--the person does not actually remove the vital organ, but rather, as
Wordworth intended, the soul is gone when a person stops appreciating nature.
In conclusion, William Wordsworth uses figurative language, sound devices, and imagery
to not only get his point across, but also to entertain the reader. The sonnet "The World Is Too
Much with Us" laments the unworthiness of others in regards to nature, and that frustrates
Wordsworth greatly. This paper was done by me, Sam k.
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