The World is Too Much With Us By William Wordsworth :
The World is Too Much With Us By William Wordsworth : Critical Appreciation
The Sonnet entitled ” The World is Too Much With Us” is one of the most well known or famous sonnets of William Wordsworth. This sonnet was written in 1806 at Breadford.
Wordsworth’s cousin Edger fell ill. He was a broker in the Stock Exchange. Even during the period of illness. His mind was busy with the material activities of the Stock Exchange.
Wordsworth and Dorothy tried their best to move his mind from economic hustle of life to the beautiful sight of nature. But, They failed to convince him and his cousin soon died. If he loved Nature, he might have been cured of his disease .
This sonnet was written after the death of his cousin Edger to denouce the love of worldly things. In this sonnet, Wordsworth attacks the growing Materialism and favours the beauties of Nature.
Theme of this Poem :
In this sonnet, Wordsworth says that all of us fail to get joy from Nature because we see her from a wrong point of view. We see her as the provider of material necessities. To enjoy Nature, We must see her as the provider of Beauty – Physical as well as Spiritual.
The poet attacks on Materialism of his age and says to enjoy the Beauty of Nature and to give time for appreciating the lovely aspects of Nature. Wordsworth considers Nature and Spiritualism as very important in life. In this sonnet, he presents a conflict between materialism and nature or spiritualism.
The thought of this sonnet may be stated thus, — “No religion can be vital that does not make nature full of meaning for us. “
The essence of this great sonnet can be put in these well known text : — What shall it profit man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul.“
Subject matter :
In this sonnet, Poet presents his views about Materialism, Spiritualism and Love for Nature. He was a great lover of Nature. He gives more importance of Nature in life. The poet is pained to see the growing tendency of the people of his times towards wealth and wasteful pleasures.
First Octave Part (8 lines of Poem) :
He feels sorry for the loss of appreciation of the beauty of Nature. The people are busy with earning money all the time. They spend all their energies to the collection of wealth and wasteful pleasures.
They have no time to appreciate the beauty of nature and always busy running after material pleasures of life as the title of this sonnet suggests this meaning :
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
We do not see beauty in nature because we are all the time busy with materialism.
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
People have lost their soft feelings for earning wealth. They have no geniune feelings for nature and higher values of life. We do not care to remenber God even for sometime.
The beauty of Nature does not attract our attention. We do not go for a morning walk to appreciate the beauty of Nature. We never look at the beautiful sight of sea with moon lit.
The winds that are making sounds during the day, are calm and quiet like sleeping flower at night. But, We have
no time to enjoy their beauty. Nature does not inspire us.
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
Poet says again that Nature’s beauty does not move us. There is lack of harmonious relationship with Nature in this world. The poet is deeply pained to see or note growing apathy to the great beauty of nature.
— We are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God!
Sestet Part (rest six lines of Poem)
The poet is so much filled with ugly life of his times. He desires to break chains of materialism of his times. He wants to go back to a simple days of the Pagan time. so that he may enjoy himself in the beautiful aspects of Nature.
— I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
Poet hopes that as a pagan he would have the opportunity of enjoying the Nature which would make him feel less lonely. He would also have a chance of hearing sound of conch-shell blown by Triton and of seeing or to see the sea God Proteus.
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
The idea of Paganism :
In this sonnet, Wordsworth presents an idea of Paganism. Poet shows his love for paganism and the outworn creed of pagans in which worship of the Gods of nature and the beauties of Nature are the main part of it.
By applauding the Gods of pagans, Poet presents his spirit of religious which is so essential for civilized and cultured men.
W.S. Landour remarks “ yet, in the best verses, he ever wrote, reverts to the powerful influence of the pagan creed.“
— Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
In these lines, Pagan is contrasted with christians who live in cities away from nature. Such person lose their touch with Nature. They lose all their love for the beautiful aspects of Nature.
They waste their time and powers in “getting and spending” and have no time to appreciate the beautiful scenes in Nature.
So, Wordsworth says that he wants to be a pagan living in the lap of Nature instead of being a Christian. He does not want to follow a religion which does not learn love for Nature. He condemns Christian religion.
Attacks on Materialism :
In this sonnet, Wordsworth attacks on materialism. He advises the people of his time to give some time for the beauties of Nature and says the people to lend their hearts and souls to the worship of beauty of Nature.
He wants us to avoid this materialism and condemns that people run after wealth and spend their power in cheap physical enjoyment and don’t give any attention to Nature.
Love of Nature and Spiritualism :
Wordsworth was great poet of Nature. He was advocate of the spiritual and moral excellence of man which can come only through the communication or relation with nature. A man who loves Nature, is above the miseries of this world. He can gain his own soul.
Wordsworth spiritualised Nature. He was a worshipper of Nature. Nature was a living presense for him. Nature was his friend, philosopher and guide.
The World is Too Much With Us By William Wordsworth is Miltonic in structure . The first eight lines of this sonnet have the rhyme scheme – abba, abba and the rhyme scheme of six lines is cdc, dcd
- Octave : First 8 Lines is called Octave and rhyme scheme is abba abba.
- Sestet : Rest 6 Lines is called Sestet and rhyme scheme is cdc dcd.
For Example :
This Sonnet is a fine example of simplicity of expression. We find the lines of this poem full with meaning and sense. The style of poet is full of great sense that we take pause to understand its significance.
The very first line is its best example : — ” World is too much with us.”
The World is Too Much With Us By William Wordsworth is stamped with the personality of a profound lover of Nature. He says that materialism has become the highest target of modern man. People have become cold and calculating Christians.
We have no sympathy with the object of Nature. Capitalism is worse than Paganism. We must enjoy Nature and must have a positive attitude for Nature and its aspects.
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