The World Is Too Much With Us Poem Analysis
William Wordsworth’s poem, The World Is Too Much With Us, provides not only the reader, but humankind about the exquisite beauty of nature. Wordsworth also provides a real life problem that was not only occurring in the past, but in the present as well. Both in the past and present time periods, industrialization takes place, which overshadows nature. Industrialization caused people to lose touch with nature, but encouraged humanity to “get and spend”. In order for individuals to come to their senses and appreciate nature again, we need to progress spiritually because without mankind, nature is simply incomplete.
With the insight of being materialistic, people are losing the important connection to nature that they should have. Without this connection to nature, there is no true meaning of human existence. “The world is too much with us…” (Wordsworth 1). In the poem, William Wordsworth explains the deeper meaning behind this poem, which is that people are greedy. In order to regain the connection with nature, everyone must progress spiritually and recognize the true beauty of what mother nature provided them with, not just the new creations of industrialization. Although humankind is the only way to save nature, many people don’t take the time to appreciate it. Instead, people focus on becoming materialistic in the world and forget about the spiritual connection they should have with nature. Majority of humanity focuses on land, cars, houses, etc. However, the bigger picture is that although these people are greedy, every person in humankind needs to progress not on spirituality, but take the time to recognize the impact nature has on everything and further regain what was lost.
Contrary to spiritual belief, Wordsworth believes that nature helps form the human spirit in which many people lack because of the completely utter industrialization. “The poet’s intellectual vista envisions a decadent West poised on utter industrialization and eventually ruin” (Edwards). Wordsworth further explains that many people overlook nature and glorify industrialization. With this being said, it helps humankind take a step back and realize the true beauty of nature and not just money and cars.“Late and soon, Getting and spending…” (1-2). Wordsworth provides further explanation that humanity is rushing on from one thing to the next. Nature itself is an extremely important and a beautiful contribution to society, however the true meaning of nature is slowly simmering away. Not only in today's world, but back then as well, industrialization is stealing the mind of humankind. Cars, money, businesses, houses, etc. are slowly but surely consuming nature. With the thought of nature simmering away, humankind is the only one that can save it.
Although most people are fascinated by the allure that nature provides us with, there are some who may argue that nature has a deeper spiritual meaning, other than its beauty and someone’s religious aspect on life. One critic states, “Let us take, as another illustration of Wordsworth's power to make us share in the deep and spiritualised emotion with which he looked upon nature...” (Payne). William Wordsworth is connected to nature spiritually, rather than religiously. Although he is religious, Wordsworth believed that having a deeper spiritual connection with nature, makes people fully understand and appreciate nature more. “...we lay waste our powers; little we see in Nature that is ours…” (2). Wordsworth states that not only did we demolish an essential part of humanity, we lost the ability to connect with it as well. Furthermore, many people have different opinions about nature. One person may appreciate nature because of its beauty, other people may appreciate nature through a deeper spiritual connection, or some may not simply value any aspect of nature. However, with different opinions, comes many differences. It is looked upon that you can not be religious and spiritual at the same time.
During this time period, the romanticism era had a substantial impact on the human kind in both the past and present. Although many people may or may not appreciate mother nature and its creations, their mindset will change overtime and will gain more wisdom. “Romantic poets (at least during certain periods in their lives) were rebels with political views that were radical enough to draw the attention of a government on the lookout for subversives” (Fox). Some people may be open minded, other people may not be, however Wordsworth made sure people knew what he believed in. During this time period, Wordsworth was radical enough to protest against industrialization and the government. He was very passionate about nature and how industrialization is ruining the beautiful creations nature provided humankind with. Wordsworth wanted to voice his opinion and encourage others to further respect nature. “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…” (Wordsworth 5-7). Further explaining how nature gives everything she has ever to humanity, however humanity does not give everything they have to nature. Wordsworth wants to prove his point that industrialization is taking a toll on nature. He is protesting his beliefs to help people come to a realization that they already have what they need.
With a strong insight on having a deep spiritual connection with nature and appreciating its true beauty, others insist to explain whether or not Wordsworth is idealistic or realistic. “He was thus not, Brownson argues, the idealist for which his readers continue to mistake him, since "[i]n Wordsworth mind succumbs to matter, and with all his pretensions to spiritualism he is in reality only a very ordinary materialist" ("Poetical Works" 533)” (Sommer). However on the other hand, another critic states that “his poetry as a prime example for writing in the idealist mode”. As the two critics argue their opinion, Wordsworth states, “Great God! I’d rather be A pagan suckled in a creed outworn…” (9-10). Continuing, William Wordsworth portrays as an idealistic person not only to himself, but to other readers as well. Furthermore, although both critics think differently from each other, later on “this attitude towards Wordsworth had changed”.
In conclusion, William Wordsworth further explains how this materialistic world controls human lives to an unhealthy extent. With that being said, humanity has lost the ability to connect with nature and simply does not appreciate the natural world around them. Humanity has become greedy and dependent on industrialization. Despite the negative emotions humanity maintains towards nature, Wordsworth continues to further knowledge mankind. With that being said, Wordsworth knows the relationship between humankind and nature can never fully be restored, but wants mankind to know that they can still have a relationship with nature spiritually.