The World Is Too Much With Us Analysis Essay

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Embedded in myriad ways in the form and structure of his sonnet, William Wordsworth’s poem, “The World is Too Much With Us,” characterizes humanity as cynical and material, resounding the dissonance of human disconnect from nature.
Wordsworth’s comparison of man’s loss of nature to the biblical fall from Paradise—ultimate loss—is not limited to the auditory-visual realm, for it finds foundation in the structure of his elegiac sonnet. Succeeding Milton and his blank verse sonnet structure of Paradise Lost, Wordsworth writes a perverted resurrection of the Miltonic sonnet, a Petrarchan sonnet that omits the volta. While he largely retains the iambic pentameter of Milton, Wordsworth chooses not to indulge in the enjambment that distinguishes the fluid consciousness of Milton’s poetry. Instead, Wordsworth
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While not explicitly sparse and economical in diction, even what is thus contained within each line, however deeply dense and layered in meaning, is bordered in repetition. This hemming in of thought allows for a form that fits its function, for it makes every idea vital, every word an attempt not to “waste our powers” (2). From the outset, Wordsworth utilizes parallelism in “late and soon” and “getting and spending,” adding symmetry to link how the late past and the soon future have always been obsessed with material wealth (1-2). The words in each phrase mimic palindromes in their succession, reflected on the “and” and on one another. Compounding this, Wordsworth chooses the verb forms of “getting” and “spending” to be progressive verbs, or continuing actions, connotating a ceaseless cycle of consumerism (2). The temporal aspect is then responded to later on, for Wordsworth’s desire to be “a Pagan suckled in a creed outworn,” underlies a desire for rebirth out of parallelism, out of time, out of the cycle
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