Structuralism In William Wordsworth's I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

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Structuralism also references the idea that language is arbitrary and can be interpreted in different ways by individual people, meaning certain words can take on different meanings. The idea of the signified and the signifier is important when discussing the textual changes between the original and revised versions of “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (it is unexpected Wordsworth would revise his texts as he was at the forefront of the idea that “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” and that “it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity” William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads, 1800. However, from a structuralist perspective, we should forget about the poet when analysing his work and focus mainly on…show more content…
It is certainly true to say that a structuralist perspective reveals layers of meaning in the text and allows us as readers to interpret the poem in different ways. Although structuralism is only one school of literary criticism, it still means that there are still multiple ways the reader can approach this poem. The removal of Wordsworth (as the poet) from the poem is central to the idea of structuralism and gives the reader a first person perspective. Reading the poem in this way allows us to form personal thoughts on the language used in the poem and the way it affects us individually without being swayed by external influences. The comparison of the poem to another text allows for the identification of an individual poetic style, conveying the possibility that poem is written to appeal to a mass audience rather than, in this case, for a particularly personal reason. Structuralism also denotes the arbitrary nature of language and how language has different meanings to people, respective of their life experience. Undoubtedly, a structuralist critique offers a distinctive, calculated insight into “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” that allows the reader to interact with the poem in an introspective way, as well as tackling the idea and theory behind language, and the form of poetry
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