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Romanticism In The Nutting Poem English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1031 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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During the Romanticism movement, many writers shared a deepened appreciation for nature. Unlike, during the Enlightenment, where most writers lived in the suburbs, many Romanticism writers retreated to the country to get away from the city life. They wanted to enjoy the untamed nature offered by the countryside, not cultivated gardens. Romanticist writers thought of nature as being much more than just rocks and trees, but almost like a living being that had been forgotten and overlooked by many people who had been possessed by materialism. One writer in particular- William Wordsworth wrote pieces on nature and emphasized the beauty nature had to offer. He also angrily expressed his disgrace for materialism/industrialism. Wordsworth was a real nature lover, more than the other Romantic poets, as seen in his works “Nutting” and “The World is Too Much with Us.” The conflict between the Modern Daily Life and Nature is the most common theme found in his poetry. Wordsworth’s compassion and respect for nature is strongly portrayed in his piece “Nutting.” He took a transcendental approach when writing about nature and his thoughts on nature clearly shown through.

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In the sonnet, “The World is Too Much with Us,” Wordsworth focuses on how people have given their hearts away to materialism (a sordid boon) and how they show no appreciation for the beauty nature has to offer. It’s as if people are so caught up in industrialization they’ve forgot about the natural realm of things. The fact that industrialization has come at the expense of humanity’s connection with nature isn’t acceptable for Wordsworth and he portrays his grief. If people would just stop and take a look around and appreciate the small stuff-like nature, they might find that the world has more to offer than just greed and power. He states that people are out of tune with nature and are too involved with “getting and spending”- an attitude that comes with a fast pace, industrialized society. Wordsworth is so upset with this he would rather give up his own religion and become a pagan. During Wordsworth time becoming a pagan would be considered blasphemy, but he was willing to risk it, just so he could be closer to nature. He says that seeing a sight of Proteus, rising from the sea, or Triton blowing is conch shell would make him feel better and less hopeless. At least, this way he could be more in touch with nature, like in ancient Greek Mythology, where their gods represented different aspects of nature.

“Nutting” is another piece that Wordsworth wrote, that goes to show how much he really did appreciate nature and its beauty. Its also flooding with vivid imagination and transcended emphasis. It starts off with a young man going out into the woods to gather hazelnuts. The Youngman is first stepping through a part of the woods that is “matted with fern beds and tangled thickets” almost like there’s something being hidden. After forcing his way through, he comes to a part of the woods that has been “unvisited” and untouched by humans. He is over come by the “virgin scene” and is in awe of it. He describes the hazelnut tree, the flowers below the tree, the murmur of the stream and how happy and over come with joy he is to have found this spot. He also portrays a sense of innocence when he says he had “been blest with sudden happiness beyond all hope.” In the midst’s of being so excited he reaches up, grabbing for a branch and ends up breaking it. It’s almost like he was just so happy and excited he couldn’t control himself and gave into temptation. Kind of like a little kid that thinks they have to touch everything. After breaking the branch, the Youngman feels horrible and describes it as a rape scene and the innocence is no longer there. He thinks he has “raped” this spot of the woods because it was no long untouched and a “virgin.” He had also taken away the beauty of it by causing harm and damaging the hazel tree. He feels very guilty, like he took something from that spot of the woods forever changing it. When leaving the scene, he describes the spot as being “rich, beyond the wealth of kings.” He thought so highly of this place in the woods and feels so overwhelmed with guilt- he really does believe that there’s a spirit in the woods.

Wordsworth’s thoughts and opinions of the times in which he was living in were clearly portrayed in his writings. He clearly felt that people had lost all touch with their natural self and felt that the only way they could get back to those roots were to abandon the materialistic views. He blamed industrialization for the separation between people and nature and felt that they had become overtaken by money, power, and greed. He wrote about nature in ways that were very common during the Romanticism era and can be found not only in his writings, but others like Keats and Shelley. At a time when industrialization was booming, Wordsworth went against the norm, defending his beliefs. During the Romanticism period writers were determined to express themselves more honestly and deeply and Wordsworth did just that, especially in “The World Is Too Much with Us”-which the reader can clearly understand the point Wordsworth is trying to maker. Unlike the Enlightenment, Romanticists did not limit themselves to just the visible world, but used imagination and transcendental emphasis. All of these aspects can be seen in “The World Is Too Much with Us” and “Nutting.” Especially in “Nutting” how Wordsworth uses his imagination to create a metaphor for the virginity scene and rape scene that took place in the woods. He is also very descriptive when he describing the scenes of the woods and uses different forms of imagery that put the reader in the story. The deep appreciated that was shared for nature during the Romanticism era is very visible in these literary works and in my opinion epitomizes nature.


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