AP English, period 2
30, December 2014
"The World is too much with us"
The poem opens with a complaint, saying that the world is out of whack and that people are destroying themselves with consumerism. "The world is too much with us" sounds odd, and could mean several things. It could mean that the world – life in the city, contemporary society as in life is simply just too much. The "world" might refer to the natural world instead of the city, in which case it would mean that humanity is so busy that they don't have time for the natural world because "it's too much." People in today's world are much too lazy to walk anywhere, everyone drives. You rarely see people walking and biking places. It could also mean mankind or society is a burden on the world, as in "there's not enough space for both man and the earth" or "mankind has upset a delicate balance." Both meanings are completely true, mankind has kind of destroyed the only planet we can live on. Our survival is the most important, but besides that, we have destroyed most of Earth's beauty. There are much less forests, the waters are polluted etc. "Late and soon" is a strange phrase. It could mean "sooner or later," or it could mean we've done this recently or in the past and will do it in the future as well. Angrily, the speaker accuses the modern age of having lost its connection to nature and to everything meaningful: “Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: / Little we see in Nature that is ours; / We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” He says that even when the sea “bares her bosom to the moon” and the winds howl, humanity is still out of tune, and looks on uncaringly at the spectacle of the storm. The speaker wishes that he were a pagan raised according to a different vision of the world, so that, “standing on this pleasant lea,” he might see images of ancient gods rising from the waves, a sight that would cheer him greatly. He imagines...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document