William Wordsworth

Topics: Literary devices, Simile, The Impressions Pages: 5 (1486 words) Published: April 4, 2012
Wordsworth’s Use of Literary Devices Related to Nature
William Wordsworth’s frequent references to nature in his poetry shows that he paid close attention to the details of the physical environment around him. His poetry relates to nature by focusing primarily on the relationship between inner life with the outer world. William Wordsworth uses literary devices such as personification, similes, and the impressions nature makes on him to show the importance of the relationship that man should have with nature. Personification is used to make it easier for his readers to relate themselves to nature. The use of similes demonstrates the importance of experiencing nature as if it were oneself because it allows one to experience nature on a different level. His impressions of nature are used to show the impact nature can have when one takes time to note the beauty in the world. All the devices are used to demonstrate the importance of a relationship with and a reliance on nature. Personification, giving inanimate objects humanlike characteristics, is one device Wordsworth uses throughout his works. He personifies nature by describing it with human characteristics. This helps his poetry develop a relationship between man and nature by demonstrating how alike the two are. Wordsworth establishes a foundation between man and nature through highlighting the parallels and similarities of action that are shared. In his poem, The World Is Too Much With Us, Wordsworth writes: The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little do we see in nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The Winds that will be howling at all hours (Major Works 270)

Wordsworth gives human characteristics to the sea and winds to convey a more personal relationship to people. He indicates that aspects of everyday living numb one to the emotions of nature. We focus on “getting and spending” resulting in us seeing little in nature. Only through filtering out the trivial everyday details that are unimportant can we truly gain an appreciation for nature. Similar to the sea, he encourages people to open up to passions around them and to “bare [their] bosom[s] to the moon.” Through personification, Wordsworth not only demonstrates the importance of focusing on nature, he is able to simply outline how to gain a relationship with nature like he himself has done. Simile, a literary device that directly compares two unlike things, is used throughout Wordsworth’s poetry. He relates himself to nature to demonstrate the deep relationship he has with the world that surrounds him. Wordsworth shows us how to become one with nature. This shows the different levels he views nature on. Not only does he focus on nature in his daily life, he focuses on nature in his imagination. In “I wandered lonely as a Cloud,” Wordsworth writes: I wandered lonely as a Cloud

That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils;
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils. (Selected Poems 164)

Wordsworth uses a simile in this poem by indicating that he wanders through the world like a cloud. When in “pensive moods” he imagines himself floating above the beauties of nature allowing him to have a different perspective which brings him to life. When he is lonely and relies on the solitude of the cloud, it is possible for Wordsworth to gain a new perspective because he is given time to debrief and clear his mind. Wordsworth demonstrates that one must take time to reflect upon the world around us because it can bring much joy. His statement, “And then my heart with pleasure fills” asserts that...
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