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The World is too Much With Us

By ambergross14 Feb 24, 2014 440 Words
In the sonnet, “The World is too Much with Us” through the use of syntax, William Wordsworth illustrates the obsessive materialism in the time period. Materialism is a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values or a way of thinking that gives too much importance to material possessions rather than to spiritual or intellectual things. Wordsworth believes that “The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers. Little we see in Nature that is ours; […]” (Wordsworth lls. 1-3”). In these lines, Wordsworth is complaining about how people put too much attention on the material world instead of things that really matter such as nature. Consequently, when the world focuses their attention to less important things, they lose their “powers”, which are spiritual and intellectual ideals. Specifically, Wordsworth conjectures that more than previous time periods, people consider material possession of “getting and spending” rather than spiritual or natural values. Consequently, people do not appreciate the spiritual value of “nature” simply because it is believed to be worthless; therefore, making nature a commodity that has nothing to offer the materialistic value in modern society. Hence, Wordsworth considers that if people focus less on the material world, people will have more time to appreciate spiritual or intellectual values. The writer in Jonathan Swift’s satire “A Modest Proposal” uses sarcasm to exemplify the hopelessness of children in England. When one shows hopelessness, one shows despair, no hope of success, a complete lack of ability or competence, and is unable to succeed or improve. The writer of the essay starts off saying that his scheme will “prevent those voluntary abortions/ horrid practice of women murdering their bastard children/ sacrificing the poor innocent babies” (Swift 618-619). He then contradicts himself writing that a child “well nursed at a year old/ most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled”(Swift 619). In these lines, the writer contradicts himself by saying it is inhumane to abort unborn infants; on the other hand, he feels that it is perfectly fine to sell children as cuisine to the rich. By using this absurd and vulgar proposal, the writer is sarcastically saying that if no one is going to help these poor children, they might as well be put out of their despair and be eaten. The young children lack hope of success because the chances are very grim of them succeeding in life. Furthermore, the writer uses the propositions as telling the upper-class that this is the only way out of a life without competence if they will not help.

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