The World Is Too Much With Us Summary and Analysis

William Wordsworth always gives hope and life with his words, and his poems, like The World is Too Much With Us, make readers rise beyond the earthly situations and think about the spiritual realm and the human soul.

The World Is Too Much With Us Summary 

The poet begins by talking about worldly cares and concerns and attraction towards money and power and says that we are a little too engaged with these. He expands on this by saying that we use our minds and energy in getting and suspending and waste our powers in the process. The poet implies that people are caught up with their greed for money and spend all their time trying to get and spend money and care for their possessions. He is of the belief that people care for these worldly possessions far more than they should.

The poet creates a contrast between nature and the world and says that when people spend their time getting worldly possessions, they are unable to own the true beauty of the earth. He makes the revelation that only a few that we see in nature belong to us. The elements that we have given away hears and urges us to enjoy nature instead of being filled with greed and trying to garner wealth and worldly possessions. 

The poet describes the beauty of nature that people miss out on and paints a picture of the sea, the wind, and the flowers. He uses personification in the same to help readers connect. He puts an idea of the proximity between the moon and the sea and of the winds howling and flowers sleeping.

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The poet says that we are out of tune with nature because we are invested in worldly wealth. He swears an oath where he would rather be a poor Pagan than care so deeply about the world and be unable to witness and enjoy the true beauties of life. He prays to God to never be out of touch with nature.

If the poet were a poor Pagan, he would be able to witness and enjoy nature and derive both joy and hope from it, or at least feel less forlorn. He says he would choose to be poor over being alienated from it because of richness and power.

He refers to the two Pagan Gods- Proteus and Triton. The poet says that if he were a Pagan, he could imagine connecting with Proteus or catching a glance as he stares out across the sea. The poet hopes to look out at sea, and enjoy nature for long enough to see Triton and Proteus.

The World Is Too Much With Us Analysis

The sonnet, The World Is Too Much With Us, finds its source in Wordsworth’s angst and frustration. He is surrounded by people who obsess over money and other materialistic things and, in the process, lose their powers of divinity and cannot understand the natural world. He believes that we have exchanged our hearts for money and manmade things and is disgusted because of this because of the readily available nature. He calls on humanity to make some changes. Towards the end, he decides that he would rather be a Pagan and in complete disillusionment than not be connected with nature.

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The ending image of it is of William Wordsworth standing on a lea, looking at the ocean where he can catch a glimpse of Proteus and Triton. He is content, but the readers are not supposed to feel the same and must be saddened because while they cling to materialistic things, Wordsworth gives up on humanity and would much rather slip out of reality.

The World Is Too Much With Us Theme

The central theme of The World Is Too Much With Us is Wordsworth’s lament at men losing their connection to the natural world in the wake of industrialization and heightened desire for worldly pleasures. It talks about society’s obsession with getting and spending money and being engrossed in commercial endeavors. These have blinded humans to the greater beauty of the world, and they have no meaning in life beyond acquiring wealth. 

The poem speaks of Wordsworth being a Pagan and living in antiquity because ancient people had a better appreciation for nature. He expressed appreciation for how Pagans had reverence for nature and saw their lives as something beyond worldly pleasures. Instead of exploiting nature, the Pagans are within awe of it and part of it, and it brings them spirituality.

The World Is Too Much With Us Central Idea

The poem is about humans losing their connection with divinity and nature. The poet believes that humans have given their hearts away for morally degraded gifts. He says that every substance of nature is in a powerful connection from which humanity is out of tune, and humans do not experience nature as they should. The poet says that he would rather be a pagan than not be connected to nature, and he would be able to see the Gods like Proteus and Triton. This would bring him a greater sense of spirituality. He would be giving up on humanity and slip out of reality. This makes the poet feel blissful. 

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The World Is Too Much With Us Figures of Speech

The World is Too Much With Us is a beautiful sonnet by William Wordsworth. It has an unusual rhyme scheme of ABBAABBACDCDCD and an iambic meter throughout the poem. The poem has an internal rhyme that brings texture and music to keep up the iambic pulse. Wordsworth has also used metaphors and similes in the poem. He has also personified elements of nature to give the readers a better understanding of it and used imagery for the same.