Nature in The Prelude

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  • Nature in The Prelude
    • "One summer evening (led by her) I found..."
      • This sounds like the start of a fairy tale/adventure. It has a sense of frivolity, and optimism which mirrors his childish persona at the start of the poem.
        • It also highlights natures power to captivate and govern human life.
      • The pronoun "her" is a personification of nature, Wordsworth turns nature into a human which controls/guides him with "her" gentile and peaceful beauty.
        • "Summer evening" crafts this gentile imagery, it deliberatley makes nature welcoming and forms a friendly tone.
        • Wordsworth creates this notion that nature can make humans subservient/obey his winds or desires.
    • "I fixed my view... the horizon's bound" - Volta.
      • The poem changes from a nice and friendly tone to a darker one.
      • This Volta happens when the horizon he was fixed upon was not the horizon, but actually the second, much bigger mountain came into view.
      • If we imagine the horizon as a metaphor for what humans see the truth as, the boundary of our knowledge then this shift in "horizon" is a metaphor for the things we have not yet discovered.
      • This known "horizon" marks the boundary or demarcation between the positive nostalgic gentile part to the darker, more menacing power of nature.
    • "Spender of glittering circles"
      • At the start of the poem, Wordsworth diminishes the importance of the beauty of nature, by distancing himself from it.
      • The stars are "glittering" but only releases them in the "small circles" that he made himself, reinforcing his arrogance.
      • We can see that the language here implies, that Wordsworth has a sense of ownership over his surroundings. He feels that he grew up here, and he is in charge
        • Consequently, we see after the emergence if the peak half way through, Wordsworth was shocked out of this self-importance.


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