Tone in William Wordsworth's "The World Is Too Much with Us"

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In William Wordsworth's sonnet "The World Is Too Much with Us" the speaker conveys his frustration about the state in which he sees the world. Throughout the poem the speaker emphatically states his dissatisfaction with how out of touch the world has become with nature. Typical of Italian sonnets, the first eight lines of the poem establish the problems the speaker is experiencing such discontent about. Subsequently, the next line reveals a change in tone where the speaker angrily responds to the cynicism and decadence of society. Finally, the speaker offers an impossible solution to the troubles he has identified. Through each line, the tone elevates from dissatisfaction to anger in an effort to make the reader sense the significance of …show more content…
Disgusted, the speaker sees how society has morally degraded itself in exchange for wealth and greed. The frustrated tone of the poem becomes further elevated when the speaker exclaims, "We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!" (4). Blinded by the daily drudgeries of life, people have become impervious to nature, despite some of the grand displays that one can behold. The speaker describes beautiful images of nature such as the sea, howling winds, and flowers that no longer create an emotional response in people. Since the world has become so out of touch with nature, mankind is no longer able to appreciate the drama that takes place between the wind and the moon. Additionally, the speaker claims that society has become so indifferent to nature that, "Little we see in Nature that is ours;" (3).

Outraged by society's apathy towards nature, the speaker experiences an angry outburst as he endeavors to respond to this problem. Exclaiming, "Great God!" (9) the speaker unleashes his fury towards society. He is no longer merely frustrated, but enraged by the unmoved society in which he lives. In the remaining five lines of the poem the speaker alters his discourse from his disgust towards society, to providing a resolution, albeit an impossible resolution to this crisis. Rather than become indifferent to nature, the speaker would rather turn to a pagan Greek religion as a means of lessening his frustration. Since the gods are figures that are intimately
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