Wordsworth's "Nutting"

1863 Words Mar 28th, 2006 8 Pages
A Loss of Innocence in Wordsworth's "Nutting" A romantic poet, William Wordsworth examines the relationship between the individual and nature. In the poem "Nutting," Wordsworth focuses on the role that innocence plays in this relationship as he describes a scene that leads to his own coming of age. Unlike many of his other poems, which reveal the ability to experience and access nature in an innocent state, "Nutting" depicts Wordsworth's inability as a young boy to fully appreciate nature, causing him to destroy it. Addressing a young girl, most likely his sister, he writes to poem as a warning of what happens within oneself when one does not fully appreciate nature. In his youth, the speaker is too excited by duty and too tempted by …show more content…
During this break, the boy plays in the flowers, "a temper known to those, who, after long and weary expectation, have been blest with sudden happiness beyond all hope" (27-29). Alluding back to the youthful anticipation at the beginning of the poem, the speaker shows that all of the boy's wishes have been fulfilled, giving him an extraordinary "happiness" and allowing him to enjoy the beauty of the moment. Explaining the youth's activity of stopping to examine the nature around him, the speaker says, "of its joy secure, the heart luxuriates with indifferent things, wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones, and on the vacant air" (40-43). Through the phrases "joy secure" and "vacant air," the speaker emphasizes that the boy is alone and thus has nothing to fear, and only because of this does he stop to ponder the scene. Yet, although he recognizes nature's beauty, as shown through the descriptions of the "sparkling foam" and the "green stones… fleeced with moss," he still sees it as "indifferent" and a "waste" of his time, revealing that the profit he will gain from nature still means more to him than the beauty of the nature itself (34-36). Having admired the surroundings enough and recognized his laziness, the boy proceeds to destroy the tree in order to collect the nuts; but, while reveling in his accomplishment, he realizes the travesty he has committed. Describing the destruction, the speaker says, "then up I rose, and dragged to earth both branch and
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