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The World is too Much with Us

The World is too Much with Us


by William Wordsworth

Analysis: Speaker

The speaker in "The World is too Much with Us" resembles a really smart, environmental activist guy you'd meet at some remote beach that very few people know about. Somehow, you and your friends have managed to find this untouched paradise, only to discover that this guy has beat you to it.

You start talking to him; after about five minutes of chit-chat, he starts going on about the horrible air quality in the nearby metropolis and about how there is so much noise he can't even hear the Grateful Dead song that is always playing in his head. After complaining about the city, he remarks on how beautiful the ocean is and how sad it is that people care more about their iPods than nature; the ocean and the beach are peaceful and you haven't seen anything, he tells you, until you've seen the sea by moonlight or felt the gentle breeze that comes in at dusk.

As your new friend continues to talk, he gets more animated, but also a little sad. He exclaims, "I'd rather be a pagan living in the dark ages with no electricity, no music, and no cities because then the whole world would look just like this beach, unpolluted by mankind; and plus, I might get to see some weird mythological monsters that they drew pictures of in their caves." But there's something funny about this little speech; it almost sounds as if he's trying to convince himself that he really loves nature. Why would he want to see monsters coming out of the ocean? The only explanation you can come up with is that he isn't satisfied with nature just being nature; it has to be full of strange deities associated with mythology to meet his standards. Weird, especially coming from someone who's so into nature.

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