* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The World is too Much with Us

The World is too Much with Us

by William Wordsworth

Technology and Modernization Theme

In "The World is too Much with Us," the fact that the world is "too much with us" implies that it has gotten too big for us to handle; cities have gotten bigger, more shops have opened, and it is now possible for us to spend all of our time "getting and spending." Even though it might be nice to have indoor plumbing and a wide variety of shops to visit on the weekend, such advancements come with a heavy price, at least according to the speaker of the poem.

Questions About Technology and Modernization

  1. How do you feel about recent technological advances?
  2. Do you ever feel as though people are too obsessed with whether or not they can do something and not enough with whether or not they should?
  3. Do technological advances and urbanization really destroy nature?
  4. Even though modernization has its problems, wouldn't it be unreasonable to expect people to just stop progressing?
  5. Do you think that people have always been concerned with "getting and spending," or is that a more recent concern? What about the pre-modern pagans that Wordsworth mentions?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The speaker critiques a culture of "getting and spending," but he is also a part of that culture and thus obsessed with "getting and spending."

The poem suggests that only primitive, pre-modern cultures can experience nature as something truly marvelous.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search