Study Guide

Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798 Transformation

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"Tintern Abbey" is a nature poem, and nature is always full of transformations: fruit ripens, seasons get the picture. The poem describes the transformation between the young, boyish "William" and the more mature speaker of the poem; it also imagines the future transformation that will change the present Dorothy (Wordsworth's sister) into someone who will have the speaker's deep appreciation for Nature.

Questions About Transformation

  1. What is it that causes the transformation from young William to the more mature speaker?
  2. What will cause the transformation that the speaker anticipates in Dorothy?
  3. Are these transformations the natural consequence of the progress of time?
  4. Does the poem suggest that everyone should try to experience a similar transformation?

Chew on This

The transformation of young William to the more mature speaker is brought about by his recollections of the river Wye in moments of solitary reflection.

Although the speaker seems to include Dorothy in the system of transformation brought about by recollections of nature, he is actually just projecting his own experiences onto her. The real Dorothy is excluded from the system described by the speaker.

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