Sunday, August 28, 2022


1. What does the poet refer to as "a sordid boon" in "The world is too much with us"?

Ans. The rat race for material prosperity that the poet sees all around him is what he refers to as "a sordid boon". This mindless pursuit of wealth, according to the poet, accounts for the predicament of the modern man.

2. "We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!"--What is the meaning of the word 'boon’ here? What boon does Wordsworth speak of here? Why is it called sordid?

Ans. ‘Boon' means a blessing or a gift or an advantage. Here Wordsworth speaks of man's hunger for material wealth and prosperity. It is called 'sordid' for it allures us with a life full of physical comforts and material wealth devoid of any spiritual thought.

3. What kind of a poem ‘The world is too much with us' is? Point out its structural features.

Ans. Wordsworth's "The world is too much with us" is a sonnet of the Italian or Petrarchan type. The first eight lines of the poem form the octave and contain the central idea. The last six lines form the sestet and contain the poet's personal assessments of the situation. The rhyme scheme in the octave is: abba abba. The rhyme scheme in the sestet is: cdc dcd.

4. Who is Proteus and who is Triton? Why does Wordsworth mention them in his poem “The world is too much with us"?

Ans. In ancient Greek legend Proteus is a kind of sea-god. He herds the seals and knows all things. He has the ability to change his shape, and thus he avoids being questioned by anyone. Triton is a merman in Greek mythology (fate). The upper part of his body is like that of a human being. But the lower part of his body is like that of a fish. In ancient drawings and descriptions, he is commonly found to be blowing on a conch.

Wordsworth mentions them as the symbols of paganism which he would prefer to modern Christianity. Wordsworth thinks that the pagans had a closer relationship with Nature than the modern Christians have. This is why he declared he would rather be a pagan than a modern Christian with his greed for money and lust for wealth.

5. "The world is too much with us, late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." -Who are 'we' here? What is meant by 'getting and spending'? How, according to Wordsworth, we lay waste our powers?

Ans. 'We' here refers to modern men in general. "Getting and spending” refer to modern men's never-ending pursuit of money, wealth and all sorts of earthly pleasure. We modern men are so much concerned with material wealth and prosperity that we have lost all our higher human senses and sensibilities. We have severed our relations with Nature. Our hunger for money and wealth has even made us blind to the beauties of Nature.

6. What pictures of nature are to be found in Wordsworth's poem 'The world is too much with us"?

Ans. There are two fine pictures of nature in Wordsworth's poem "The world is too much with us”. First, we have a fine picture of the moonlit sea. There is an implicit suggestion in the description that the moon is the lover and the sea is the beloved. Then, we have a picture of the winds that keep blowing all the time. But now they are 'up gathered' like sleeping flowers. Thus here, too, there is an implicit comparison. The howling winds are like full-blown flowers, and the 'up gathered' winds are like 'sleeping flowers' or buds.

7. "The world is too much with us"-What exactly does the poet mean to say here?

Ans. This line breathes the poet's feeling of disgust with a world bereft of the joy of living consequent upon a total collapse of communion with Nature. The spectacle of mad rush for wealth all around is utterly sickening and the poet finds the burden of living in such a world too much to bear.

8. "It moves us not-Great Gad!" -What underlying mood of the poet Wordsworth do you find in the above line?

Ans. There is a deep undercurrent of profound anguish in the line. The poet deplores the snapping of the sympathetic bond between man and Nature. The selfish greed for wealth, the spree of "Getting and spending" has blunted the edge of all finer sensibilities-the modern man lost in a word of lust is utterly impervious to the influences of Nature.

9. "I would rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn" -Give the meaning of the mentioned line.

Ans. Pagan lifestyle was characterised by a close communion with Nature-- such interaction was what Wordsworth found to be sorely lacking in the then Christian mode of living. Since the love of Nature was for him an article of faith, Wordsworth would rather be a Pagan leaving his Christian faith so as to bask in the glory of Nature's plenty.

10. "What Romantic traits [b] do you find in "The world is too much with us"? -What underlying mood of the poet do you find in the line?

Ans. Principally there are two distinct Romantic traits in the poem, e.g. love of nature and the Hellenic spirit. The poet's love of Nature is manifest in those lines where he draws brilliant pictures of the sea bathed in moonlight and of the whispering wind. The Hellenic or the Greek spirit manifests itself in the poet's reference to Proteus and Triton celebrated in the ancient Greek mythology.

No comments:

Post a Comment