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What are the main themes in Wordsworths' The Prelude (book 9-14)?

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ghada77 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 24, 2008 at 9:31 AM via web

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What are the main themes in Wordsworths' The Prelude (book 9-14)?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted April 1, 2008 at 10:03 AM (Answer #1)

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"The Prelude" relates Wordsworth's love of nature and beauty and its importance in his life.  It then deals with his disconnection from nature and ends with Wordsworth's reconnection with nature.  Wordsworth's themes include nature's great significance to humankind than simply aesthetic beauty. Wordsworth truly believed that a great appreciation of nature elevated humankind.  Below are a couple of quotes from the Enotes section on "The Prelude":

Throughout the poem, Wordsworth makes the distinction between reason and passion, and he attributes an ultimate sterility to the quality of reason while glorifying the element of passion or imagination.

The penultimate section of The Prelude is titled “Imagination and Taste, How Impaired and Restored.” At that period of his life he turned back to nature, finding there not solace alone but a sense of law and order lacking in human society. He began to realize the difference in scale between nature and people and the range and effect of nature in comparison to the tiny ineffectuality of human beings.

Wordsworth clearly feels that "logic and reason" are overrated and that the beauty of nature and what enlightenment it can provide is more important and of greater value in many ways.

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