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What type of symbolism does William Wordsworth use in "Daffodils?"

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peanut11188 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 15, 2011 at 6:09 PM via web

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What type of symbolism does William Wordsworth use in "Daffodils?"

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 15, 2011 at 6:53 PM (Answer #1)

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The symbolism present in Wordsworth's poem lies in the moment.  This particular moment happens in the sight of these daffodils.  Consider the recreation of this moment in the mind of Dorothy Wordsworth, the poet's sister who shared in this instant with her brother:

I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing.

The poet takes this moment, an instant in time, and uses this as a symbolic representation of how life should be.  I think that being able to take this moment and explore it becomes a symbol of Wordsworth's own love of nature.  There was something in this moment that allowed him to transcend the present and project his own sense of self into the conditional.  This is something that enables Wordsworth to also link his own sense of being to a larger element, a notion that both glorifies himself and suppresses it in a wider configuration at the same time.  For Wordsworth, the moment of seeing the daffodils allows him to feel better about his own state of being in the world, and enables him to understand more about who he is in this life and what gives passion and meaning to him.  The symbolism of the moment is that Wordsworth is able to understand more of what it means to be blissful, happy, and to find a sphere of permanent content in a world of transition and mutability.  The symbol of the daffodils in the poem is one of permanence in a world where there is not much in way of that which lasts.

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aik87- | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 15, 2011 at 6:38 PM (Answer #2)

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the line which u have shared is taken by William Wordswoth(1770-1850) 's The Daffodils. This poem is really enchantiong which shows the poet love for nature. in my opinion he became the part of natural aspect. So here he presents himself as a cloud. The imagtery in this line is really very innocent and dreamy. because he wants to become cloud and wants to roam around the world to explore new horizon but his wishes are not so challenging but simple. As a Rustic , he likes the similicity of nature,he does not want to take the reform but he wants to be lost in nature. As imagery is simple ,so symbolism is also easy and simple even for the average reader like me, who finds leaiures of life in it.

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