Discuss the depiction of the Romantic autobiographer evoked in The Prelude (1799) by William Wordsworth.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The depiction of the Romantic autobiographer that Wordsworth renders is one that almost stands outside of himself.  Wordsworth is able to reveal himself as an autobiographer who is so certain in his subjective approach to the world in that it enables him to absorb this and view his life almost from a position of being outside of it.  The autobiographer is one who reimages his life with this certainty in subjectivity, a transcendental approach in which one views reality through it as a prism.  The Romantic autobiographer is one to show the arc of a life that was not fully immersed in the vaulting of subjectivity to be one where that very subjectivity had presented itself in different forms, prior to its full recognition in "spots of time."  For example, Wordsworth as a Romantic autobiographer uses his position as a Romantic devotee to fully understand how he was able to showcase some of these elements as a child.  Wordsworth is able to use his position as Romantic autobiographer to further his idea that "the child is the father of the man."  It is through Wordsworth's embrace as the Romantic autobiogapher that he is able to reconfigure his life as a young person with a sense of meaning and purpose, as one where fledgling steps towards the Romantic life is evident.