How does the theme of "The World Is Too Much with Us" reflect the growing materialistic tendency of people in today's society?

In the poem "The World Is Too Much with Us" the main theme is mankind's lost connection with the natural world. Wordsworth suggests that this loss has been caused by materialism. The growing materialistic tendency of people in today's society has arguably only exacerbated this lost connection with the natural world.

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At the beginning of the poem, Wordsworth argues that mankind has become obsessed with "getting and spending." In other words, people have become too much concerned with the accumulation of material possessions for no better reason than material greed. He says that this obsession with materialism means that we "have given our hearts away," and we have done so, he says, for "a sordid boon."

The result of this materialism, Wordsworth suggests, is that we "are out of tune" with the natural world, meaning that we have forgotten how to appreciate and connect with the beauty and wonder of the world around us. The beauty of nature "moves us not," as it used to and should still do.

This poem was first published in 1807, at the beginning of the industrial revolution. In the more than two hundred years that have elapsed since that time, it seems that this obsession with materialism, and the consequent neglect of nature, has only become worse. Indeed our drive to industrialize the whole world, and to produce more and more disposable consumer goods, has demonstrably caused great harm to the planet we occupy. The industrialization process has been and continues to be a main driver of global warming and climate change. In the name of industry we continue to destroy our forests, pollute our rivers, and poison the very air we breathe. It is reasonable to assume that Wordsworth would have despaired if he could have known how much worse the problems he identified in this poem would become.

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