To what can I compare "The Solitary Reaper" in real life?

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

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In answering this, I would suggest that you check out a film clip.  In The Shawshank Redemption, one of the main characters comes across an old recording of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro."  Seized by the moment, he blasts the recording across the prison public address system.  The moment where the inmates listen to the song, hearing what aching and longing being sung, is a moment of transformation and a moment in which clarity is revealed in the world.  Wordsworth would see this scene and agree that it helps to represent the experience found in "The Solitary Reaper."

This experience can help represent to what the poem's ideas can be compared in real life.  Essentially, any song that can be heard and listened to with intensity that is fundamentally different than the daily life of the individual can operate as a "solitary reaper" moment.  A song that is different from daily experience and its musical elements can facilitate a transformation in the individual.  If only for a moment, the sense of wondering of what emotions are in the song and reflecting on this in the subjective are where the moments of revelation from the poem can be found in real life.  In a realistic setting, experience a song that is fundamentally different from one's daily being in the world, listening to it and hearing what emotions could exist underneath.  This becomes how the poem can be seen in real life.

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