What is the central concern of the Romantics that can be seen in the poem "The Solitary Reaper"?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The connection to the natural world is one critical concern that is addressed in Wordsworth's poem of "The Solitary Reaper."  The speaker, presumably Wordsworth, comes across the maiden in the field.  She is alone, without others, and the action of her harvesting the gain with her sickle creates an image that unites her with the natural world.  This is further enhanced with the song she sings, whose lyrics are not understood, but whose melody is akin to a nightingale or bird singing in the natural world.  She does not pay attention to Wordsworth who calls out to her, almost indicating that she is immersed within the natural setting and through watching her and this scene unfold, so is the speaker.  The beauty of this scene is one whose perfection can only be designed by the natural world, not one of human creation.  This absorption of a natural moment where the speaker learns to "see into the life of things" is of critical importance to Wordsworth and captures a major theme of the Romantic period.

emaan1993 | Student

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