What is an example of "out of the box thinking" used in "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud?"

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

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One of the best examples of "thinking outside of the box" in Wordsworth's poem is the focus on the individual flower.  The speaker, presumably Wordsworth, creates a reverential focus based on the presence of the daffodils. The redescription of the world through subjective perception is thinking outside of the box because it takes a commonplace image and makes it otherworldly.  The language Wordsworth uses to describe the daffodils is distinctive: "A host, of golden daffodils;/ Beside the lake, beneath the trees,/ Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."  Such language shows thinking outside of the box in a couple of ways.  The first is that Wordsworth uses poetic language to reconfigure the world in which he lives.  The personification of the flowers as "fluttering and dancing" makes them appear vibrantly alive.  This distinctive mode of description enables Wordsworth to see more than what is there.  There is a spirit of life that the flowers possess that Wordsworth would like to experience. This represents "out of the box" thinking.  At the same time, there is a freedom in the flowers, especially noted in the way they are positioned in nature. The flowers are part of the natural world, but yet distinct from it.  They retain the best qualities of both, and Wordsworth recognizes it.  In seeking to emulate what the flowers demonstrate, Wordsworth is "thinking out of the box."

The entire premise of the poem is an example of "out of the box" thinking.  Wordsworth has no desire to conform to the world around him.  He has no desire to be part of the social group.  Rather, he wishes to "dance with the daffodils" as the poem ends.  This represents "out of the box" thinking because it does not take to what others prescribe as the way to live.  Wordsworth is not interested in following the paths that others may take. He wishes to find his own path in line with the demonstrable energy and vitality of the daffodils.  It is here that Wordsworth is demonstrating a thought process that is decidedly "out of the box."

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