The World Is Too Much with Us by William Wordsworth

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What romantic traits do we find in Wordsworth's "The World is Too Much With Us"?`

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Romanticism exalted a simple life lived close to nature. Through nature, Romantics like Wordsworth believed, one found God's creative and life-giving presence made manifest in the world. Nature was pure; civilization was tainted and corrupt. Nature elevated the soul. Further, the Romantics pushed back against the increasingly rational and utilitarian world with which they were confronted, hoping to touch people's emotions and sense of wonder at the mysteries and miracles of existence.

We can see all of these elements at play in this sonnet. Wordsworth contrasts "the world"—by which he means what the French called "le monde," or the civilized world—to a state of nature. The poem laments that "the world [civilization] is too much with us," for

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours
In other words, we spend too much time earning money and spending it. In so doing, we waste our gifts. We no longer identify with nature. This makes us "out of...

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