William Wordsworth Questions and Answers

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What is William Wordworth's view on children and innocence in his writings?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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For Wordsworth, "the child is the father of the man."  There are plenty of examples where Wordsworth speaks to the fact that childhood reflects a particular instant in time that has to be revered and cherished.  Wordsworth's premise of striving to establish authenticity in voice and a non- conformist sense of reality lends itself to embracing childhood as a special time when individuals can truly be themselves.  In his poetry, there are many instances where Wordsworth believes that childhood and nature reflect a specific moment of perfection that allows individuals to see truth and reality in a simplistic and powerful manner.  Poems such as "Tintern Abbey" or "Daffodils" would convey this in terms of reflecting simplicity and purity, elements that are seen as essential in childhood and the Romantic praising of it.

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subrataray | Student

Woddswirth's adoration of chilahood and its innocence find voice in most of his poems .He was a child of nature , and in his childhood Nature endowed him with the gift of imagination .In Tin tern Abbey , in Immortality ode , in We Are Seven , the innocence and beauty of child-psychology are well-exhibited .Child is the father of man , a child is seer , prophet , etc are the highest tributes of the poet to a child .

lit24 | Student

William Wordsworth was a Nature poet who worshipped Nature as his God and it was his main source of spirtual comfort  and escape from all the cares of this world. His association with life giving and life sustaining Nature began even when he was only a child and remained with him till his death.

In this short lyric, the 'rainbow' symbolizes the life sustaining and life nourishing goodness of Nature. The sight of the beautiful rainbow which he saw when he was only a child is deeply etched in his memory and the same joy that he experienced when he saw it as a child contiunes to remain with him through his adulthood. He desires that this same childhoood joy should continue to sustain him even in his old age.Wordsworth says that he would rather die than not being able to experience the same joy that he experienced when he saw the rainbow when he was a small boy after he becomes an old man.

The memory of the beautiful rainbow and its pleasant associations form the link between his childhood, adulthood and his old age:past, present and future. Wordsworth concludes the poem by expressing the desire that each day of his existence be linked with the next by beautiful and simple natural sights like the rainbow.

For Wordsworth the life nourishing and life sustaining memories of beautiful natural sights like the rainbow are very precious and he deeply desires that they link each day of his life on this earth and remain with him till his death.