William Wordsworth's sonnet "The World is Too Much with Us" meditates on the way the modern world (early 1800s) is overly commercialized, causing humans to become separate from nature. Wordsworth sees all the "getting and spending" as a "waste" of humanity's true purpose. He finds meaning in nature but laments that his fellow humans "have given [their] hearts away" to a lesser entity (materialism, modernity, economic gain).
In the middle of the poem, Wordsworth brings in natural imagery and figurative language to re-establish a connection between man and nature. In describing, in turn, "this Sea," "the winds," and "flowers," Wordsworth argues that nature has great power but that people have become "out of tune" with the rhythm of their environment.
Wordsworth next connects his love for and devotion to nature with "Pagan" cultures. He seems to think that we must go back in time and travel to places and cultures where nature was respected and even worshipped. This is where "Proteus" and...
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