In Wordsworth, "The World is Too much with Us" Journal Questions. Why does the speaker feel frustrated and impatient with materialism, commerce, and industry?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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An English Romantic poet, William Wordsworth bemoans the materialistic society that has lost touch with the natural world.  Now they are almost captives of this world of materialism, having lost any spirituality--"we lay waste our powers." Clearly, Wordsworth deplores this wastage:

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!...

For this, for everything, we are ot of tune:

It moves us not.

These materialistic people have ignored the beauty of nature for so long that "Little we see in Nature that is ours." Wordsworth is so chagrined that people have ignored the beauty and the powers of nature that, in reaction, he exclaims,

Good God! I'd rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn....

He would rather be a simple pagan that be out of touch with nature as his contemporaries are.  Here there is a melancholic tone as the poet is so disappointed with his contemporaries that he prefers a more primitive life than his present disappointment in mankind.

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