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What is the theme of William Wordsworth's poem Lucy Gray?

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The poem Lucy Gray tells the story of an innocent child named Lucy Gray who lives far from society in a cottage on the moors. One winter day, Lucy's father sends her off to town with a lantern to meet her mother. Unfortunately, Lucy gets lost in a snowstorm and never reaches town. The next day, Lucy's parents search for her throughout the wilderness and end up following her footprints in the snow. Lucy's parents track her footprints to a wooden bridge where her footprints suddenly disappear. Lucy's body is never recovered, but some people still maintain that they see her spirit as they walk through the forest.

Two of the main themes throughout Wordsworth's poem concern nature and the loss of a loved one. Lucy not only lives away from society on the moors, but she also travels through the wilderness. It is suggested that she enjoys nature because people claim to hear her playfully whistling on her journey to town. Lucy is depicted as an innocent child who enjoys the natural environment. Also, Wordsworth examines the loss of a loved one throughout the poem. Lucy's parents are concerned about their daughter's well-being when she does not arrive in town. The next day they search through the forest and are devastated to discover that Lucy's footprints end on the bridge.

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William Wordsworth's Lucy Gray tells the story of an innocent young girl who is lost in the wild and never found again. The suggestion is that she dies, although at the end Wordsworth suggests Lucy might still dwell in the wilderness somewhere far from civilization. It's unclear whether he's implying that Lucy is still alive or if he's merely suggesting that her spirit lives on in the natural world.

Lucy Gray is usually not considered part of Wordsworth's "Lucy" poems, a group that includes the famous "She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways." Yet both the "Lucy" poems and Lucy Gray meditate upon a similar theme: the death of some unimportant and unknown person who lived in relative isolation in the midst of natural beauty. In general, the "Lucy" poems depict a young girl called Lucy who lives in close proximity to the wild and is gradually absorbed by the wild lands she inhabits, either through death or simply by disappearing. Lucy Gray shares this theme, as it shows the young, innocent Lucy disappearing into the vast world of nature.

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What is the substance of the poem "Lucy Gray" by William Wordsworth?

“Lucy Gray” is about a little girl who gets lost in a snowstorm; her parents search for her all through the night, but find no sign of their daughter.  Finally, at daybreak, the mothers spies Lucy’s footprints in the snow.  The footprints lead to the middle of a wooden bridge a short distance from their home; there the footprints end.  Lucy is never found,

--Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.

The speaker begins the poem with his own sighting of Lucy Gray, upon the moor where she lived and played, at dawn.  Thus we have the dissemination of the girl’s spirit into nature; the speaker sights her, but the sighting is spectral and rooted in tales that “some maintain” – local legends.  In this way, Wordsworth is exalting the imagination and the power of nature to keep the spirit alive, even when all trace of one’s existence has been wiped away.

There is also an emphasis on solitude in the poem – Lucy Gray always plays alone, she goes into town alone, and she dies alone.  And yet there is little to indicate any sadness linked to this solitude – Lucy “gladly” goes to town by herself, and is quite content to play on her own on the moor.  She is a happy child, and makes a happy ghost and a happy tale, and even death cannot dampen the sweetness that was in her, and that remains in her memory.

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