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Examine how William Wordsworth and John Betjeman present their views on the Urban world of Man.

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Introduction

Examine how William Wordsworth and John Betjeman present their views on the Urban world of Man Composed upon Westminster Bridge was written in 1802 by William Wordsworth, Slough was written in 1937 by John Betjeman. In Slough, Betjeman states how he wishes to bomb the town and how he wishes to "plough" it over and put it to better use. In Composed upon Westminster Bridge there is a different tone, with Wordsworth describing the beauty of London in the early morning. Both poems are similar in the fact that they both are about modernization. One of the differences between the two poems is that Betjeman describes Slough to be an awful place which deserves to be "Swarmed over by Death". Composed upon Westminster Bridge is the opposite as William Wordsworth describes London to be a brilliant, calming, beautiful place. Both poems are based on modernization and man's relationship with nature, which is frequently referred to in the two poems. In Composed upon Westminster Bridge, London is described in all its beauty before modernization; the harmony between London and nature is also heavily emphasized. For instance London is described as "open to the fields", this makes it seem as London is one with nature and is easily accessible. ...read more.

Middle

In addition to this, he uses the expression "Dear God! The very houses seem asleep". This would suggest that London is currently quiet and that the people will soon wake up and bring noise and bustle back to the City. The final piece of imagery Wordsworth uses is he suggests London is a "mighty heart is lying still". The heart represents city life and the fact that it is lying still suggests it is currently peaceful. It also implies that the city is powerful like a giant beating heart, where the activity of people would be like the beating of the heart. John Betjeman also creates many images in his poem "Slough", for instance he describes people living in Slough to have "tinned minds" and "tinned breath", which implies that the people are trapped in an unnatural environment and it gives the idea that all their emotions, speech and ideas have all become artificial. Betjeman hints that the people are scared of something by using the sentence "daren't look up and see the stars". This suggests that they are afraid of nature and are not able to under stand it. Perhaps also it shows that the people are afraid to follow their dreams and break out of urbanization. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both poems have a different overall affect on the reader for example the poem "Slough" is about destroying the town, so it would make the reader feel hatred towards it. However Betjeman's words also evoke sympathy for some of the people in the poem, for instance the clerks who had to suffer working for the man with the greasy chin. Wordsworth's poem "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" makes the reader realize how beautiful a city can be, so it evokes happiness, love and appreciation. Overall "Slough" makes the reader feel the most heartfelt as they begin to feel sorry for the people as modernization has taken control of their lives. A reader may criticize that Betjeman words were rather cruel towards Slough however Betjeman is only describing modernization and how it has affected society. Other readers may criticise that Wordsworth was ignorant of London's problems. For example he uses the phrase "open to the fields" which makes it seem as if it were open and easily accessible, however the reader knows this not to be true so perhaps Wordsworth was being ignorant. I believe both poems show urbanization and the urban world of man well because both the good sides and the bad sides of modern man are shown, for instance the beauty is shown in Composed upon Westminster Bridge and the foulness is shown in Slough. ?? ?? ?? ?? Josh Fradley ...read more.

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