"In view of Wordsworth's Claim for the importance to him of low and rustic life; estimate the effectiveness of those poems which deal with the life and character of country people."

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                                  ENGLISH LIT - WORDSWORTH (LOW AND RUSTICS)

English Literature - Wordsworth (Low and Rustics)

     "In view of Wordsworth's Claim for the importance to him of low and rustic life; estimate the effectiveness of those poems which deal with the life and character of country people." 

     Wordsworth loves to write poetry about low and rustic characters that he has met. Three examples of such poems are, "The Old Cumberland Beggar", "Simon Lee, the Old Huntsman" and "Resolution And Independence". In all three of these poems Wordsworth makes a clear connection between the men involved and the nature surrounding them. I feel that this shows why these people countrymen have been so important to Wordsworth. Wordsworth loves nature, he is "At one with nature" and he actually describes these men as being part of the landscape. That they themselves are part of the countryside to which Wordsworth is so spiritually associated with.

     I think that Wordsworth is very successful at dealing with the characters of low and rustic country people as he has grown with them and has been around them all the time. He creates an almost mystical association between himself, the land and these men.

     I feel that the most important aspect of these poems and how they relate back to nature and naturalism is the vivid and beautiful use of description that Wordsworth successfully uses to describe and familiarise us with the three characters. Simon Lee is an old huntsman who has been fit all his life and has worked. But now, he is described as "lean and sick", "thin and dry" and "few months of life has he in store". Wordsworth tells us that he is the only one left. The sole survivor. This poem is in two parts. The first of which concentrating specifically on describing the physicality of the old man. This poem appears to me to be about old age and how things change. Wordsworth overwhelms us by writing such vivid description that we can imagine this pitiful hunter who has grown old and now cannot pull up roots. It is sad as having once been a hunter, somebody so aware of the nature around him that he can catch his own food, he cannot now even pull up the roots of a tree. Infact, upon confrontation Wordsworth himself states that he said to him, "You are overtasked, good Simon Lee!". I also think that a very important theme running through these poems is the reaction of the rustics to Wordsworth and how he confronts them. Wordsworth here is the strong young man to whom Simon Lee is so grateful after he has helped him. Grateful to the point of tears. This emotion again relates back to nature and is related to the way water flows from a river. The tone of the poem changes, just as the life of Simon Lee has changed. It gives Wordsworth's direct speech to his audience asking them did they expect a specific ending which to me proves how well Wordsworth has grasped the philosophical sense of the poem. These people are born, the work all their lives and then they die. Wordsworth tells us about how often this would happen by not making a huge deal of fuss about the character and infact stressing the unimportance of what was going to happen anyway - old age. But instead he shifts the importance to the reaction of Simon Lee, so full of gratitude. All three of these characters are in isolation but The Old Cumberland Beggar and the Leech Gatherer are seemingly completely enwrapped by nature.

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     The Old Cumberland Beggar is described as "aged". He is referred to as part of the elements. He is so part of nature that he appears somewhat inanimate and eternal. Line 22-23 say, "Him from my childhood have I known, and then he was so old, he seems not older now;". He is timeless and as life goes on he just stays the same. He is part of everybody's life and it even tells us that when people give him money they do not throw it at him but stop to place the coin in his hand. He ...

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