Lines left upon a seat in a Yew-tree

One of the most significant ways that Wordsworth’s ‘Lines Left Upon A Seat In A Yew-Tree’ contrasts with the Enlightenment period is by really personify the art of exploring the concept that in order to reach a certain level of wisdom and salvation you must find harmony with Nature.  He drives through this point about harmony with Nature in his last paragraph when he states “the man, whose eye/is ever on himself, doth look on one,/the least of Nature’s works, one who might move/the wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds” meaning that Nature is such a powerful force that out of all its qualities one of them leads on a path towards wisdom (Wordsworth, 51-54).  He ultimately is telling his readers to stop thinking of just themselves for “o, be wiser thou!/instructed that true knowledge leads to love” meaning that you can have all the power and “food of pride sustain[ed] [your] soul” but unless you live for others you will forever live “in solitude” (55-56,20,21).  It’s natural for us to want to help others and Wordsworth proves that no matter how hard you try Nature always wins.  Therefore you can be the most selfish powerful human being and yet never reach a sense of harmony within yourself.  He proves this point when he says “the world,…appeared a scene/of kindred loveliness: then he would sigh/with mournful joy, to think that others felt/what he must never feel: and so, lost man” (37-40).  Furthermore, Wordsworth also brings about emotion and imagination into his works which both also contrast with the Enlightenment period.  There is a point in his story where the man is sitting alone and has three visitors of whom he gives each a name i.e. juniper, heath, and thistle (25-26).  The question I bring is are these characters real or a figment of the mans imagination?  The story states over and over how alone the man is and the fact that he mentions in a way that he is reflecting upon his life by saying words such as “on the more distant scene” brings me to wonder is this man sane or not (31).  I mean it was not long before this piece came out that what ever “lofty views” one had would always and essentially stay within ones own mind (14).  The fact that Wordsworth even puts in these literary characters proves that his work is significantly different from the previous works written in the Enlightenment.


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