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Man's Relationship With Nature In Hughes And Wordsworth's Poetry

1771 words - 7 pages

Man's Relationship with Nature in Hughes and Wordsworth's Poetry

Concentrating on one Poem by each Poet, Compare and Contrast the ways
in which Hughes and Wordsworth Present Man’s Relationship with Nature

Both Hughes and Wordsworth have beliefs about man’s relationship with
nature, but I feel that they see the relationship between the two in
different ways. Hughes has a more pessimistic and negative approach,
feeling that nature must protect herself from man’s destructive
nature, while Wordsworth believes that nature is a teacher and
nurtures you. Wordsworth uses a more optimistic and positive approach
in his poetry. Wordsworth sees nature in a romantic and spiritual
sense that protects and is constantly feeding and inspiring man’s mind
and helping it to grow. On the other hand Hughes sees man as
interfering and destructive towards nature and is excluded from its
harmony. Hughes personality is much more complicated and hard to deal
with, so to speak, than Wordsworth’s; this is reflected in his
attitude towards nature because he thinks that nature is a violent and
brutal enemy towards man and even itself. From this you can tell that
he is quite a brooding and depressive man. I have chosen to compare
‘Work and Play’ by Hughes and by Wordsworth I have chosen
‘Expostulation and Reply’ and ‘The Tables Turned’ which are poems on
the same subject but ‘The Tables Turned’ is set later on in the day
and is the ‘Companion-Piece’ to ‘Expostulation and Reply’. I chose to
study these two poems because I think that it is very interesting how
the beliefs of Hughes and Wordsworth are presented, showing that they
both have an admiration for the beauty of nature and its power, and
how Hughes believes that in comparison man is clumsy and pathetic.

Both poets show how man is clumsy and inefficient while nature is the
exact opposite, skilled and swift. This is shown in ‘Work and Play’
when Hughes describes a swallow as ‘a blue-dark knot of glittering
voltage’. This shows how the swallow looks like a knot of glittering
voltage implying that it is going very fast. This shows that Hughes
thinks of the bird and nature in general as very smooth and good at
what they do implying that we should learn from it. The way Hughes
says ‘blue-dark’ instead of dark blue emphasises the point by getting
you to notice it more easily. Wordsworth does this in a different way
because he doesn’t make his poetry so dramatic, but makes it subtle
instead. There is evidence of this in ‘The Tables Turned’ on line 29
and 30 where Wordsworth has written ‘Enough of science and of art;
Close up these barren leaves;’ here Wordsworth is implying with a
punning hint to Matthew (the other character in his poem) that
tree-leaves unlike book-leaves that are man made aren’t barren. He is
also saying that they can teach you much more than books ever can.
With a sense of enjoyment that comes with it. This shows how
Wordsworth has a sense of humour and uses...

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