Nature As God Essay

1388 words - 6 pages

Nature as God

God is considered a friend, parent, protector and guide. Book 1 of The Prelude, by William Wordsworth, doesn't directly mention God but Wordsworth does talk about Nature. Nature is all around him and becomes very significant in his past and present. Wordsworth is so enamored with nature it's obvious that Nature is a religion to him.

Parents often make others feel safe and protected and God often plays the role of a parent figure. Wordsworth shows that he feels at ``home'' with Nature, regardless of where he is. He questions, "In what Vale/ Shall be my harbour? Underneath what grove/ shall I take up my home, and what sweet stream/ shall with its murmurs lull me to rest? (Lines 11-14)." He considers all of Nature a home and looks forward to finding out what will sing him to sleep. Nature gives Wordsworth a great feeling of safety, just as God often does for others.

While he allows it be a safety net to fall back on, he also lets the same Nature be a path to the future. Most would think God guides the path but Wordsworth believes that Nature guides his path. Wordsworth says, "The earth is all before me: with a heart/ Joyous, nor scared at its own liberty,/ I look about, and should the guide I chuse/ be nothing better than a wandering cloud,/ I cannot miss my way (lines15-19)." He

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puts his trust and faith into Nature. This is how Wordsworth comes to know that whatever road he is led to he can't be wrong because all roads in Nature are divine. He has blind faith because whatever path nature makes he will follow. Wordsworth takes on a very pantheistic view and sees the universe and nature as divine.

To describe this divinity of nature Wordsworth uses vocabulary that is frequently ascribed to Christianity. He speaks of a "miraculous gift" which is commonly associated with the connotation that it is a gift only God can give. Wordsworth states that, "this hour/ Hath brought a gift that consecrates my joy;/ For I, methought, while the sweet breath of Heaven/ Was blowing on my body, felt within/ A corresponding mild creative breeze (lines 39-43)." To "consecrate" is to make sacred and "breath of Heaven" is usually associated with something of greatness. This vocabulary sounds very religious yet Wordsworth does not speak of any religion. He is using the language to describe nature.

The language and words Wordsworth uses make his audience aware that he believes Nature is bigger than anything. He also tries to remind readers that all people should be in awe of Nature. The idea that Nature is bigger than anyone else is an example of how Nature is given godlike qualities by Wordsworth. He personifies Nature and it seems to become a person or identity. In line 4 Wordsworth writes, "And seems half conscious of the joy [she] gives." Here Nature is being described as an active, thinking being. Wordsworth writes as if Nature doesn't know the impact she has on those in her presence....

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