Sample Essay

In order to understand Wordsworth’s writings, we must first understand the man and his times.  It is only by gaining a better understanding of his world that we can begin to understand why he saw it as he saw it.  William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was born in Cumberland, Lake District – the scenic northwest of England – where he developed his growing love for nature.Having lost his parents at an early age, he formed a lasting relationship with his sister, who was to remain his closest and perhaps only family throughout his life.  Wordsworth briefly fell in love with a girl while on a sojourn in France, eventually fathering a child with her, but had to leave for London because of the tumultuous times that the two lovers found themselves in.  Although, this relationship never matured into a formal marriage, he did stay in touch with his daughter for the rest of his life and continued to support her (Barth 115) .

However, his writings were more influenced by the times that he found himself in rather than the shape that his person life took.  Wordsworth was perhaps born at one of the most interesting times in modern history.  The Industrial Revolution was beginning to change the relationship between means and ends, affecting human psyche in the most profound way.  Nature no longer was seen as a habitat, but as raw material and sometimes even as an impediment to the industrial revolution – humanity’s march to progress and prosperity, albeit at the cost of its environment.

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