Victory over Death in Wordsworth¡¯S ¡°Intimations of Immortality Ode¡±

1678 Words Oct 12th, 2006 7 Pages
The concept of death most frequently conveys the dark and mysterious affect. Pondering over death can be similar to stumbling down a dark passage with unstable guesses as the only guide; not only do we not know when we will die, but also what comes after death. William Wordsworth, a nineteenth-century author, was no exception to this universal dilemma of considering death as the absolute end of one¡¯s existence or the beginning of one¡¯s existence in a new setting. ¡°Nothing was more difficult for me in childhood than to admit the notion of death as a state applicable to my own being,¡± Wordsworth frankly describes to Isabella Fenwick in 1843 about the anxiety and fear he experienced when he first understood the concept of death. …show more content…
According to Wordsworth, a child is absorbed into complete ¡°jollity¡± (3) and unity with the beautiful nature because he or she does not recognize that all lives on earth will perish someday. In other words, a child ¡°over whom thy Immortality / Broods like the Day¡± has a special ability to see the world ¡°in celestial light,¡± in awe and admiration (1). However, the glorious moments in which we appreciate every aspect of earth eventually ¡°fade into the light of common day¡± as we become accustomed to the world (5). As we experience both bright and dark sides of life such as ¡°a wedding,¡± ¡°a festival,¡± ¡°a mourning,¡± or ¡°a funeral¡± (7) we begin to see ¡°a world beset with sorrows¡± (Taylor 638). The concept of death finally emerges in our minds. Not only do we realize the existence of death, but we also forget our divine lineage and obtain a ¡°newly-learned art¡± of fitting in and surviving in this world as if we belong here (7). In order to stay on top of the unyielding world, we become far and far from God and abide by the demands of the world like the prodigal son who takes his father¡¯s money and leaves his house to fulfill his worldly desires (New International Version, Luke 15. 11-13). This pattern of development can be compared to a ¡°journey from the heaven of infancy to the prison-house of adulthood¡± (Garlitz 647); as we become adults, we are trapped in the power-seeking and mortal nature of the world and cannot recover the complete joy

Related Documents