Nutting Symbols & Objects

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The Cottage

The cottage, or “cottage-threshold,” symbolizes and foreshadows the speaker’s transition from innocence into experience (5). While in many of Wordsworth’s poems, including this one, nature is portrayed as an innocent setting, here it also represents wildness and experience. This is because it is when they are within nature, specifically the unvisited bower, that the speaker realizes their inherent avarice, thus shattering their perception of themselves as an innocent being. Therefore, as they exit the cottage and cross the cottage threshold into the wilderness, they are literally crossing over from a life of sheltered innocence into the larger world of experience.

The Violets

The violets symbolize the fantastical, paradise-like quality of the bower. The speaker describes the flowers as “violets of five seasons,” appearing and fading, “unseen by any human eye” (31, 32). The description of the violets as being of five seasons raises them into a...

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This section contains 440 words
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Buy the Nutting Study Guide
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