Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood Themes & Motifs

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The Loss of Innocence

Wordsworth explores the concept of the loss of innocence by defining innocence as several different states of being, and then examining the ways in which these states of being are threatened.

One of the primary ways in which the poet describes innocence is as a state of unparalleled sensory experience. Children, the speaker says, are in a constant state of amazement at the newness with which the world constantly presents them, specifically through the act of seeing. For example, when describing their own youth, the speaker says they saw the natural world “apparelled in celestial light” (4). This vision of light appears once again in the fifth stanza, wherein the speaker describes the experience of the child coming into the world, saying of the young boy, “He beholds the light, and whence it flows,/He sees it in his joy” (70-71). Later, in the...

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Buy the Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood Study Guide
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