We Are Seven Themes & Motifs

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Perceptions of Mortality

Wordsworth uses the dialogue between the speaker and the young girl in order to examine two contrasting perspectives on mortality and understandings of death.

The speaker, in their adult perspective on mortality, draws a clear connection between life and physical agency or energy. In the first stanza, they describe the child as “lightly [drawing] its breath” and “[feeling] its life in every limb” (2, 3). This emphasis on the action of breathing and literally feeling life in the limbs implies that the speaker believes there is a certain level of physicality required to define something as living. They echo this sentiment later in the poem as they attempt to draw the distinction between the young girl and her dead siblings by saying, “you run about, my little Maid,/your limbs they are alive” (33-34). It is this ability to run and this agency of the body...

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This section contains 960 words
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