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Comparing Dorothy and William Wordsworth's Literature

Updated on July 9, 2017
Dorothy Wordsworth
Dorothy Wordsworth | Source
William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth | Source

Dorothy and William Wordsworth were both authors whose primary work dwelled on nature. It is important to note that the two authors employ different approaches in their writing technique. For instance, Dorothy Wordsworth in her writing reveals inclined in describing a scene or event more directly; that is she is fascinated by the different physical reality of things that exists in reality, which vividly addresses in her writing. William Wordsworth, on the other hand, describes events using images employing metaphors, though both writers are writing about the same event. That is, he is fascinated in the deeper meaning of the elements of nature in his work; their spirituality and their significance. He is more concerned with the internal aspect of life, but Dorothy is the direct opposite as her concern is focused on the external fascination of nature’s beauty.

In this essay, we will compare the works of both authors on the “The Leech-Gatherer.” We will do a comparison and an in-depth analysis of the work that seeks to bring out the different opinion and perceptions of both Dorothy’s and William’s work about nature, and the way they give meaning to different aspects of nature.

“The Leech Gatherer” , a poem by William Wordsworth, also known by some people as “Resolution and Independence” is a hundred and forty-line poem that is divided into twenty stanzas. In the poem, the author narrates his experience when he meets a leech gatherer. The poem is written in the first person narrative, meaning the speaker of the poem is author. He narrates his walk in the moor one spring morning. While there, he experiences an explained phenomenon when he meets a senior man, who was a leech gatherer that was looking for leeches in the moor that early morning. By this point in the poem, nature’s elements have started manifesting themselves. For instance, the author describes the season such as spring, landscape such as the moor, not forgetting the presence of leeches that are part of nature itself.

The wordings of the two pieces by the two authors are expressed in a completely different style of writing. For instance, Dorothy Wordsworth’s work is in a story form with long sentences while William’s work, on the other hand, is in a poem form with four stanzas. A closer look at both works reveals that Dorothy Wordsworth’s is inclined in describing a scene or event more directly, whereas William Wordsworth describes events using images employing metaphors, though both writers are writing about the same event. For instance, when they both write about a flower, Dorothy is more direct and talks about how beautiful the flowers are, William describes the same scene, but using metaphors, making his description of the flowers less direct.

“The Leech-Gatherer” has spent a majority of the morning hours in search of leeches in the moor for several days. Although it is Leech’s low season, the gatherer goes in pursuit of them all the same; he cannot afford to give up because his life depends on leech gathering (Wordsworth, 1802). In this scene, William presents a deeper understanding of leeches as well as the Oldman’s life struggles. He looks beyond just the mere fact that leeches are part of nature, and aims to give them a deeper understanding, which is spiritually inclined. For instance, the scene where the Oldman is desperately looking for leeches even though he is well aware that he might not find them because it is a low season. In this scene, William portrays who a person’s suffering can be a representation of nature. The mere act of the Oldman searching for leeches is an act that reflects on nature. This is mainly through the interdependence of the elements constituting humankind and nature. The scene, therefore, creates a natural relationship between the two entities. It is however important to note that the author does not look at this on a plain site as it may appear. Instead, he compares the relationship between the leech gather and his act of looking for the leeches to established and unbending poet. The leeches gatherer is well aware that it is a low season, but the does not give up looking them; he hopes that he will gather some that morning. This is also has a deeper meaning. It shows the spirit of a man who is faced with solitude and adversity but does not give up because of his strong – heart pushes him to move on and endure the troubles that he is currently facing.

The open poem depicts a standard line of the speaker wondering out aloud like a sole cloud. The lines that follow in the poem are very similar to Dorothy’s entry, but the opening section is a sharp contrast. Unlike Dorothy, piece where she regularly refers to the group of people that she makes part of her company in the walk on a very stormy, rainy day, William on the other hand, isolates himself in this opening entry with a memory and excludes Dorothy from being part of the memory. In his memory, he recalls the cloud that floats over hills and valleys. He soon notices a huge crowd of golden daffodils that were along the lakeshore that were dancing and fluttering in the breeze.

At the very beginning of the poem, the author uses a variety of expressions with an aim to symbolizing nature. As he wonders in the moor, he experiences a variety of happy emotions and is in high spirits. The beauty natural surrounding delights him. He, however, thinks that despair and happiness are closely related. On meeting the Oldman in the motor, the leeches gatherer, and interacts with him, he quickly learns that the Oldman’s man work of leeches gathering has many common thing in poetry writing. Just like the leech gatherer, William Wordsworth compares the practice of leech gathering with an art of poetry. For instance, while the leeched gatherer is looking for leeches that morning in the moor, the poet on the other hand searches for his mind for poems. The mind of the poet is where he searches through for poems for him; the mind is, of course, the home of ideas.

In this poem, William finds it important to include that the wealth could not bring him this sight as he stares into the daffodils. To him, the sight is compared to anything less, it is simply, priceless. He continues to add on that he still has the memory in his inner eyes, as it is a bliss of solitude. In his conclusion, he explains that it makes his heart light when he dances with the daffodils flowers.

Looking at the “Leeches Gatherer”, on the other hand, the moor is the environment where he calls home, because of it a place where he finds the leeches. The leeches may not always be available when he shows up to look for them. The same is with the poet, who might have a times luck inspiration, which is sometime hard to find. The speaker of the poem has this notion when he compares the leeches gatherer with a poet. The speaker is of the opinion that no matter how discouraged the poet might be, it is important never to give up by learning from the gatherer, who goes to the moors in search of the leeches even when he is aware that he might not be able to find them because it is a low season. The same should be a poet; they should continue with their work even during the times they feel they luck motivation to move on with their poetry work. They should somehow look for motivation to continue with their art of poetry.

Unlike William whose work is inspired by internal aspects of nature, Dorothy’s passage, on, the other hand, suggest that, she was inspired by the appearances, events, and happenings in the external world. In her journal Grasmere, she presents a vivid account of her life in the Lake District; she goes on to give an account of the various descriptions of nature elements. She gives a totally different view on the leech gatherer. She too meets the leech gatherer like William, but there is a difference in the way the two meet the leech gatherer, Dorothy only focuses on the external aspects of nature does not tie herself with their meaning. She acknowledges the beauty of nature in its plain nature she does not over indulge herself with the inner description or deeper context. With this in mind, she approaches her meeting with the leech gatherer differently.

In her narration of the Leech Gather, Dorothy is with her brother William Wordsworth, when they meet the Leech-gatherer, as they were on their way from seeing off Jones. Her incident of meeting the leech gather is a sharp contrast of that William’s account. She describes the physical state of the leech gather in fine details. She avoids using a description that would go beyond the material existence of the leech gatherer. For example, she plainly introduces the leech gather as an Oldman whose is hurting over driving a cart. As a result, his body seemed to be falling apart (Wordsworth, 1801). In these instances, she uses the detailed description of the physical body of the leech gatherer, to bring out the poetic mirror of the leech gatherer to her audience. Moreover, she utilizes phrases like Oldman’s feeble chest to point out the physical age of the man.

Dorothy Wordsworth also employs the stylistic device of metaphors in her narration, to highlight the similarities that exist between the two aspects. For example, Heringham (2011, p.70) says that more than human weight upon his frame had cast. The metaphorical technique of expression has been employed by the heavy weight of the material world from which the leech gatherer to wrestle his in-depth dependence on the leeches to survive, (Heringham 2011, p.34). The metaphor employed is just among many metaphoric expressions that the author uses to bring out the physical status of the leech gatherer. (Heringham 2011, p.71). Dorothy goes on to claim that the leech gatherer was a beggar ever since the price of leeches went up. In this description, she brings out the current physical status of the leech gatherer in regards to the economy. In general, Dorothy employs the use imagery as a literary writing technique to bring out the physical aspects of the elements she uses in her writing.

There is a major difference in the two authors writing work and style. For instance, Dorothy Wordsworth work is simple and meant to get the message across her audience. Her work is written in prose, her work was written in literary form. William’s work on the other hand makes use of poetry to pass his message across; his work is more artistic, because the poem language makes use of music effects through the use of various techniques such as rhyme and rhythm in the poem. His poem was written in abstract form. Although both authors are talking about the same subject, their way of bringing out the message is totally different owing to the fact that their writing techniques were different.

Although these pieces are both written in a different style, both Dorothy Wordsworth and William Wordsworth employ the same personification, and figurative language, to describe the flower movement. For instance, Dorothy describes the daffodils their heads resting on the stones as it is with on the pillow for the rest, reeled, and weariness. While William on the hand, describes a picture of the daffodils movement as dancing and fluttering in the breeze tossing their heads in a single dance. They both utilize personification as their style to describe the flower movement as just instead of just mentioning they moved by the wind.

In essence, a closer examination of the works by William and Dorothy reveals a number of similarities and variations. For instance the two authors employ contrasting styles although ideas in these contents may resonate. However, they both expresses nature and spirituality, though in different perspectives. It also showcases that authors can utilize different skills in illustrating hidden meaning.


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