The Solitary Reaper Essay

1885 words - 8 pages

William Wordsworth’s poem “The Solitary Reaper” has a symbolic recollection of seeing a woman reaping and singing in the Scotland Highlands. He uses four stanzas of eight lines and innate rhyme scheme to perceive the speakers experience. The orator utilizes sophisticated allusions to personify the aftermath of the Highland lass on his lonely heart. In addition, he dictates his reminiscence through the application of multiple detailed literary techniques. Through his experience or inexperience of the situation he uses nature to symbolize the deeper meaning of the poem. Finally through his eyes Wordsworth might have been suggesting the stanzas be compared to life and the mysteries in the human condition. Multiple interpretations have been made based on who the audience believes the speaker to be. Based on the background of what was going on in Scotland we can go either way with the argument.
William was a kin to Dorothy Wordsworth and four other siblings yet he and Dorothy were the closest. Dorothy was a poet and diarist, she was known for starting a poetry tour in Scotland the year of 1803 (“Harold”). William was said to be on the tour with his sister and their good friend Samuel Coleridge ("Recollections”). Most of the places they had gone to on their carriage ride were not accessible therefore, they had to walk. The Scottish expedition that they went on was also known as the romantic Counterpart ("Recollections”). Dorothy was one of the main writers of the romantic expedition along with Samuel Johnson and James Boswell. Yet, you can argue that William wrote this from his perspective and not from the writings of another.
Multiple different interpretations exist of the poem about who is the keynote of the poem. Some say Wordsworth wrote for nature and simplicity of language to tell of what he witnessed while others say it’s not possible. It’s said that the poem was initiated based on the visions of Thomas Wilkinson’s and his passage of Scotland (“Explanation”). Even explicit phrases such as “Long after it heard no more” were coined from Wilkinson’s passage. However, as referenced earlier Dorothy created a tour when William wrote the poem. Some critics argue this is where he allegedly saw and wrote of the girl in the field. The poem has the immediacy of personal experience making us believe that it was not just written based on Wilkinson’s writings but on personal experience (“Ashraf005”). However, it is still disputed today however, it is safe to say the speaker is William Wordsworth.
Wordsworth separates “The Solitary Reaper” into four stanzas of eight lines educating readers about his recollection of the Highland lass. The first stanza explicates the setting from his perspective through repetitions of cacophonous and lonely words. In the succeeding stanza he parallels the song she is singing to that of the most beautiful voices. The third stanza is the speaker inquiring the meaning of what the Highland lass is singing of. The prevailing...

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