The Influence of Wordsworth: Instilling Confidence and Appreciating Nature

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It is also possible that by telling the narrator that he is the greatest poet in the world and that the narrator is a poet too, Wordsworth is attempting to instill confidence into the narrator, allowing him to think that anything is possible.

If anything, Wordsworth acts as a role model to the narrator. He guides him to the best of his ability through life, allowing him to make mistakes and learn at the same time. This is something that does not occur when it comes to the narrator’s mother’s influence over him, where she may represent the conflict that exists in his life. On the other hand, Wordsworth has a positive impact on the narrator, opening his eyes to the benefits of nature. Prior to meeting Wordsworth, there is no suggestion that the narrator may have appreciated the beauty of nature. It may also be the case that, just as Naipaul suggests, nature is often underappreciated, so too may poets be. Wordsworth is an educated man, noticeable by the way he speaks. However, when he tries to sell a poem, the narrator’s mother doesn’t want to buy it. It is as though Wordsworth (or all poets) are disconnected from those around them due to their occupation. When the reality is that a poet may be more connected to the world than the average person.

The end of the story is also interesting as it appears as though the narrator comes of age when Wordsworth dies. No longer does he have the opportunity to hear the life lessons that Wordsworth might teach him. Instead, there is a sense that the narrator is returning to a life that is not as attractive to him. However, what is clear to the reader is that the narrator has never forgotten Wordsworth. He may have forgotten some of the constellations with the exception of Orion, but he has never forgotten Wordsworth. The reader is left suspecting that the narrator’s time with Wordsworth has been time well spent, even if Wordsworth did confuse the narrator before he died and told him that there was no poem nor was there a girl poet. If anything, Wordsworth has made an impression on the narrator and, at the same time, taught him to appreciate nature and to be confident within himself.

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