The way Technology has changed Man

The way Technology has changed Man:

Compare and Contrast of Hopkins and Wordsworth

"Where do you want to go today?". We all know this slogan of

the most advanced software company in the world, Microsoft. The

question we will soon have to answer is were we can't go today.

William Wordsworth, a quaint man from the late 18th century and

early 19th century, understood the need for change in this world and

expressed a pre-mature concern for the future that still applies to this

very day in "The world is too much with us". Gerald Hopkins, a poet

from the later 19th century, expressed many of same ideas and

philosophies as Wordsworth in "God's Grandeur". Their main points

were that man's continuous journey towards the future has led us to

forget our roots. Though how could two poets from two different

lifestyles, Wordsworth the revolutionary and Hopkins the Jesuit, come

up with the same basic ideas? They both showed that our continuous

journey towards the future has led us to forget our roots as shown by

our destruction of nature, by the way the Industrial Revolution has torn

us away from our harmony with nature and by the ways we can return

back to mother earth.

Man continues to destroy nature in an attempt to strengthen

himself. Wordsworth and Hopkins talk about man's primal instinct to

destroy what is around him. Ironically our destruction of nature leads

to the advancements in our personal technologies. This is made

evident when Wordsworth says "getting and spending we lay waste

our powers." While it is obvious is that Wordsworth thinks we have

become to attached to material goods, what does he mean by "lay

waste our powers"? Perhaps the only explanation we can give is that

Wordsworth believes that Man has, somewhere deep down in him, the

ability to be a creator, an architect who can use nature and not abuse

it. He also believes that Man keeps destroying nature without

realizing the effects this adds to our lives. Hopkins shows this same

type of idea but with a higher connection, the power of God. He uses

God as a way of showing us the wrong we are doing. He shows Man's

disobedience of God as a way to show that we have forgotten nature.

Wordsworth thinks our own ambitions have led us to this point and we

can't say that Hopkins completely disagrees with that. Hopkins shows

how nature accumulates our pollution. They both must have realized

the influence these technologies were having on their societies.

They indicate how the Industrial Revolution has torn us away

from our harmony with nature. This point is made evident not only

through the two poems under question but through the way these two

poets lived. Wordsworth took his experience in the French revolution

and experiences with nature to great heart. This is where the "getting

and spending" part of his poem really comes in to strike a chord with

his fellow humans. Wordsworth wants us to remember that

technology is not, and should not be the most important thing in our

lives. While it was the "in" thing to move to the city and forget your

rural surroundings, it was rarely the right thing to do. Hopkins had

this problem being a Jesuit in Liverpool, one of the most polluted

cities. He had to take his inner harmony in stride with his religious

belief. He used this religious belief to allow himself to feel cleansed of

any sort of hate towards technology. He used his earlier poetry to

actually show his discontent with society. While he perhaps was not as

influenced by social advancements as Wordsworth, they did play some

part in his earlier years. Wordsworth had the opening and money to

become someone meaningful in a high paced society yet chose to be

the revolutionary. Hopkins took the option of grueling it out to become

a Jesuit. These different paths led the two men to different


Both poets wondered if it would be possible to return to nature.

They then came to the conclusion that Man can rejoin mother nature

and rekindle this extinguished flame. Hopkins encourages us to look

towards the future to find this lost flame. We see how we have "trod"

over nature yet "nature is never spent." Nature has been crushed by

Man yet still endures this abuse. This is what allowed Hopkins to tell

Man to look on into the future. He believes that we should give up our

old habits and work towards achieving new goals. By contrast,

Wordsworth sees a much grimmer future. He believes that nature

"moves us not" as we have willingly given up our ties with the beauty

that surrounds us. As well he is convinced that the only way we could

salvage the future is to return to the past. This is a forward to the past

sort of concept, meaning; to go into the future we must become what

we once were. He would rather be a "pagan" then to live in our times.

Wordsworth emphasizes how the powerful civilizations of the past

have all concentrated on nature as the basis of their society. If Man is

ever to attain greatness again he must return to this sort of notion.

Both poets have unique opinions about solutions to this problem.

The ongoing puzzle of how man has forgotten nature persists up

to this very day. Each poet shows man's destruction of nature, the

effects of the Industrial Revolution and the ways of returning back to

mother earth. We can only being to wonder what Wordsworth and

Hopkins would think of our modern age that continues these nasty

habits. In fact, we have jumped a step beyond going into the

information age. I don't think anyone can answer this question, and I

certainly cannot. We must nevertheless continue to interpret these

poems to their full benefit. Only time will tell if man does completely

destroy nature but I believe he will not. We must remember to make

an influence and fight for our world, our home.

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