Wordsworth's Poetical Works

Poem Tintern Abbey

Q. Central Idea of William Wordsworth's poem Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintrn Abbey.

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Wordsworth seems to value this period of his life, and remembers it with a somewhat nostalgic air, although he admits that in this simpler time ("The coarser pleasures of my boyish days"), he was not so sophisticated as he is now. In the present, he is weighed down by more serious thoughts. He alludes to a loss of faith and a sense of disheartenment. This transition is widely believed to refer to Wordsworth's changing attitude towards the French Revolution. Having visited France at the height of the Revolution, Wordsworth was inspired by the ideals of the Republican movement. Their emphasis on the value of the individual, imagination, and liberty inspired him and filled him with a sense of optimism. By 1798, however, Wordsworth was already losing faith in the movement, as it had by then degenerated into widespread violence. Meanwhile, as France and Britain entered the conflict, Wordsworth was prevented from seeing his family in France and lost his faith in humanity's capacity for harmony. Wordsworth turns to nature to find the peace he cannot find in civilization.