Wordsworth, Child Psychology, and the Growth of the Mind

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Abstract

This chapter explores Wordsworth’s philosophical attitudes towards psychological development and the growth of the child’s mind. It situates Wordsworth’s psychological poetry in the context of Enlightenment philosophical and scientific discourses upon the nature of the mind. Wordsworth’s poetry embodies a continuation of Enlightenment thought, but it also manifests a sceptical critique of the Enlightenment, and of the limits of human understanding of the mind. Wordsworth’s two most seminal poems on the growth of the child’s mind are The Prelude (1805) and Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood (1807). This chapter defines Wordsworth’s concept of psychological development through the dialectical relationship between these poems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter41
Pages712-732
ISBN (Print)9780199662128
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

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