Irrespective of being posted in 1798, William Wordsworth’s “The Thorn” gracefully takes up many matters still questionable today in the 21st century. Themes such as pregnancy out of wedlock, murder, illigal baby killing, and ghosts are offered and tackled. Wordsworth uses detailed landscape as well as character ambiguity to cause someone to believe that Martha Beam is merely an apparition protecting the grave of her infant boy.
The narrator creates the composition by conveying the horrid ugliness of a thorn not even as high as his knees, developing on an extravagant mossy slope. He demonstrates the lovely, striking colors of: “This ton of the planet o’ergrown with moss, /Which close near the thorn the truth is, /So clean in all its beauteous dyes, ” (Wordsworth 104). In contrast with all the spectacular landscape, he begins to mention and romanticize a little plot of land that appears to be a grave fit for an infant kid. The narrator appears to turn into infatuated with not only the grave, however the history behind it as well.
In stanza VII, he says:
“At every times of the morning and night
This wretched woman thither goes
And she is seen to every star
And every wind that blows, ” (Wordsworth 105).
At this point inside the poem, we do not know whom this female is that rests by the baby’s grave. We can deduce there is something different about her nevertheless , because the superstars and the blowing wind do not commonly know of individual human beings. The narrator of the poem then simply goes on to declare:
“In rain, in tempest, and in snow
Thus to the dreary mountain-top
Does this poor woman move?
And why she rests beside the thorn
When the green day-light’s in the sky
Or the whirlwind’s on the slope
Or cold air is usually keen and still, ” (Wordsworth 105).
The irony with this passage is the fact mortals, or perhaps average human beings, would not be able to endure these extreme climate conditions.
The narrator continues to explain the fact that woman, to whom is wearing a scarlet cloak, rests by the burial plot day and night and rain or perhaps shine. Your woman cries to herself “Oh misery! oh yea misery! /Oh woe is usually me! oh yea misery! inch (Wordsworth 105). The narrator appears to be new to the town where he is definitely living, and delves in to the story of this woman known as Martha Ray. We find away that the girl was engaged to a man named Stephen Hill, and she started to be pregnant away of wedlock and then was left in the altar. As a result of time period that piece was written during, Martha Ray would not had been allowed to include a child whilst unmarried, and therefore retreated to the hill far away from the community. It is unclear as to whether or not the lady gave beginning to the baby, however , in line with the village experience he is buried underneath the tree surrounding the thorn that Martha Ray clings to, and your woman indeed killed him after giving birth.
In stanza XVI, the narrator mentions:
“Cries coming from the mountain-head
Some plainly living voices were
And others, I’ve heard many claim
Were the voices from the dead:
I cannot think, whate’er they say
They’d to do with Martha Ray” (Wordsworth 108).
This is the least ambiguous accusation that Wordsworth makes about Martha Ray being an apparition, or immortal. Similarly, the truth that the people in the community have made up stories regarding her, however, not actually embarked to inquire about them, causes Martha Ray’s figure to be dubious and absence credibility. The moss that she almost always sits after is said to be scarlet with the drops of her infant’s bloodstream. She is as well always within a scarlet hide, which could always be colored because of the accusation that she killed her child shortly after having been born, and has not still left the hill since.
As the narrator goes toward the slope to inquire about the village gossip, he discovers Martha Beam by the burial plot. “I did not speak—I found her deal with, /Her deal with is was enough personally, /I flipped about and heard her cry, inches (Wordsworth 109). The narrator is alarmed by Martha Ray, and hides while observing her from very far. He has now seen evidence of the infant’s grave which the people in the village possess spoken of:
“The darkness of a girl you search for
A baby and a infant’s face
Which it looks at you
Whene’er anyone looks on it, ’tis plain
The newborn looks at you again” (Wordsworth 110).
The unconformity of Martha Ray’s persona, with her credibility staying built solely on gossip, causes the reader to issue her physical existence. The narrator claims in stanza XIII: “Yet often your woman was dry sad/From her exceeding pain” (Wordsworth 107). It could easily be construed that Martha Ray acquired died via heartache, a medically indisputable fact, after murdering her newborn baby child, and was cursed to remain in the site of her baby’s grave.
“The Thorn” is a very intensifying poem to get the late 1700s. 1 might think of The Scarlet Letter, simply by both expression association and content, when ever reading this poem. In this period, it would be unheard of to give birth to a child out of wedlock, consequently , this subtly brings up the controversy of abortion as well as the murder of a child which has already been born.
As reinforced through the poem, Martha Rays and the narrators not enough credibility support the likelihood of Martha Ray being an apparition.