Compare and contrast the presentation of a winter scene in Wordsworth’s extract from the Prelude and the extract from Cider with Rosie The two extracts I am going to compare and write about are The Prelude and Cider with Rosie. The Prelude is written by William Wordsworth from before 1914 and is written in the style of poetry. Cider with Rosie is from 1959, it is in prose. Before 1914 nature was an important part of life, it was seen as magical and very romantic. Wordsworth used many techniques and styles to make the reader feel this feeling of sublime. Cider with Rosie is very different, it was not written in a time when nature was sublime, it is written simply to recap a memory that the author (Laurie Lee) has.
Laurie Lee (Cider with Rosie) uses a lot more imagery in his writing than Wordsworth does in his poem; it allows you to see what he is remembering. The opening line ‘it was a world of glass, sparkling and motionless’, is in the past tense and is quite effective as it makes the world sound very fragile and isolated. Later on in the 11/12th line he describes the pond ‘Then we saw it; black and flat as a tray, the skaters rolling round it like marbles’ I believe it is quite sinister the way he portrays the pond, the word ‘black’ gives a feeling of darkness quite different from the opening line.
The second part of the sentence ‘…rolling round it like marbles’ gives a feeling of wildness, like the skaters cannot control themselves. But there is also that sense of Laurie feeling excited and uncontained, which is then passed onto the reader. On the lines 26/27/28 there is the sentence ‘And you saw deep down… little bubbles like cold green stars, jagged ominous rocks, dead ribbons of lilies, drowned bulrushes loaded like rockets.’ This sentence is very dark, different from all the other sentences around it for the next sentence goes on to say ‘The frozen pond… was a very treadmill of pleasure.’ This is unaccountably different to the sinister one just before it. I believe that this is to show that the children feel safer up above the ice and that although only a sheet of ice separates them, they are not worried.
William Wordsworth uses a lot less imagery than Laurie Lee, but what he does use is powerful and well placed. For example ‘The orange sky of the evening died away’ simple yet effective it is also a clever way of letting us know the sun is setting although we already know it is evening time from the 7th line ‘The village clock toll’d six’. Nearer the end of the extract it gets a sense of darkness coming into it; ‘And all the shadowy banks on either side Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still Have I, reclining back upon my heels, Stopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs Wheeled by me…’
This is when Wordsworth is attempting to stop/slow down, and when he does finally stop he feels dizzy and the world is spinning around him, he describes this as sublime. It allows the reader to feel what he was feeling instead of seeing what he is seeing as you do in the Cider with Rosie extract. Both extracts have a happy scene with a sense of foreboding nearer the end, but mainly they are joyful extracts. Cider with Rosie uses words such as ‘sparkling’ or ‘motionless’ to set the scene. Allowing the reader to feel isolated and captured by the scene. The Prelude uses words such as ‘rapture’ or ‘twilight’ to draw the reader in and allow them to find themselves as part of the setting.
Another way both authors have of invite readers into the story (for they are both stories) is by using sound to illustrate the scene better, to add little details. Cider with Rosie does not use sound as much as The Prelude in the extract. Lines 6/7 have the section ‘and kicked the water-butt – to hear it’s solid sound” this is showing how the people who are in the memory are children who are messing around before going to this certain place which the memory revolves around.
It is an introduction into a memory, explaining the characters describing them a bit before the actual story comes into play. Later on in the 9/10/11th lines they actually get to the pond ‘We could hear the pond as we ran down the hill, the shouts that only water produces, the squeal of skates, the ring of ice and its hollow heaving grumble.’ I find the last small bit to be rather sinister, ‘hollow’ reminds the reader that it is only a sheet of ice separating the people from the water and ‘heaving’ makes the reader wonder if the ice is straining under the weight. The Prelude has a lot more sound involved in it, although not directly saying that there is a lot of sound it allows you to see that it is very noisy there. Lines 13-19 are just describing the noise:
‘The Pack, loud bellowing… … And not a voice was idle: with the din, Meanwhile, the precipices rang aloud, … Tinkled like iron, while far distant hills Into tumult sent an alien sound’ It shows how loud and noisy it would have been and how they must be enjoying themselves. It is very up-beat and happy, sublime, the excitement is obvious and so the reader again is drawn into it. The Prelude uses sound more than Cider with Rosie, which makes it harder to see the scene, but because the reader is more hearing the sounds that are there it feels more familiar and closer. Whereas Cider with Rosie is using imagery more than The Prelude which allows the reader to concentrate on what is happening and able to get a basic picture in their mind.
Nearer the end of both extracts there is a sense darkness, in The Prelude this is because of the time it was written in, where magical senses and nature is sublime, to get the reader to that sense. With Cider with Rosie I think it is because it is getting darker and in children’s imaginations this is when bad things start to happen, it allows the reader to become a child with the piece of writing.