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As people grow and change from childhood into adulthood, there is always an element of lose and gain in terms of behaviors, preference and even general perception of the world. As a small child, the natural environment is always a marvel in itself from the flowers and other plants to the animals and insects. As young children, nobody is always keen on drawing any gender lines in terms of interactions. It is common for young children to even sleep together and plays together without choosing who is a girl and who is a boy. However, as they approach puberty, interest starts developing beyond just playing and walking together because body parts change and people acquire new knowledge. At puberty the children starts learning about sex the importance of having a boy/girlfriend. This is attributed to the fact that as children grow and turn into adults, they acquire a certain set of knowledge that changes their way of thinking and even behavior. It therefore gives an impression that at a tender age, because of lack of information, there is always an innocence that children portray, which fades away with time as they get to know what they were not born with.
The losses that people go through and the gains that people acquire in the process of changing from childhood into an adult must be put into their context to evaluate their worth. It would for instance not be in order for one to claim to have lost childhood happiness when he/she is still happy as an adult. It only means that he/she has acquired new avenues of happiness. It is also worth noting that gains in terms of happiness can only be achieved in places where one spends hi/her time. It cannot therefore be true to say that childhood happiness has been lost when one no longer engages in childhood activities. What appears lost in most cases is the interest, the urge and pleasure to engage in such childhood activities.
People actually come to gain more things they never had in childhood both physically, socially and even economically. The moment a person grows up and acquires wealth, he/she would for instance be more likely to take a yatch ride or play golf than play around with flowers the way he/she used to do during childhood days. Perhaps one loses the innocence with which he/she looked at things. It is thus worth noting that the low mental power of childhood influences activities of childhood while the sophisticated adult brain that has the ability to rationalize issues influences the rationalized decisions in adulthood hence losing and gaining in the aspect of change during the life cycle is a subjective affair.
The poem "Ode: Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth holds the idea that the soul existed before the physical body is perpetuated throughout the poem. It is engrained in the pre-existence concept that also holds that children are always connected with the ability to look and appreciate the divine within the environment/nature however, as they grow older, they lose this gift of divine vision because they become engrained in the worldly things. This poem is an ode because it is both a prayer and celebrates the lives of its subjects. The second aspect of seeking to celebrate its subjects hinders the progress of the poem in several instances. It mourns the loss of the vital and valuable childhood vision. It is also optical in the sense that it focuses on the subject of 'lack of vision or what is seen'
The change that people go through from childhood until they turn into adults have been linked to biological factors like genetical constitution as well as the experience gained from interaction with people (Taylor, pg 148). The process of change is a gradual process and can be characterized with stunning and even surprising behaviors at times. The acquisition of new knowledge acts as a revelation that always brings the confusion in making decisions and action (Jean, pg 79). This is particularly because people come to know the pleasures of life that were hidden from them initially. Things that were considered not worth doing become worth doing and the things that were considered worth doing all of a sudden become not worth doing. It gives the impression that humans will always act in accordance with the value of information they have (Bridges, 165).
Preference also plays an important part in the way people behave. Before one can set exposed to so many things, preferences will always be about the common things in the environment. As a child, preferences are limited to what the parents and the immediate natural environment can offer but as a child transforms into an adult, he/she gets to interact with many people, visits several places and knows about the existence of different varieties. This scenario turns events and people start preferring different things. To a certain extent, the acquisition of this knowledge has had both positive and negative impacts on the life of man and his environment (Jean, pg 121). It is for instance, the realization that timber can be used to create infrastructure like buildings that has led to the widespread destruction of forests in the world in search of wood products and to create space for constructing human settlements.
The narrator in the ode describes several parts of the environment around him that he cannot feel or appreciate anymore the way he used to do in his days as a kid. Until he experiences a moment that comes with joyful feelings to take away his despair, he thinks that he is indeed separated from nature! In Lines 22 to 26, he says that;
"To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong" (William, 2008, pg 23).
It appears therefore that every person in the world starts at an ideal point only for the world to slowly fade away into some kind of an extremely shadowy life. As the child grows, he/she acquires a different version of morality, which has causes him or her to lose the vision he/she ones had. It is therefore obvious that the second movement answers the questions raised in the first movement of the poem with despair.
In as much as it may always be held that a lot is lost between childhood and adulthood, the other perspective is that a lot has actually been gained. Only that in life everything has to happen at a certain point in time. This is because at a childhood age, there are certain things that someone cannot undertake (Bridges, pg 127). It is for instance common knowledge that children cannot procreate or even marry and hence it would be unnecessary to engage in such activities at a tender age because the only time one can marry is when he/she is old enough and feels comfortable to do so and can also take care of himself and his family.
A child has the ability to visually appreciate things that other persons do not appreciate because children do not have the ability to comprehend mortality. All adults have the ability to intimate immortality using his imaginations and hence use that as the premise of interaction with his fellow men. It is however clear that while childhood behaviors are always shed in adulthood; the memories remain for a long time into adulthood. Even the childhood memories have an influence in the type of actions taken by adults. They will always reminisce about childhood days and in a way derive the direction of life from such experiences and behaviors.
It is also important that the process of changing be seen in light of expectations and interests at any particular stage. As a young child, liking is motivated by things that evoke pleasure (Taylor, pg 34). This can be in the form of beauty or even appearance but as the child turns into an adult, most things are seen in terms of their utility value and therefore all those things that accrue much value are given priority and put in the system of operation in everyday life.
"Ode: Intimations of immortality" makes a very explicit belief of how life on earth is a deem representation of the initially pure life led at the earlier days as young persons' forgotten with time as people grow up. The narrator presents her ideas in a metaphysical context, sets the readers' minds in a state of oddness with the otherwise real happiness surrounding the twists, and turns in the story. The general idea in the piece however is that as an adult, one may not enjoy the things he/she used to enjoy as a child anymore because of the changes that occur in people's lives in terms of preferences, attitudes and acquisition of new knowledge. It therefore appears that until the time when the philosophic mind becomes able to internalize and understand nature deeper, real happiness cannot be achieved. Change that people go through has to be put in its rightful context before liking or disliking of the same can be done.