The Prelude, Book II
ll. 19ff. How does the poet contrast the "eagerness of infantine desire" with a developing double consciousness, "of myself and of some other being"?
ll. 203 ff. What is his purpose in describing the limitations of intellectual analysis? If analysis can only "mutiply distinctions," what are more significant qualities of the human mind?
ll. 255ff. What is the infant's relationship to the outer world, and why is this crucial to the poet's development?
ll. 276ff. What effect does becoming an orphan have on the poet? How can you tell?
ll. 304ff. Why is he attracted to states in which he perceives sound without images? Towards what end does he seek the trancelike calm described in ll. 348-51 (ll. 367-371 in 1805 version)?
ll. 363-418 (ll. 371-434 1805 version) How has his mind come to possess the "auxiliar light" which inspires him with reverence and transport? What truths and perceptions does it bring him?
ll. 419ff. (ll. 435ff. 1805 version) Is any function served by the concluding hymn to nature? Why does he include the references to his "Friend" (Coleridge)? Do you find the passages to the friend convincing? Why or what not? Is the structural emphasis on friendship consonant with the poet's view of his situation and role?
What are some images and types of incidents which recur throughout Books I and II? Have they altered in Book II, and if so, how?
Why would one want to become part of the cycles of nature, anyway? (This might seem self-evident, but many self-evident things need statement.) From what anxieties and difficulties would such a fusion free him?