William Wordsworth's sonnet "Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent's Narrow Room," explains how a person has a place and purpose that they themselves can only discover. Following the classic Italian sonnet format, Wordsworth uses iambic pentameter and a certain rhyme scheme to guide the reader through a series of cases that may lead the reader into believing that we are all forced into a certain lifestyle or routine. But, just as most traditional sonnets, there is a breaking point in which the tone changes and we find that we force ourselves into certain paths. In doing so, we find our purpose and thrive in it. .
Wordsworth begins this poem with a series of different people and the professions they seem to have been forced into. He says "nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room: and hermits are contented with their cells; and students with their pensive citadels" (lines 1-3). Although Wordsworth does not clearly state his position, the lines take on a bit of a sarcastic tone that makes the reader think that nuns, hermits, and students are not truly "contented" with their lifestyle. Furthermore, he uses words such as "narrow room" and "cells" as if to say that these people are in some sort of mental or emotional prison. Has this mental prison been imposed upon us?.
Although Wordsworth begins the poem with a seemingly bitter tone, the tone changes when he says "sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for the bloom" (line 5). This is so significant because it is the turning point in the poem that begins to shed light on the true meaning of the poem. It is odd to think that something as small as a bee can "soar" but as we look closer, Wordsworth is telling us that whatever lifestyle we may be put in is where we can bloom. He goes on to say "in truth the prison, unto which we doom ourselves" (lines 8-9). This goes to say that we are not put into certain paths.