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Blake believed that children were oppressed by adults. How far do his poems confirm this view ?

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Introduction

Blake believed that children were oppressed by adults. How far do his poems confirm this view Blake was a poet who wrote in the Romantic period. He had idealistic views about life, and believed that the traditional country way of life was the best way to live. He despised the industry that was establishing itself in England because it was the opposite of the ideal country lifestyle that Blake idealised. The idea that Blake believed that children were oppressed is an interesting one, because, there are a number of poems which suggest different ideas about this topic. The poems that I will be using to address this issue are 'The Echoing Green,' 'Nurses Song,' from innocence and the 'Nurses Song,' from experience. 'The Echoing green,' is quite a positive poem. The image of the sun rising: 'The sun does rise,' on the first line symbolises new life beginning and immediately establishes a positive tone to the poem. In the second stanza Blake writes, 'Such, such were the joys When we were all, girls and boys, In our youth time were seen On the echoing green.' ...read more.

Middle

The fact that the children don't want to come in from play could show that the children want to delay the troubles and responsibility of old age by playing for longer. The significance of the nurse letting them play shows that she understands that they must be able to have fun and be free from responsibility before it is too late, this doesn't suggest that Blake feels that children are oppressed. The two poems that I have examined so far haven't displayed any evidence for the view that Blake feels that children are oppressed. 'Nurses Song,' and 'The Echoing Green,' were both taken from innocence, the second 'Nurses Song,' is taken from experience and the message and tone of the poem is much more sinister. As I have mentioned the tone of the poem is much more sinister. The use of the word 'whisperings,' shows an air of secrecy in the children which wasn't present in the 'Nurses song,' form innocence. The words of the nurse for the song in experience show that she is envious of the children: she says, 'The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind, My face turns green and pale.' ...read more.

Conclusion

One being that you should enjoy your childhood whilst you can because you cannot retrieve it once you are older and have the hardships and responsibility of life on your back. And the second is that you should prepare yourself for the hardships of life in your childhood because life is about the survival of the fittest. The nurse certainly has a negative view of the childish desire for play which clearly has an effect on the children. The fact that they the are whispering shows that they are afraid of the nurse, and that they cannot express their true thoughts and desires freely, which is why they whisper, and therefore shows that Blake feels that children are oppressed. I feel that the two poems from innocence which are 'The Echoing Green,' and 'The Nurses Song,' display Blake's ideological view of country life which I referred to in my introduction, and show his desire for childhood to be enjoyed. But the 'Nurses Song,' form experience shows the reality of life: that it is hard, and people, like the nurse in the song aren't happy and full of joy, like the memories of the old people in 'The Echoing Green,' and therefore, Blake's poetry confirms the view that children are oppressed by adults. ...read more.

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