• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Symbolic Analysis of William Blake's "London".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Symbolic Analysis of William Blake's "London" .........In his reflection "London," William Blake laments the poverty faced by the lower class of modern, industrialized London, and he can find no note of consolation or hope for their future. The poet uses this theme to dramatically depict the conditions in which the oppressed lower class is forced to live; he develops the theme through the use of sounds, symbolism, and an ironic twist of words in the last line that expresses Blake's ultimate belief in the hopelessness of the situation. The poem is dominated by a rigid iambic meter that mirrors the rigidity and immutability of the lives of the poor and the oppressive class system. .........The first stanza begins with the poet describing himself walking through the "charter'd" streets of the city near the "charter'd" Thames-every aspect of the city has been sanctioned and organized by the ruling class-seeing expressions of weakness and woe on the faces of all the people he meets. The streets and the river make up a network that has been laid out and chartered by the wealthy class to control the poor. ...read more.

Middle

The institution has become hypocritical because, while it still preaches pity, it fails to offer any remedy to the oppression of the poor. The soldier, who should be a symbol of the strength and glory of England, is nothing more than another poverty-stricken human, and so the depiction of his sigh running in blood down palace walls symbolizes that the beauty and glory of England-the palace-is marred and made grotesque by the oppression of the soldier class. .........The fourth and final stanza returns to a slightly more concrete depiction of what "most thro' midnight streets [he] hear[s]": the "youthful Harlot's curse" not only "blasts the new born infant's tear," but also "blights with plagues the Marriage hearse." The unusual, poignant juxtaposition of "marriage" with "hearse" brings the mood of hopelessness to a peak; as a result of sexually transmitted diseases, marriage and sex are now connected with death, not life. ........."London" is written in a heavily iambic meter that remains rigid throughout, emphasizing the drudgery and immutability of the lives of the people Blake observes as he walks through the streets. ...read more.

Conclusion

.........Blake wrote "London" two hundred years ago, to protest the oppressive class system of the city he lived in, and yet his message is very easy to understand today. The fact is that there are many places in the world today where the poor are treated in much the same way as the people of London two hundred years ago. It is not a small-scale phenomenon-hundreds of millions of poverty-stricken people continue to struggle through the trials of daily survival, and their suffering weighs heavily on our consciences. The high standard of living we enjoy in the United States is a result of the fact that we, along with other powerful industrialized and developed nations, control most of the wealth and markets of the world. The United States alone controls 25% of the world's wealth with only 6% of its population. Every extra dollar we spend on ourselves to further raise our standard of living helps perpetuate the world's current economic system that, like the class system of England two hundred years ago, offers little hope of a better life to the great majority of suffering poor. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Blake section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Blake essays

  1. A Symbolic Analysis of William Blake's

    This and all later stanzas focuses on the sounds that Blake hears, particularly the cries of the poor, as he walks through the city. .........The third stanza marks a change in tone to a more abstract, symbolic depiction of a "black'ning Church" being "appalled" by the "Chimney-sweeper's cry," and the

  2. The Analysis of William Blake's 'The Tyger and the lamb'.

    The innocence they had in the Garden because they knew of nothing else. They knew of nothing of being embarrassed for being naked so, they went around naked. So when they ate the forbidden fruit, they gained this knowledge and covered themselves up, and when they were thrown out of the garden began talking in metaphors.

  1. Analysis on London by W Blak

    This is why the 'blackening church' also represents the smoke and soot. 'appalls' in line 10 is exaggerating the blame of the church as well as meaning 'goes pale' which is a juxtaposition with 'blackening.' It is as though the blackened stone is a mark of sin on the church.

  2. London Knights - Situation analysis.

    At the same time, the sport became more popular in Canada. They have just completed the fourth exciting season at the London Arena. Their objective is to get 10,000 spectators into the arena for every match. They have already increased their spectators up to 5,500 this season.

  1. London requires world class infrastructure and a transport system which maximises the city's economic ...

    Improvement in the service is believed to increase the economic prosperity and accessibility in the Capital. Integrating National Rail National Rail is the linkage within the nation. A better Rail system is very beneficial to London's world city economy, it will also bring more convenience to travelers in south London

  2. "How the population of Deptford has changed from 1945-1999".

    and got an apprenticeship with a photography studio before war took place. Life for Susanne wasn't going to well as she had to leave the studio as a result of lack of war workers and which was consider as unnecessary at war.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work