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Appreciation for London by William Blake

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Gemma Dormer Appreciation for London by William Blake The first stanza of the poem London opens with the image of Blake as he wanders "thro' each charter'd street". Blake selected the word "charter'd" to convey various images in the readers mind. The immediate image the audience will visualize is that the streets of London were mapped out. However, on further examination the reader can determine that Blake had another meaning for the word. The word charter is also a document bestowing certain rights on a town or city. A perspective that the reader could adopt is the word is suggesting a proud independence of a city. ...read more.


There is also another connotation to the use of "marks" that the reader may miss upon the first reading. Once the reader has gained the knowledge, they can decipher that the biblical references exemplify a deeper meaning to the poem. The reader can then question was it Blake's intention to assume that the passers by where guilty of out casting, or was it his intention to indicate the pity and show mercy to the downtrodden? Alternatively, did Blake intend the "marks" to be a sign of guilt after the predictability of punishment? The word mark may appear an innocent placement in the poem however; it shows the reader an entire collection of ideas that can be explored. ...read more.


He does not however specify which is true so it is the audiences decision how they perceive the fraises. The last stanza finishes with a contrast between the innocent and corrupted. "How the youthful harlot's curse, blasts the new-born infant's tear" Blake is showing his audience how an innocent baby can be born into the natural world, but society does not let anyone stay innocent for long hence the child is born to a corrupt "youthful harlot." The chimneysweeper getting dirty also reflects how people can be corrupted. The poem then concludes with the image of a "marriage hearse" which combines desire with destruction and love with death. ...read more.

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