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Both The Moment by Margaret Atwood and London by William Blake are poems about mans relationship and dependency on nature

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Introduction

Both ?The Moment? by Margaret Atwood and ?London? by William Blake are poems about man?s relationship and dependency on nature. They both teach the message that you need to embrace nature to survive as a human; and warn against the consequences of not doing so. Where Atwood?s poem is more of a warning about what could happen if we reject nature, Blake let?s us experience what this is actually like, he describes humans trying what Atwood has warned against. The tone of the poems is very different. Blake?s tone could be described as morbid, oppressive and disillusioned with words like ?woe? and ?blackening,? where the tone of Atwood?s poem is clearer and more didactic, more suited to delivering the political message it aims to, and less personal than Blake?s narrative poem. There are elements of a misanthropic nature in both poems. Atwood?s poem seems to be quite mocking of the human race, showing how oblivious we are to what we are bringing upon ourselves, with the line ?house, half-acre, square mile, island, country? sounding somewhat like a politicians speech. Blake is very bitter and condemns man in his outcry against the industrialisation of London. ...read more.

Middle

Atwood uses rhythm in her second stanza to warn against challenging nature. She tells how the ?trees will unloose their soft arms from around you? and the ?air will move back from you.? This whole stanza has a feel of things moving backwards like a tape in rewind. Time moves forwards, unlike in this stanza. Here, Atwood is using Blake?s idea of how this behaviour is unnatural. Atwood is also telling us how we can?t survive without nature; we need ?air? to breathe. The last line ?and you can?t breathe,? breaks the flow of the poem, making you take a breath. This almost replicated the action of gasping for air. Blake also warns against trying to break away from nature, he describes a city full of misery and ?woe.? Although Atwood focuses more on how nature will reject us and the consequences of nature, where Blake talks more about human suffering and human consequences, with more manmade references, poet poets use the idea of trying to control nature. Blake uses oxymoron?s to show this. The ideas of ?wandering? through a ?chartered? street and a ?chartered? river which is ?flowing? seem to contradict themselves. ...read more.

Conclusion

In ?London,? Blake?s use of the plosive /b/ in ?ban? ?blasts? ?blackening? ?blood? ?new-born? and ?blights? explodes from the lips to join the crying and cursing on the London streets, making the poem quite sensory and allowing the reader to actually experience ?London.? In the second stanza of ?The Moment,? the sounds start from a soft /s/ and gradually build up through a harsher /b/ to a sinister ?hissing? sound in the alliteration ?cliffs fissure and collapse.? This reflects the worsening of the damage nature will cause and how humans will carry on until it is too late. Blake also uses an alliteration in ?mind-forged manacles,? reinforcing the idea that this misery, or impending misery in Atwood?s cause, is entirely self-inflicted by humans. ?Mind-forged? gives the idea that people are trapped by their own actions, and are possibly so brainwashed by the authorities striving for the glory of industrialisation, that even though they see themselves as helpless, they do not even consider the possibility of rebelling. This also has a sense of a loss of freedom and free will. The main feeling, I believe, conveying in both poems is blame on humans for our actions and the idea of a need for change soon before we have to face the consequences. ...read more.

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