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How do the authors of these poems present the city and city life?

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Introduction

How do the authors of these poems present the city and city life? All the writers use a sense of community to present city life. Patmore uses a collective pronoun when he says "They brought the man" which encourages a feeling of anonymity and suggests that this vindictive, unknown, anonymous force is responsible for the legalised killing of another human being known only to us as "the man" showing that the city singles out individuals. Patmore uses ambiguous language when he says "The common din" to highlight the regularity of these cruel events. Patmore uses open sounds like "tore" and "roar" to present the dehumanising crowd as animalistic. When Patmore says they "joined the roar" it shows the enticing, seductive power of the group and also implies that violence attracts individuals. Patmore uses a negative description when he says "the masses loosened fast" as it shows the break up of the group highlighting how superficial their union is and also shows that they only join the group out of blood lust and to take pleasure in others suffering. ...read more.

Middle

Patmore uses a maternal instinct to show that instead of a mother protecting their children from violent and brutal images, they would instead hold "up their babes to see" showing how much pleasure they get out of cruelty and death. Every element of humanity is made violent because "harsh tongues" adds to the mood of the crowd. Blake creates a juxtaposition of death and pain and luxury and dignity when he says "blood down palace walls" which is a paradoxical image which contrasts a positive and a negative image. Tom Gunn uses a clash of plosive sounds when he says "youthful Harlot's curse" emphasising the brutality of lost innocence. Both Patmore and Tom Gunn use images that glorify the city and city life. Patmore uses an inversion of normal images, like mothers encouraging children to kill and celebrate death, to convey an attractive side to the city even though it is grotesque. However they seem to be more glorified images of the city in 'In Praise of Cities' than a 'London Fete'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though the title "London" describes London with images of almost unrelenting negativity, it is still the case that the poem immortalises London. All three poets use unnatural images to present city life. The "damned" are meant to be unfortunate and suffer but Patmore describes them as rejoicing which suggests that they have been awarded a chance in this human realm to enjoy themselves. When Patmore describes these "blasphemed", he uses religion as a negative image which was unusual in the time that this poem was written because religion was a major consideration then. It is unusual when Blake describes the church as "blackening" because the church is traditionally portrayed as a symbol of moral purity and light. Traditional images are often used in literature however cities are usually portrayed as destructive and polluting while Gunn describes it as "the work of man" which celebrates and elegises the chaos of the city. Gunn revels in the artificial elements of the city when he says "cosmetic light" which makes us think instead of the sun which represents light and glorification of nature there is a superficial fa�ade or show of light. ...read more.

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