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How does Blake express his views and attitudes to the society of his time?

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Introduction

How does Blake express his views and attitudes to the society of his time? Throughout his poems, Blake expresses his strong disapproving views on the church, the monarchy and society as many of his poems suggest he was a nonconformist. He was an accomplished poet, painter, and engraver. He created his own symbolic poems and paintings to reflect his social concerns of that time. He was a true original in thought and expression and this caused concern in many of the public and higher classes in his time. Blake lived during a time of intense social change; these changes gave Blake a chance to see one of the most dramatic stages in the transformation of the Western world from a somewhat simple agricultural society to a busy and rich industrial society. The American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution all happened during his lifetime. One example of Blake's disapproval of changes that happened in his time comes in his poem "London". For instance, the narrator in "London" describes both the Thames and the city streets as "chartered," or controlled by people only interested in making money. ...read more.

Middle

Yet Blake never writes this he makes it clear with all the poor young women having to sell their bodies ""How the youthful harlots curse" and the children working from birth "How the chimney sweepers cry". London is one of Blake's only poems where he reflects upon his views from his own perspective yet in many other poems he expresses his views "out the mouth of babes". Children have always been able to say just what's they want when an adults radical views would quickly be frowned upon. In doing this Blake hopes for his poems to be taken more seriously yet not get locked up for his "madness". This is real worry to William Blake, as the general public would quickly frown upon anything new or radical in his time. This technique is used in "The Little Vagabond" where he declares some very critical comments on the church yet makes up for it by voicing them from a "Little vagabond" or a cheeky young lad. This child manages to produce some very outrageous yet serious views and all seem to have some truth behind them; this way people can only attack Blake if they agree with his views. ...read more.

Conclusion

However "and god would have no more quarrel with the devil or the barrel; but kiss him, and kiss him both drink and apparel" suggests in this poem god ends up kissing them and having a drink of alcohol with the devil. This attempts to suggest that god will give up his morals and take part in what he is ethically against. In the poems "The chimney sweepers" Blake attempts to tackle the issue of the exploitation of children being made to work at such a young age. This is also done from a perspective of children as the industrial revolution completely changed their lives. Both these poems are challenging and can be interpreted in many different ways. The first chimney sweep poem is expressed from a very naive perspective and tells a simple tale of a chimney sweeps dream. "And so he was quiet, & that very night, as Tom was sleeping he had such a sight" from here the poem continues to explain poor Tom Darcy's dream. And in this wishful dream are thoughts of him leading what should be a normal child's life "Then down a green plain leaping, laughing they run" rather than the harsh reality of their own lives. ...read more.

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