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In his poetry Blake writes about his thoughts and feelings concerning the society around him. Comment on Blake’s attitudes in several poems of your choice and explain how effective the poems are in presenting his views.

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Introduction

In his poetry Blake writes about his thoughts and feelings concerning the society around him. Comment on Blake's attitudes in several poems of your choice and explain how effective the poems are in presenting his views. William Blake, who lived in the latter half of the eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth, was a profound poet who was, in large part, responsible for bringing about the Romantic Movement in poetry. Blake was an extremely eccentric man, who was viewed by most of the people of the time as mad, except for a small group of loyal followers who saw him as a genius. Blake was an individual to say the least, who had his own views on everything, He didn't automatically agree with set views that were seen to be proper, instead he acted like his own man and made decisions for himself. His views at the time would have seemed rebellious and very unorthodox, which is probably the reason that his work only became famous long after his death. Yet seeing his paintings, and reading his poems and engravings in the modern world, where everyone has freedom of speech, the somewhat outrageous aspect that they used to have has diminished. To help me convey his views on the society that he lived in I have selected three poems. ...read more.

Middle

Oh what sweet company! The poem starts off nice and cheerfully, Blake uses strong happy words like love to emphasise the joy of the verse. The happiness is again emphasised by using happy images like singing birds. This is made more powerful by saying that birds were singing on every tree. Although the image of a huntsman isn't exactly a happy, joyful image it helps to display the free atmosphere that he is trying to create. On the next line when he says 'the skylarks sing with me' he is again highlighting that every thing is happy, and that he is in harmony with nature. The last line in the stanza summarises the whole verse, and ends it with a very cheerful line. But to got to school in a Summer Morn, Oh! it drives all joy away. Under a cruel eye outworn The little ones spend the day In sighing and dismay The first two lines show what he thinks of school. That on a summer morning when you should be happy and joyful, having to go to school makes you miserable. Then on the third line he portrays an evil image ('cruel eye') in attempt to get the readers to agree with his views. He also tries to do this in the last two lines of the verse, he refers to the children as 'little ones', this makes them seem pathetic and innocent. ...read more.

Conclusion

This verse is about the collapse of marriages and as a result, children's lives. He is saying that men turning to prostitutes help to destroy marriage, and the babies, whether born to harlots of married women stand little chance in life. He uses very strong imagery to convey his views, like 'blights with plagues the marriage hearse'. Normally marriage is associated with joy and happiness, the beginning of a new life, not with death and misery. After analysing the three poems it is very clear to see what his views are regarding the society of the time. 'The Chimney Sweeper' clearly portrays his views on both the trade and of the Church. He comments and describes the trade as being like death, and the church seaming to agree with the awful trade seams like a hypocrisy. In 'The School Boy' he clearly shows how he sees the schools. He describes them as places of misery, places where children are too scared to learn. He shows how he thinks the school does more harm than good in preparing the child for later life. In 'London' his views cover both the people and the land. He discusses how the land is all owned, and nothing is free. He talks about the rules and regulations that man has set upon himself and how the downfall of marriages leads to the child having little chance in life. He also refers back to his views of the church and chimney sweeping. Nick Robinson 10C ...read more.

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