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What seems to you to be the difference between Innocence and Experience in the poems that you have read?

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What seems to you to be the difference between Innocence and Experience in the poems that you have read? "The idyllic world of Innocence is exposed as na�ve and foolish by the subversive cynicism of Experience." The world of Innocence is happy and loving, and can be compared to Arcadia and the Garden of Eden, the place of true innocence and lack of knowledge. However, Experience is actual reality of what living in the real world is actually like, where people have experienced the problems in the world. They are aware of these problems due to experience. However, the world of Innocence encompasses no such problems, and so Experience sees it as "na�ve and foolish", as it is not prepared for life. Whereas Innocence is all about the love of God, fertility and joy, Experience is about jealousy, selfishness and general cold-heartedness. Love, in Innocence, is portrayed as happiness and unity between humans and with the divine and nature, with God coming alive with divine love. ...read more.


Innocence is often symbolised by happiness and this can be seen in The Introduction where the piper seems very happy as he is "piping down the valleys wild". He pipes his "songs of pleasant glee" when he sees a child, who is also happy, as shown with his laughter. The child is almost angelic as he is seen on a cloud and this vision of a child, represents the divine, as this is an angelic and heavenly vision of humans, which is only where the divine can be seen. The imagination for Blake is the divine and so this child is certainly a vision of an angel. Not only does the child represent innocence, but the piper then pipes "a song about a Lamb", lambs being both the Lamb of God and of innocence. Both these symbols of a lamb and child therefore represent both innocence and Jesus himself. General happiness and joy, is replaced by sadness and grief, while the unity of the divine and humans is replaced with a fear of God, as shown in The Little Girl Lost. ...read more.


Youth and elders enjoy each other's company and in fact experience seems to bring out innocence in "Old John." The old seem to feel rejuvenated by the positive energy from the playful children, even though their youthful energy passed away when they "In our youth time were seen, On the Ecchoing Green." The general harmony of people together illustrates divine love and causes God to become alive, as is shown in the quotation: "God becomes as we are, that we may be as he is." The Ecchoing Green, a place metaphor for the unity of all and God due to the harmony that is present, can be compared to The Divine Image, which writes of the "virtues of delight" and happiness. These, however, are discarded by Experience with poems, such as A Poison Tree and Infant Sorrow, which introduce the themes of sadness and revenge. Death is introduced only in Experience, as Innocence is not developed enough to experience this. The cynical view of Experience wipes aside Innocence in the view that it is far to simple, with little knowledge of reality and that which truly happens. ...read more.

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