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William Blake English Coursework

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From the poems that you have studied, what have you learnt about Blake's attitude to the treatment of children in his time? How does he try to persuade his reader to empathise with his characters? Which poem (or poems) do you think best achieve this aim, and why? One of Blake's main influences was the society in which he lived in. William Blake was born on November 28, 1757 in London. Blake was influenced by events in both the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, by the attitude of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. They inspired a new way of looking at the world. Blake thought that imagination was the force of art, and people thought his art was too adventurous and unconventional for that time. William Blake witnessed the effect Britain's war with republican France had on society, and he talks about this in "London (Songs of Experience)" and "The Chimney Sweeper (Songs of Experience)" He had radical religious and political ideas, which led him to write Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. In a lot of Blake's poems, he tackles the issue of child labour. After the industrial revolution, with a rise in population came a rise in the number of children being made to work. ...read more.


and "The little ones spend their day/In sighing and dismay". Blake is trying to make the reader agree that there is something wrong with society, and that they are doing wrong by making innocent children go to school, when they should be free. At the start of the poem, Blake represents the schoolboy as a skylark ("And the skylark sings with me"). A skylark is associated with the morning and therefore connected to the children, and then connected to the boy himself. The skylark only sings in the sky, and the skylark is often used as a nickname for someone who is doing well, and this is why Blake used this particular bird to represent the schoolboy. Later in the poem, Blake refers to the schoolboy as a flower bud, using a metaphor to say the schoolboy is beautiful and should be free. In "The School Boy", Blake uses a contrast of positive and negative words next to each other to create an oxymoron. He uses phrases like "blossoms blow away" and "the tender plants are stripped" to highlight the fact that the schoolboy cannot experience the freedom as it has been taken away from him. ...read more.


It is a complete contrast to "Infant Joy" and it is not seen from a real baby's point of view, so it is not a joyful or na�ve outlook on life, but it shows a more real view from the baby that is wise. The baby has been brought into a world of suffering, not joy. This world does not welcome the baby, but Blake describes how "My mother groan'd! my father wept./Into the dangerous world I leapt". Both stanzas in the poem use a lot of plosives, like "piping" and "bound", which makes the poem sound abrupt, and makes the reader more shocked. The phrase "Like a fiend hid in a cloud", makes the baby sound like a devil in the thundercloud, and that the baby is seen as threatening and unwanted by the family. The reader automatically sympathises with the baby and the way the baby has been welcomed into the world. Many of Blake's poems highlight the treatment of the children, and I think the poems that best achieve this are the ones Blake wrote for Songs of Experience, as these are usually cynical views that draw the reader's attention and makes the agree with Blake. 1,575 words. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rachel Everingham William Blake Poetry Coursework ...read more.

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