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William Blake is a social critic of his time. Who does he criticise and what does he think about the poor, especially poor?

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Introduction

William Blake is a social critic of his time. Who does he criticise and what does he think about the poor, especially poor? William Blake was born in 1757 and of an early age he wrote poetry, soon enough he became well known to the Church and also the wealthy. Blake was very critical towards the Church despite being a firm believer of God. He thought that the Church were overpowering the poor side of the Country. Blake would get his message through to others in the use of poetry, if people studied the poems they would get a clear idea of Blake's views. William Blake wrote two books which included some of his poems, they were called 'Songs of Innocence' and 'Songs of Experience.' Songs of Innocence was written in 1789, five years earlier than 'Songs of Experience'. This book contains poems of trickery, I say this because if you just read the poems you would think that he is writing about happiness, but if you look harder at each line individually you would see that he is trying to state the unhappiness in the world, the darker side of the poems. The other book 'Songs of Experience' contains some of the same titles of poems but with different contents. If you compare the two books you will see that this book contains the truth about the world, with the misery. Everyone was certain in thinking if they work as what they are and work hard at it, they will go to heaven. People on the poor side thought going to heaven would be freedom. Blake doesn't just get his message through to the Church but also the wealthy, he wanted the affluent people to know the damages they have caused in the direction of the poor. Blake died in 1828, at a grand age of 71, in is time he had made a huge range of poems from Short to Long. ...read more.

Middle

If he is a little boy it will give the feeling he is helpless and vulnerable which could make him a target for criminals, he is a little black thing because all the soot goes under the skin making it look black, the writer says he is insignificant by writing a little black thing. The boy is also standing out because his skin is black from the soot and he is standing in white snow, the boy is in the road or path shouting, "'weep! 'weep!" he is actually saying sweep! sweep! Very similar to the poem in 'Songs of Experience.' The writer says it, as weep because it gives the feeling the boy is unhappy or miserable. I quote, ' Crying weep! weep! In notes of woe.' It is in notes of woe because he is shouting 'sweep' in a distressed way. Somebody asks where his parents are and he answers, 'They are both gone up to the Church to pray.' This means that the parents have left the child behind to make money by himself. The boy is pretending to be happy so the parents didn't feel guilty about making him a chimney-sweeper. He pretended to be happy, and he smiled in winter when he was cold and when no one cared for him just to make the best of things. The parents clothed him in sweepers clothes but the writer says it as clothes of death because a lot of people who put on chimney-sweeper clothes died, the parents didn't even give the boy a say in what he was going to do, so children didn't have right to argue back about their future. The parents also taught him to sing notes of woe, meaning they taught him to shout sweep! sweep! He still pretends to be happy for the parents sake, and because the parents think the child is happy they think they have done the right choice by making him a chimney-sweeper. ...read more.

Conclusion

Blake is emphasizing that the poor have to be prostitutes to make money. In the second line William is highlighting that the prostitutes are a curse because they can cause STD (sexually transmitted disease) to the client they are dealing with. It can also be the curse the prostitutes have because they can get beaten up and can get pregnant. In the third line he is trying to say when the prostitute does gets pregnant then the baby will be of no importance to the prostitute, it is just another mouth to feed. And in the last line in the last stanza Mr. Blake is saying that prostitutes could give diseases to their clients and then the client could give it tot his wife and so on, it could cause a lot of deaths. Also in the last line it says, '...the marriage hearse,' marriage is a good thing, a thing that is congratulated and W.B has put a happy word and connected it to hearse and a hearse is a sad, miserable, glum and depressing thing. Blake is doing this because marriage is only happy when the rich do it and it is a despondent occasion when the poor get married. William Blake chose to criticise the Church and the wealthy, including the priests and the King. Blake chose to criticise the priest and King for not noticing and accepting the bad environment the poor are living in. Blake doesn't like the Priest and Church for not caring for the poor, even though they worship God and the Priest, it is unfair. Blake thought very highly of children, he felt sorry for the children who became chimney sweeping. He states this many times in his poetry. He thought that the children were the future and that they shouldn't be treated like dirt. They shouldn't get starved for hunger, the wealthy should have looked after the children, but they didn't. The children didn't get any importance then. Blake wanted the rich to know the suffering and pain they have put the poor side through. ...read more.

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