William Blake's Attitude Towards The Poor

3051 words - 12 pages

William Blake's Attitude Towards the 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. William Blake just wanted everyone to know what he clearly saw in life.

The poem 'The Chimney Sweeper' in the book, 'Songs of Innocence' was
written in 1789. It is about a boy, the narrator, who was sold by his
father to be a chimney sweeper. The narrator talks about his life as a
chimney sweeper and his friend Tom Dacre who is also in the same
Profession.
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At the beginning of the poem the narrator is introducing himself to
the reader, though he doesn't say anything about his name or age. His
mother died when he was very young and his dad is extremely poor, so
poor that the dad has to sell the boy. There is a phrase in the first
stanza, 'Could scarcely cry 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!' Blake tricks
the reader into thinking the boy is very unhappy, but he used his
words well, the boy is actually saying 'Sweep!' they do this so that
the people know what his profession is.

The narrator talks about his friend Tom Dacre who had to shave his
white hair so the soot didn't get into the hair. I quote, 'who cried
when his head, That curl'd like a lambs back, was shav'd,' Blake uses
the words, 'like a lambs back,' because it reminds us of Jesus. Blake
was a very religious person. Tom must be a small person because some
of the chimneys...

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