Analysis of London by William Blake Essay

Decent Essays
Historic poetry is unique in the respect that it gives readers an insight into a certain historic time period that textbooks cannot provide. Historic poetry not only gives a description of the time period but it allows the readers to connect to the emotions of the poet and to a point experience what it would have felt to live in that era. This is the case with William Blake’s poem London. London not only describes the horrid condition of England’s lower class during the industrial revolution but it also connects this description with a strong emotion response from the speaker. Blake’s stylistic and structure choices through out the poem paint a dark and morbid view of London but the emotion of the poem remains divide. The words of the…show more content…
The speaker’s apparent age suggests that London is a poem of experience rather than innocence. This is an important distinction because the experience of the speaker means that he is old enough to envision an ideal world and to ask questions and make judgment towards the people in power. It is from the format of the speaker’s judgments and questions that the poem is able to evoke the two emotions of sympathy and bitterness in the readers. The delivery of the speaker’s comments about London’s inhabitants creates a separation between him and the events of the poem. The speaker makes mention of people but it is always of what they have left behind or what he can hear from them. For example the speaker says “In the cry of every Man” ( Blake 5) instead of saying he sees the men crying. The wording of the statements implies that the speaker is not talking to the lower class of London but rather using them as examples to address and chastise the upper class for ignoring the hardships that continue to endure around them. However, because he is not directly interacting with the people who need his help, it feels like he is doing this for his own gain and that he is just using the people to prove a point about the running of the government. He could have chosen any negative aspect of life in London but settled on the lower class because their suffering is the most noticeable. This evokes a stronger sense of sympathy form the readers towards the
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