Childhood

1804 Words Jul 17th, 2018 8 Pages
At its fundamental level, adulthood is simply the end of childhood, and the two stages are, by all accounts, drastically different. In the major works of poetry by William Blake and William Wordsworth, the dynamic between these two phases of life is analyzed and articulated. In both Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience and many of Wordsworth’s works, childhood is portrayed as a superior state of mental capacity and freedom. The two poets echo one another in asserting that the individual’s progression into adulthood diminishes this childhood voice. In essence, both poets demonstrate an adoration for the vision possessed by a child, and an aversion to the mental state of adulthood. Although both Blake and Wordsworth show childhood as …show more content…
The speaker, in the final stanza, is visibly confused and frustrated by the girl’s insistence that life continues after death. The pace in the final stanza slows, as if to give voice to the speaker’s confusion – a sign that his adult view of the world is not entirely steadfast, and that the child’s view of the world has caused him to in fact question his own. (Lines 65-69) What can be seen here is that the relationship between childhood and adulthood in the poetry of Wordsworth is not as clear-cut and deifined as in Blake’s work. Wordsworth’s depicts childhood as an innocent mindset and an ability to view the world simply. Blake’s childhood, on the other hand, is a stage of life that is untouched by the natural forces of experience in the every day world. In both Blake and Wordsworth’s work, the opposition between childhood and adulthood is developed. In Blake, childhood is completely and distinctly eliminated by the force of experience. Blake portrays these two states of childhood and adulthood, innocence and experience, as the two epochs of human existence. In fact, in the subtitle to Songgs of Innocence and of Experience, Blake calls these “the two contrary states of the human soul”. (Subtitle?) This opposing relationship is developed further in many of his poems. Adulthood’s triumph is personified in The Chimney Sweeper from Songs of Experience. In this poem, a young baby states that “They clothed me in the clothes of death, / And taught me to sing the
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