Comparing London by William Blake and Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth

811 Words4 Pages
Comparing London by William Blake and Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth William Blake was born in London in 1757. He was taught by his mother at home, and became an apprentice to an engraver at fourteen. In addition to poetry Blake spent much of his time painting. Blake lived on the edge of poverty and died in neglect. His poetry receiving little acclaim while he was alive. ‘London’ was written by Blake in 1789. Taken from Blake’s ‘Songs of Experience’, the style is darker and in a sense depressing. It describes the city after the Industrial Revolution. Blake takes a very negative and hopeless view of the city and the lives of those living within it. He hated the way London was becoming,…show more content…
In the second stanza Blake describes the whole scale of humanity from infant to man to feel general disgruntlement with the life that London inflicts upon them. ‘Ban’ suggests restricted or prohibited. Blake however suggests that men have in a sense designed their own prison, implying this by use of ‘mind-forg’d manacle’. He describes infants who cannot speak but are nonetheless born under the chains, which Blake suggests society has needlessly inflicted upon itself. Again he creates effect by the repetition of ‘every’. Blake goes on in the third stanza to comment ok the use of child labour under appalling conditions, attacking the church as it ignores the cries of the chimney sweep. He is disgusted with this practice and appeals against it and effectively shows the church to be appalled by the cries of the complaining chimney sweeps. He describes the church as ‘blackening’, which illustrates the industrialisation of the church. Just as he contrasts the chimney sweeps with the indifferent church, he contrasts the soldiers sent out to die, while the palace pays no attention – ‘the hapless soldier’s sigh runs in blood down palace walls.’ This is a literal allegory for the French Revolution taking place at the time, where Blake suggests that if the ‘palace’ ignores the dries of the people a far greater threat, such
Open Document