London By William Blake Summary

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During the 18th century, London was undergoing the dreadful period in industrial revolution. At the same time, France was dealing with the French Revolution (Desan 137-160). A poet, William Blake, was influenced by the French Revolution, so he wanted to use the poem to change the state of the world. Therefore, he published a collection of poems which called Song of Innocence, after that, he published the second part of the collection which named Song of Experience (Zhan 376). The poem, “London”, which is one of the Song of Experience written by the author William Blake (Zhan 377). The poem criticizes the 18th century London which critiques the darkness of the social state, hopeless about the future, and the monarchy of the empire under the influence of the industrial revolution.
First of all, the social status, which is dark, dirty, and lifeless, is criticized. In the first stanza, the author creates an image of London city’s social status and successfully set the mood of the poem. He applies various figurative languages to give the feel of the gloomy mood. For example, the word “mark” repeats many times in line 3and line 4. Using to emphasize the emotions of people are worst; feeling like falling into the abyss. “mark in every face I meet”, “Marks of weakness”, “marks of woe” (Blake line 3-4). It reinforces the dark atmosphere and sets the reader in that horrible situation. Moreover, in the last stanza, the author narrates “the youthful Harlot’s curse” in the midnight
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