The Human Abstract Essay

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The Human Abstract "The Human Abstract" has not received much critical attention on its own. Of the critical interpretations that do exist, many approach the poem by examining its various manifestations in Blake's manuscripts, reading it against "A Divine Image," a poem w hich was never finally published by Blake, or comparing it to its Innocence counterpart, "The Divine Image." Most critics seem to agree that "The Human Abstract" represents a philosophical turning point in The Songs of Innocence and of Expe rience, and in Blake's work as a whole. In 1924, Joseph H. Wicksteed observes that this "difficult" poem, "originally called 'The human Image," represents "Blake's attempt to summarize his philosophy of revolt against the ob…show more content…
He also approaches the poem through an examination of the four drafts located in Blake's manuscript, pointing out that critics have neglected to examine the way in which the poem "A Divine Image" "is complexly operative in 'The Human Abstract.'" This connection is the focus of the Gleckner's essay, which he concludes with the contention that "The Human Abstract" represents Blake's final realization that the "real disease" is not a "s ocial, economic, religious, [or] political" force, but rather "the cancerous tree of mystery...man's own thinking process." Later, both Geoffrey Keynes and David Erdman will point out that "The Human Abstract" replaced "A Divine Image" as the Experience response to "The Divine Image." In Blake's Apocalypse: A Study in Poetic Argument, 1963, Harold Bloom reads "The Human Abstract" in conjunction with its Innocence partner, "The Divine Image," noting that the word "Abstract" should not be misconst rued as literally meaning "separated," because "the contrast between the two poems is not between the integral and the split human
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