In England during the industrial revolution there was a lot of poverty and pollution, especially in the main towns where the mass unemployment and people often had to go into the work houses. The conditions that they were made to work in were overcrowded. There was no sanitation or anywhere to clean, and there was a large amount of pollution. These all led to diseases among the workers. Some of the jobs that the children were made to do were chimney sweeping or selling matches. Adults had to do bone crushing for fertilisers, working in kitchens and doing the laundry for rich people.
One way that Blake uses to convey his anger on what he sees is through
Ground-breaking, momentous, and a time of great struggle, the Industrial Revolution was famous for its innovations and infamous for the sobering reality it inflicted upon the standard family. Mid-18th century Britain brought poverty to everyday urban workers. With it, came an increase in child labor like never seen before. In order for a normal family to survive in the urban lifestyle, all members of a family had to work. This included children as young as four years to work as chimney sweepers, miners, and most popularized in 18th century Britain, factory workers. By the year 1800, children under the age of 14 in Britain’s factories accounted for 50% of the labor force (“Industrial Revolution, Child Labor”). Though the number continued to grow, all did not go unaccounted for. Romanticism, an effort opposite the movement, gave recognition to the emotional conflicts overlooked. Romanticism shed light on the daily struggles of the everyday man, woman, and the most neglected up until that period of time, the child. Throughout history, others have written about childhood, but Romantic poets began to question what it meant to be a child. The question, though not answered directly, later became revealed in their works where it exposed their belief systems. The role of the child in British Romantic Poetry represents the early life of Romantic poets, and the qualities they possessed in childhood.
In ‘London’ Blake presents the theme of power through a reportage. The narrator wanders through a ‘chartered street’ and by ‘the chartered Thames’. This shows that in the narrator’s eyes the streets are owned and even an aspect of nature such as the River Thames is in ownership of someone. These owners that Blake refers to is the state who are believed to have acquired so much power that they can own natural landmarks. Due to this power, the people in ‘London’ wear metaphorical ‘manacles’ that are ‘mind-forged’ which shows they have trapped themselves due to the pain and suffering the higher class has caused them. Also, the repetition
The topic of death is either suppressed or masked in both poems. Both poems are very strong and powerful pieces, which allows readers to connect to the issues being told. Throughout “London”, Blake not only implies the difficult times that London went through during the Industrial revolution, but also how many died during this
themes of tyranny and oppression of women parallel the themes in Blake’s poetry of the tyranny
“Beneath the gore and smoke and loam, this book is about the evanescence of life, and why some men choose to fill their brief allotment of time engaging the impossible, others in the manufacture of sorrow. In the end it is a story of the ineluctable conflict between good and evil, daylight and darkness, the White City and the Black.” (xi) This shows the contrast between the White City and the Black City. One, perfect, beautiful, magical, the other dark, filthy, evil. The two work together yet against each other in the battle to win over the hearts of the people who visit, and those who decide to stay
In William Blake’s sixteen-line poem titled “London,” the speaker appears to draw from his personal observations to describe the people who live in the city of London. He describes the people at the bottom of the society such as the chimney-sweeper’s and the harlots. The people with some authority that belong to a higher class, such as
London by William Blake is a poem characterised by its dark and overbearing tone. It is a glimpse at a period of England's history (particularly London) during war and poverty, experienced by the narrator as he walks through the streets. Using personification it draws a great human aspect to its representation of thoughts and beliefs of the narrator.
In "London", William Blake brings to light a city overrun by poverty and hardship. Blake discards the common, glorifying view of London and replaces it with his idea of truth. London is nothing more but a city strapped by harsh economic times where Royalty and other venues of power have allowed morality and goodness to deteriorate so that suffering and poverty are all that exist. It is with the use of three distinct metaphors; "mind-forg'd manacles", "blackning Church", and "Marriage hearse", that Blake conveys the idea of a city that suffers from physical and psychological imprisonment, social oppression, and an unraveling moral society.
From the opening line of William Blake’s poem London, chartered streets are being laid out to show how this section of London has been privatized by the government. This privatization shows how the economic struggle is a political struggle. Throughout this poem the lower class are economically oppressed and, have limited means of improving their own lives. With the streets and Thames River being privatized all of the people this speaker sees in his walk along the river are marked with weakness and woe. Arguably the speaker in this poem suggests that he is a part of the bourgeoisie since he has time to wander the city. His empathy shown in the first stanza eludes to the fact that capitalism hasn’t colonized his consciousness yet. To show a greater
London, by Blake is a poem rather than a sonnet, composed of four stanzas, each containing four lines. This effect breaks up the poem and helps to give a very plodding, interrupted tone. The rhymes however are consistent, every other line rhymes. This can represent the regimented, predictable nature, reflected in the industry and mechanisation. The contrast to the flowing poem of Wordsworth is evident and makes obvious that the poet's views differ, regarding London.
William Blake was a painter, engraver and poet of the Romantic era, who lived and worked in London. Many of Blake’s famous poems reside in his published collection of poems titled Songs of Innocence and of Experience. This collection portrays the two different states of the human soul, good and evil. Many poems in the Songs of Innocence have a counterpart poem in the Songs of Experience. The poem “A Poison Tree” is found in the Songs of Experience and it delves into the mind of man tainted with sin and corruption that comes with experience. In a simple and creative style, the religious theology of the Fall of Man is brought to life. The poem tells the story of how man fell from a state of innocence to impurity, focusing on the harmful repercussions of suppressed anger. Blake utilities many literary devices to successfully characterizes anger as an antagonist with taunting power.
William Blake’s poem “London” takes a complex look at life in London, England during the late seventeen hundreds into the early eighteen hundreds as he lived and experienced it. Blake’s use of ambiguous and double meaning words makes this poem both complex and interesting. Through the following explication I will unravel these complexities to show how this is an interesting poem.
In both of William Blake’s poems, “The Little Black Boy” and “The Chimney Sweeper,” an innocent-eye point of view portrays the stresses of society in an alternative way to an adult’s understanding. The innocent perspective redirects focus onto what society has become and how lacking each narrator is in the eyes of the predominant white culture. Each naïve speaker also creates an alternate scenario that presents a vision of what their skewed version of life should be like, showing how much their unfortunate youth alters their reality. From the viewpoint of children, Blake’s poems highlight the unhealthy thoughts or conditions in their lives and how unfortunate they were to be the wrong race or class level. These narrators were cheap laborers and were in no control of how society degraded them. Such usage of a child’s perspective offers important insight into the lives of these poor children and raises awareness for the horrible conditions children faced in the London labor force prior to any labor laws. The children of the time had no voice or platform on which to express their opinions on their conditions. Blake targets society’s lack of mindfulness towards the children using the innocent-eye point of view and illusions of what they dream for in life.