Essay on William Blake as a Critic of His Time

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William Blake as a Critic of His Time Blake took an active role in exposing the corruption taking place in his society. Prime targets of his criticisms were the institutions that remained silent in the faces of injustice. Blake stands agains the institutions that allow human oppression. Three of his poems from Songs of Experience present his views on the matter: "The Chimney Sweeper," "The Garden of Love," and "London." In "The Chimney Sweeper," Blake takes his stand against the the calamities brought upon children by those supposed to protect him. Innocence comes to an end for the child when he is exposed to the horrors of sweeping chimneys . His sadness can be felt when he says : "They clothed me in the clothes of…show more content…
Man wants to be close to God : "I went to the Garden of Love" (Blake, 1) as he used to be when little: "Where I used to play in the green" (Blake, 4) but, finds the church standing in his way: "A Chapel was built in the midst" (Blake, 3). Blake sees the church as an obstacle between men and God: "And the gates of this Chapel were shut/ And "Thou shalt not" writ over the door" (Blake, 5-6). Blake gives emphasis to the word "Thou shalt not" to indicate once more how oppressive the church is. He attacks the Priests because, instead of offering God's comfort as they were meant to do, they become like judges or police officers telling men what they can or cannot do:: "And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds/ And binding with briars my joys and desires" (Blake, 11- 12). Blake asks society to take a second look at the way the church treats them and to realize that God cannot found among oppressionists. "London" is yet another one of Blake's poems used to expose the suffering of men. He speaks of the streets and the river as being bound to give a sense of men's predicament: "I wander thro' each charter'd street/Near where the charter'd Thames does flow" (Blake, 1-2) . More sense of human slavery is given when he reveals that the minds of men are trapped as they wander suffering through the streets by society-imposed chains:"...mind-forg'd manacles I hear" (Blake, 8). The pain is
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