William Blake 's London : The Appalling Conditions Of London And Its People

Good Essays

In his poem, “London,” British poet William Blake describes the appalling conditions of London and its people. Innocence has also been a major theme that is throughout many of Blake’s poem, including “London.” William Blake uses metaphors and imagery to show the themes of disappointment and ruined innocence throughout his poem “London.” In the first stanza of “London,” Blake describes himself walking through specific streets of London, yet he is only describing the terrible and melancholy things he sees. Blake specifically chose to not include anything cheerful he might see in the streets of London. He is obviously displeased with what he sees, and those outweigh anything good he might see if he truly walked through “each chartered …show more content…

Also, the mind, these chains are not real, they are of the mind, imaginary.
One possible interpretation of these “mind-forged manacles” is Blake’s merging of what is real and what is fiction, which could explain the “marks of weakness, marks of woe.” Or, it could be interpreted as there was so much pain and sorrow Blake saw as he walked through the streets of London, that the chains created in his mind, and the other people, was the intangible correction of these problems. Another reason to believe the idea of restraint and intangibility is the use of the word “ban” in the line before, simply another restriction given to the people, whether that was a literal “ban” by the government or a restraint of the mind.
The third stanza first mentions “the chimney-sweeper’s cry” (Blake 9). There is another poem by William Blake that specifically goes into a chimney sweeper’s job, but chimney sweepers are normally young boys who clean people’s chimneys. The working conditions are quite terrible, and they often sleep in the soot that they clean, it is just a very dirty and dreadful situation.
“Every blackening church appalls,” (Blake 10) could relate back to the chimney sweeper’s and the black soot, and also Blake’s disappointment of the church. The chimney sweepers are young, orphaned, boys and the church’s duty is to help the orphans, according to the Bible. Blake may be expressing his disappointment of the church not helping

Get Access