William Blake Essay

748 words - 3 pages

Holy Thursday was the first Thursday in May where there was a service every year for the charity schools of London; they may have been attended by as many as 6000 children. In Innocence the poem conveys the innocence of the children but can however be about the irony of the service and the fact that the poverty is present. the reference to ‘lambs’ and repetition of ‘multitudes’ emphasises the number of children and perhaps the extent of the poverty, the lambs could also be interpreted as a sacrificial animal, which shows the children are being used to make the people feel good. The lines in this poem are longer than Blake’s typical poetry and this could also emphasise the volume of magnitude ...view middle of the document...

The ‘clean’ charitable image that is given conceals the poverty that the children experience every day. Furthermore the march of the children and the image of the ‘beadles’ leading them with ‘wands’ suggests regimentation and authority rather than charity and love. In Experience the ‘cold and usurous hand’ that feeds them suggests that they are doing it for self-interest rather than through pity for the children. The hand could also represent the city as a whole as they are not doing anything to help the situation of the children. The positive images in Innocence are now reduced to symbols of the wasting resources of failing crops and baron land. This could also signify the children’s future.
The reference to the ‘Thames’ in Innocence gives a strong image of the poverty as the Thames water is renowned to be dirty, the industrial revolution at the time could also be seen to be making more dirt and pollution for the river, which in itself emphasises that the revolution could be causing more poverty for the children. In Experience this can also...

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