Comparing the Lamb and the Tyger in In Songs of Innocence
Children embody the very essence of innocence. They see the world through virgin eyes, hear life with fresh ears and create the world with a simple mind and pure heart. It is about the only time in a person's life when the weight of sin, corruption, egotism, and hatred are not blurring their vision and thoughts. It is the only time a person is completely free. But this state of innocence becomes separated and exiled once experience has tainted the soul. William Blake conveys this theory in his work, Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul.
In Songs of Innocence, a childlike vision is conveyed through William Blake's clever use of speakers with their varying perspectives and questions. In this first set of poems, Blake often uses a child as the speaker, questioning the ways of the world. The atmosphere is bright and cheerful. For all of the purity that is conveyed through out the poems, there is an underlying current of indignation at the way the corrupt institutions are tainting the souls of the children. Even though the children see the realities of the world they live in, their innocence does not allow them to feel or express their resentment.
In the Songs of Experience, Blake continues his contrast of the two states of the human soul with the second state, experience. Just as Blake used children to represent innocence, he uses adults as the victims of experience. These poems show the inhumanity and cruelty under the surface of civilization. They show how humans are constricted and laden with despair, that the institutions of society have lain upon them. One of the most prevalent institutions of this time period that influences humans is the church and organized religion. The best examples of the contrasting states of innocence and experience, especially with the influence of religion, are represented in The Lamb and The Tyger.
The Lamb is a very pure and wholesome poem, just like the innocence of a child. It asks the question, who made thee? But it also answers that question, God. The poem gives the impression that God is generous and loving. He created the Lamb (child), giving him clothing, food and a...