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Comparing The Works Of William Blake And Jonathan Swift

538 words - 2 pages

William Blake and Jonathan Swift were writers with specific intentions. Both were concerned about the human condition of their times, and many of these concerns have no resolution today. Both created literary works allowing them to present their point of view in, yet their presentation in society was vastly different. You can read Gulliver’s Travels and understand what Swift’s intends. The story appeals to the sophisticated, well-informed reader who could discern his meaning and appreciate his satirical style. He deals with human nature and its folly. This ability to engage the reader with fantastical stories was his genius. Whereas with Blake, you cannot understand his point of view fully unless you also look at his art.
Both created worlds where they could speak about what they believed. Gulliver’s Travels, is a fantasy novel on the most superficial level, but it also reveals, through Gulliver’s eyes, a concept of an ideal world; a world that is “naturally disposed to every virtue, wholly governed by reason…” (Swift 184). Order, rule, sobriety—these are the principles he set before him when he wrote, and they form the basis of his views on life, politics and religion (bartleby). Proceeding from this understanding, it is evident that his work speaks to the type of man he was.
Blake rejects empirical reason. He will have no part of the prevailing social and religious conventions, or even the so-called virtuous characteristics of humankind. “I must create my own system or be enslav’d by another man’s” (Blake 208). This is what he did. Blake designed a method of “illuminate printing” to render his undeniably religious artistic vision to accompany his lyrical and satirical poems.
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