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The Revolutionary Visions Of William Blake

1362 words - 5 pages

Between the late 18th century and early 19th century catholic religion was based off of the old testament in the Bible. During this time there was also a revolt against the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment. While in this period, people began to rise against and question the way their lives were being ran by others, who supposedly had power which was derived from God himself. Yet at this time peoplesuch as William Blake found ways to spread the message of the unjust treatment the people would receive from hypocritical clergyman.As a youngman Blake only attened school long enough to learn to read and write, and left aroung the aage of ten. Blake grew up in the Moravian Church (protestant), and found religion to be an early/everlasting part of his life.Blake became a poet and artist, using his mediums lorg express his views on certain .Because of Blakes view that the Church of England was a major oppressor of the natural joys in which society can and should have, many viewed his work as too radical for the time period.Blake utilizes recurrent themes within his poetry; such as “The Garden of Love”,”Chimney Sweeper (Innocence)”,”Chimney Sweeper (Experience)”, and “London”, as a method of spreading his views of current religious establishments and their effects on the society which breeds them (at the time, and somewhat today). (Tolson 373,375)

In the Garden of Love,a narrator goes on an adventure to a place where he once knew happiness. This place is now overran with religious figures, whom place restrictions on this place of joy.Till the point that the joy is taken away from this place, and the narrator. Blake uses this poem to show that the pursuit of happyness was being hindered by those with high standing within the church. This hypocritical nature of the higher ups within religion is evident in the piece when Blake writes, “And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,/ And binding with briars, my joys & desires”(Blake 771). Being that briars are thorns,and priest being the ones whom bind ‘joy’, Blake uses this in a religious reference to the crucifiction of christ (symbolizes joy). This interpretation of Christ as ‘joy and ones desire’ is also interpreted in a critical analysis of the poem by Cervo; who says, “great.. [is] the damage of not perceiving that "Love" (1) in this poem is Blake's name for Jesus Christ”(Cervo 121). This poem’s theme symbolizes Blake’s feeling that clergy was trampling on what people held as happyness.To him they trampled on what was once beautiful to him, and others.

In The Chimney Sweeper (Innocence) the narrator is a child, whose mother died while he was still a baby. The narrator says, “...my father sold me...”, which should not be interpreted in the literal sense, but interpreted that his father left him with no choice but to become a chimney sweeper. Possibly because his father left him. As a chimney sweep he meets a friend,Tom, who has a dream about other...

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