Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience

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Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience

This term has provided me with many valuable tools that help me understand people who are different from myself. Through many of the authors I learned about new cultures and was presented with new ideas. As a result of this new exposure, I feel that these authors contributed a positive experience in studying Western world literature.

One author that has influenced this positive experience was William Blake. William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience were great literary examples that describe the conflict between innocence and experience. In "The Lamb" of Songs of Innocence, Blake presents someone who receives an answer to his question and believes the answer without reservation. "Little Lamb who made thee...Little Lamb I'll tell thee/He is called by thy name/For he calls himself a Lamb" (870). "The Lamb" describes someone with a child-like faith that does not question many things, but simply believes what is presented to him by faith. In Songs of Experience's contrasting piece, "The Tyger," Blake describes someone who is much more confused than this child-like figure in "The Lamb." This character seems to question everything and anything. "What the hammer? what the chain/In what furnace was thy brain?" This character has had more exposure to life and through his experiences he is unable to accept things for the way that they are are, as a result, he questions their existence and the reasons for their existence.

These two pieces from Blake remind me of the phrase "ignorance is bliss." One idea is that the character in "The Lamb" was able to enjoy life because of his ignorance and, therefore, he was not bothered by their existence. On the other hand, however, the character with life experience in "The Tyger" was irritated with the curiosity of why things are as they are. Because of this character's knowledge, he was unsatisfied with life until he knew the answers to all of his...
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