Social Concerns in the Romantic Period

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In the Romantic period, many authors make references to different social concerns. This enabled the authors to hint towards different concerns in their writing, but not come directly out and state their concerns. Three great examples of authors like this include: William Blake, Robert Burns, and Anna Laetitia Barbauld. Each of these authors had unique concerns that they were able to get across in their own way.

Blake wrote two poems with entitled "Chimney Sweeper." One version was found in his ‘Songs of Innocence' and the other was found in ‘Songs of Experience.' Although the first was told with a child almost in mind, and the second was told in a darker, colder point-of-view, they both contain the same concern. This concern is having very young children working as chimney sweepers. Blake talks about how you boys are almost forced into this career

"When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue,
Could scarcely cry "'weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep!
So your chimney's I sweep and in soot I sleep"
This was a horrible was to live, yet hundreds and hundreds of little children do this work on a daily basis.
Another author that alluded to social concerns in his writing is Robert Burns. His poem, "To a Mouse" makes references to different classes and the effects of social order on them. The poem tells a simple story of a mouse who builds a house to with-hold winter, only to have it knocked down by a man with his plow. Now although its house is gone, the mouse doesn't seem horribly bothered by it. In the more complex story, the mouse represents the lower class, and the former with the plow represents the upper class. To the lower class material possessions do not surround their life as they do in the lives of the upper class.

"The Best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gong aft a-gley,
An' lea' us naught but grief an' pain,
For promised Joy."
Burns starts out life in the lower class, but due to the high success of his poems he...
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