William Blake's Utopian Desire

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Tyler Hatley
Kristi Ulibarri
ENGL 1000
September 26, 2012
William Blake’s Utopian Ideas
The utopian desire of these poems is experience and what experience is. The poem I will be referring to is The Human Abstract. I firmly believe that experience is something you gain, and something you never lose. Experience, to me, means one that has been through something. It gives you knowledge about that particular event.

In the poem The Human Abstract, Blake states “Pity would be no more, if we did not make people poor” (Lines 1-2). Which says to me, that in a utopian society, everyone would be equal therefor there would be no need to pity because pity would not exist. “And mercy no more could be, if all were as happy as we;” (Lines 3-4). I take this as it is saying that if no one was poor and everyone was happy because they are not poor, there will be no mercy or disagreements within the society. I believe that this stanza is true but the problem with this belief is, without societal class then society would no work. You have to have a lower class to have an upper class. By this I mean, if everyone was a “white collar” worker, then who would do the common man’s work? If there was no one to farm, make tools, or teach then society could not eat, do their work correctly or even have the knowledge to do that work.

Also, in the same poem, stanza two says “And mutual fear brings peace, till the selfish loves increase;” (Lines 5-6). I believe that this is saying that since people harmonize together, selfishness can override the “mutual fear.” “Then Cruelty knits a snare, and spreads his baits with care.” (Lines 7-8). This means that cruelty is what can happen if desires and fear do not see eye to eye and when cruelty become relevant, the poem is saying that it sets a trap and lures you into it. Cruelty waits it out until the perfect time to affect you. To me this relates to this first paragraph in the sense that for those that are greedy and inconsiderate (the...
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