How does Blake present the contrary states of innocence and experience in two poems of your choice?

Topics: Industrial Revolution, Poetry, Wealth Pages: 2 (750 words) Published: February 28, 2014
Holy Thursday was the first Thursday in May where there was a service every year for the charity schools of London; they may have been attended by as many as 6000 children. In Innocence the poem conveys the innocence of the children but can however be about the irony of the service and the fact that the poverty is present. the reference to ‘lambs’ and repetition of ‘multitudes’ emphasises the number of children and perhaps the extent of the poverty, the lambs could also be interpreted as a sacrificial animal, which shows the children are being used to make the people feel good. The lines in this poem are longer than Blake’s typical poetry and this could also emphasise the volume of magnitude of the poverty, furthermore the ‘flowing river’ also gives imagery of a large volume. The metaphor of ‘flowers’ emphasises the children’s beauty and innocence, but also the positioning of them ‘flowers of London town’ contrasts their beauty to the ugly setting of a city and gives them a certain strength in that they are able to flourish as flowers in a city. Holy Thursday in Experience however gives a different image of selfishness and irony as it conveys the idea that there shouldn’t be poverty and questions why there is in a ‘rich and fruitful land’, this could show that there is money available but it is not being used to reduce the poverty. The rich only do something once a year to make themselves feel good and as if they have helped the children. This can also be seen in Innocence in the last line ‘then cherish pity’, this could either be seen as positive as the children would be even worse off if there was no pity but to ‘cherish’ it seems like the people are happy to have it as it makes them feel better about themselves when they help the children once a year, the reality is they should be helping them all year. This line also causes the reader to contemplate the true meaning of pity, the reference to the children’s ‘clean’ faces suggests that they are not like that...
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