London by William Blake

Topics: Poetry, Bourgeoisie, Social class Pages: 3 (1026 words) Published: May 15, 2013
Essay on London by William Blake.
Question- Identify a poem that makes a social or political statement. Explain what statement is being made and, with close references to the text, analyse the literary conventions used to convey the statements. Further, explain how this helps you gain a stronger understanding of the poem`s main theme(s). I have chosen the poem London by William Blake; I will explain how Blake is making a social and political statement by addressing the inequality and oppression within the city of London in the late 18th century. I will also examine how the poet manages to convey his opinion through poetic techniques. The poem is set in the City of London during the Industrial revolution, when there was a population explosion in the cities of the UK due to the movement of people from rural areas to urban areas in search of work. The sudden urbanisation in cities such as London put pressure on the standards of living and caused extreme poverty, people lived in horrific conditions. Due to the poor sanitation, there was a rapid spread of diseases such as cholera. William points to the corruption within the city of London; this poem is a form of social and political protest against the oppressive landlords and authorities of the city. In the first stanza William Blake talks of wandering through the streets that are privately owned, and states even the river Thames is not free from ownership. He is making a social/political comment about the ruling class and how everything that should be free to every citizen in London but has actually been stolen by the ruling class. His sense of inequality and oppression is clear from the very beginning. The repetition of the word “chartered” emphasises the bureaucracy that William felt was controlling the people of London. He also uses repetition with the word “mark” when he comments on the effects of this control and oppression has on the ordinary working class people. He states that in every face he sees...
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