William Blake- ‘London’ Essay
William Blake’s ‘London’ is a criticism of the world in which he lived plus the institutions such as the church which will he disagreed with.
Blake talks of London in the wonderful world of experience, exactly where innocence have been corrupted by richer prestige and the reduce classes have already been exploited. Inside the first stanza Blake speaks of ‘charter’d’ streets the ‘charter’d’ Thames which symbolise the charge of the lording it over classes over the poor because Blake taking walks amongst them, feeling all their woe as they struggle to survive. This advises a huge split between the classes and the fermage of the poor by the wealthy, the poor becoming ‘marked by simply weakness’ although they are in the majority, ‘every face’.
This can suggest the fear of a doing work class violent uprising in the mould of the The french language revolution plus the oppression from the working classes by the cathedral, the monarchy and the noble government which in turn denied them a voice. In the second stanza Blake talks of ‘the mind-forg’d manacles’ which in turn suggest that everybody he sees is ‘chained’ to the stiff class program that completely outclassed the world at the time. ‘In every ban’ suggests the greedy mother nature of the judgment classes who may have taken measures to prevent the redistribution of wealth to be able to retain their power in society.
This may also be seen as an criticism of the industrial innovation as there was more money than ever, however a minority of aristocrats controlled nearly all wealth and merely used the lower classes to gain additional money. The third stanza is a criticism of the church’s failure to guard the most weak part of the contemporary society: the small. Blake addresses of ‘the Chimney-sweeper’s cry’ and the ‘black’ning church’, recommending that the chimney sweepers are blackened by church in soot, which oppresses these people and refuses them with their youth by causing them skilled, the house of worship spurns the chimney sweepers pleas and ‘appalls’ in doing so. Blake couples the church together with the ruling upper classes simply by condemning the inadequacy and oppression.
The ‘hapless soldier’s sigh’ suggests a lack of armed service authority, he is merely a pauper, whereas this individual should be a image of expert and strength, this could forecast a possible innovation caused by the oppression of the lower school. The final stanza suggests the bleak nature of also love amongst the poor, the unusual paradox of ‘blights with affects the Marriage hearse’ suggest that marital life is completed death through sexually transmitted disease while sex and marriage can be traditionally linked to birth. The ‘youthful Harlot’ suggests frustration and waste and again exploitation.
Blake describes the struggle to endure, the idea that the ‘newborn infant’s ear’ getting ‘blasted’ advises cruelty, overlook and a rejection of natural mother’s instincts that the ‘Harlot’ offers. The poem’s rigid iambic metre could be seen to reflect the severity and rigidity in the class system at the time in London and the rhythm of the poem could be viewed to mirror the deliberate and ‘chartered’ approach that also Blake moves, everything is definitely regulated and strictly controlled by ruling classes. Blake uses harsh cacophonic sounds suggest spite and hatred intended for the class system which Blake strongly disagrees with, for example , ‘black’ning church appals. ‘ Also short monosyllabic words convey a similar message for example ‘runs in blood down palace walls’.
Blake ends many of the lines of this poetry in phrases which have associations of woe and give the poem a ‘gloomy’ tone such as ‘appalls’, ‘cry’ and ‘curse’. The rhyme scheme further displays the strict status of the classes, this follows a very structured ABAB scheme which usually suggest simpleness and repetition in conveying the message that there is small hope for the future.