Essay William Blake 's Songs Of Innocence And Of Experience

858 Words Oct 1st, 2016 4 Pages
In William Blake 's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, he uses a simple style and language to compose his poems. While Blake utilizes this style to make his work more accessible to his audience, it is a brilliantly subversive technique to conceal a scathing critique of English institutions. By analyzing the language of Blake 's poem “The Schoolboy,” this paper will argue that Blake employs the voice of a child to critique the restrictive and damaging effects that a formal education has on youth in England. In opening stanza of “The Schoolboy,” the speaker is a boy who is blissfully free and content in the natural world. As the boy is in a temporal space of childhood, he does not yet realize that his existence in that space is fleeting and temporary. Where the boy finds joy in the “sweet company” (5) of the natural world, he does not “take delight” (13) in his books because he is required to submit himself to the rigid and repressive ideas of English propriety. Consequently, it is when the 'boy ' suddenly becomes a 'schoolboy ' that the lilting song-like tone of the poem falters. This abrupt transition between stanza one and two is significant because it not only functions to evoke a drastic change in tone, but also to symbolically signify the profound effect that education will have on the boy’s natural state. Subsequently, the mood of Blake’s poem remains static with words, like “morn” (6) and “outworn” (8), that emit a disheartening, low-sounding tone that…

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