Sociological Criticism on William Blake’s Poetry Essay

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Sociological criticism emphasizes the political, economic, and cultural aspects of literature, and one of its main focuses is evaluating writing from a Marxist perspective, which examines the writing in mostly political and economic fashion, including ideas such as communism and social inequality. The idea of class oppression is clearly represented in many of William Blake’s writings. Blake’s opposition to the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists is obvious in many of his poems. Blake’s ideology of an equalitarian society could be described in the sayings of Karl Marx. Marxist criticism explains the reasons behind Blake’s anger towards social inequality. Poems like “The Chimney Sweeper” and “London” illustrate Blake’s …show more content…
Many of Blake’s perspectives could be seen through Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Songs of Innocence celebrates the naive hopes and fears of children, whom Blake thought were the representation of good innocence before the evil distortion of adult experience. Songs of Experience illustrates the harsh live of adult that are full of immorality, sexual repression, and secrecy. Blake illustrates the “experience,” which is marked by the loss of innocence, by political corruption, and by the oppression of Church, State, and the ruling classes, though “The Chimney Sweeper” and “London.”
Marx once said, “Capital is dead labor.” In “The Chimney Sweeper,” the labor is the poor children who are the victims of a system, which creates class oppression through income disparity. Blake illustrates the image of a child who is victimized under the unjust social conditions created by the capitalist system. The sentence, “my father sold me while yet my tongue” (2), illustrates the abuse of child labor during that time. Under capitalism, the proletariat is unable to escape from the recourse controller – the bourgeoisie. Thus economic inequality is the result of such restraint. The proletariat is unable to sustain even a basic standard under such a system. The child in the poem is unable to escape economic oppression, as expresses in the sentence, “your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep” (4), ergo it explains his unfortunate

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