William blake’s london

The general tone of angry social criticism is probably pretty obvious in William Blake’s “ London” (p. 472). Pick out two or three specific lines or details and try to explain what they mean and how they work to help create the poem’s overall effect.  As William Blake opens his poem “ London” with “ I wander thro’ each charter’d street; Near where the charter’d Thames does flow”, he means to reflect the state of misery which the city of London was confronted with in the 18th century. Blake lived in the time when tumultuous political affairs of the unscrupulous English authorities prevailed in the period coinciding the French Revolution and under such settings, the structure of law possessed rigidity which resulted to oppression and other unpleasant forms of injustice. Blake gives illustration to this by the repetition of the modifier term “ charter’d” which seems to have gone overboard as the ruling designates even the river Thames to unnecessary restrictions. Through his literary endeavor in “ London”, Blake laments about the appalling conditions of the capital city which are depicted by the disconcerting sights as viewed from the atmosphere and external appearances of the general public. In his wandering, the speaker in “ London” takes into account how largely vivid his physical encounter is of the ailing situation that he becomes drawn to concretize with “ In every cry of every Man; In every Infant’s cry of fear; In every voice, in every ban”. These lamentations exhibit the worst extent of London’s depressed scenario which, according to the historical context the poet is looking at, is brought about by the wrongful or inhumane administration of law or political regulations at the time. Even though Blake makes no mention of authorities or governmental body responsible for the complaints delivered in the poem, he implicitly demonstrates the presence of unseen yet brutish socio-political force behind what may well be imagined as harsh occurrences causing people of 18th century London to suffer. This is widely evident in the third and fourth lines of the first stanza indicating “ marks” which assumes both literal and symbolic meanings. The wandering speaker does not only pass along the streets as an ordinary traveller but as a critical observer who could not help empathizing for every picture he catches sight of particularly when he manages to perceive beyond the outer countenance and feel the “ marks of weakness” and the “ marks of woe.” Blake’s observations of the ugly scenes may be witnessed in the society of the modern age via countries having abandoned cities with minorities who choose to stay and make-do with living or cities where violence of different sorts is executed including hidden acts of austerity such as the cases stated in lines “ How the Chimney-sweeper’s cry” and “ How the youthful Harlot’s curse.” Based on this, “ London” may be considered as a classical work though since there are certain political aspects that remain true in application and value in today’s political order, the poem is able to convey relevance in manifesting how the government relates to people and addresses their needs. State corruption still occurs thereby impoverishing communities whose people are heavily or unreasonably taxed yet do not obtain proper returns in exchange of completed duties or who continue to receive minimum wages despite being pressed to toil for menial jobs. Work Cited Kennedy, XJ, et al. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 6th ed. Longman (Pearson), 2010.