Holy Thursday: Songs of Innocence = Poverty & Inequality

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  • Holy Thursday: Songs of Experience = Poverty & Inequality
    • Language
      • Synecdoche
        • 'Cold and usurous hand'
          • Highlights that benefactors donate their usury which is ironic as it is frowned upon in the old testament
      • Rhetorical questions
      • Anaphora = repetition = despair for the children
      • "rich and fruitful land"
        • Juxtaposition with the poverty of children
      • "Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands". Religious reference, raising their hands like Jesus did when he ascended
      • "Mighty wind" = power of the masses
    • Structure
      • X4 Quatrains
      • ABAB rhyme scheme
        • Cyclical structure = cycle of deprivation
    • Interpretations
      • Social commentary
        • Blake = visionary
      • Blake's experience is the loss of childhood joy, replaced by fear and inhibition and corruption of the state and the church.
      • Multitudes = overpopulation/sprawl, or angelic choirs? Lambs = innocence? Christ? Sacrificial?
      • Religious
        • Noah's Ark
          • Biblical imagery
    • Thematic links
      • Blake lived in Soho and witnessed the plight of children first-hand
      • Holy Thursday: Songs of Innocence. This is the 'experienced' version
        • The experience is the reality of the world, rather than a perfection that is prelapsarian (the biblical time before Adam and Eve lost their innocence in the Garden of Eden).
        • "The Experience poems satirise the state of the innocence."
        • Northrop Frye  = "The 'Experience' poems satirise the state of innocence"
      • Beadles presented as kind old men - actually in charge of disciplining the children.


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