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It is clear that Songs of Experience shows the
corrupted world from Songs of Innocence, and
Blake uses the theme of corruption in many
different ways to criticise the society in which
he lived in as well as to emphasise his beliefs.
The presentation of corruption comes in many
different forms in Songs of Experience with the
aid of Songs of Innocence. These include: the
disparity between the adult world and
childhood which leads to exploitation and
misunderstanding; the capitalist society which
upholds the divide between the deprived and
the wealthy; sexual repression, organised
religion upholding the hierarchal system...…read more

Slide 3

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The disparity between the adult world
and childhood which leads to
exploitation and misunderstanding
Blake saw childhood as the world of Innocence
and hence the poems in Songs of Innocence
mimic nursery rhymes or children's songs. He
interpreted the world of Experience as the one
of adults in which they grew out of their
The industrial revolution, believed by Blake, led
to a plight of chimney sweeps, which meant
children were exploited.
Moreover, the belief of society at the time was
that children were born `naturally evil' do to
Original Sin, but Blake was against this and
agreed with Rousseau's theory that the new
born were the closest to God, as they had just
come from his creation.…read more

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The capitalist society which upholds the
divide between the deprived and the
The industrial revolution led to a bigger
segregation between the poor and the rich, and
this forced the deprived members of society to
sell their children as apprentices or chimney
sweeps, and women were forced into
prostitution to earn a living.
The rich however gained the benefits of the
industrial revolution with factories and
businesses. Nonetheless, this was through the
exploitation of the poor, who worked for them.
As a result, Blake despised the industrial
revolution which had the aim to provide more
work and improve living standards, but
ironically, the social reforms led to more
poverty.…read more

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Sexual repression
Blake believed in sexual liberation even
though he did not practice this himself as
he feared it would not please his wife,
Catherine. Therefore, he believed that
sexuality should be expressed freely as
long as it did not hurt others.
He saw that humanity had used religion as
an excuse to bind themselves to rules
which inhibited their freedom to express.
The imagination of humanity was thus
restricted, and Blake believed that it needed…read more

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Organised religion upholding
the hierarchal system
Blake was very spiritual but saw the church as
an instrument of repression rather than
accessing God's benevolence and forming a
relationship with Him.
In order for humanity to go to church and think
they were close to God, they had to abide by
the priests rules, and therefore Blake may not
be criticising the church directly but instead the
priests that used the church and religion as
instruments to repress society.
By doing so, the rules that were seen as
religious and society abided by, led to the
continuation of the hierarchal system because
the laws created were results from religious
rules created by the priests and religious…read more

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