'The Holy Thursday' (Songs of Innocence)

Interpretations that can be drawn from a couple of key quotes from this poem. 

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  • Created by: Poppy
  • Created on: 06-03-13 21:38

"Children walking in two & two, in red & blue & gr

"Children walking in two & two, in red & blue & green"  -

  • In terms of structure and language, the repetition of '&' emphasises on the continuous control over the innocent children by the benefactors. The phonetic soundings of "two & two" and "red & blue & green" mimics the children's walk. They are almost portrayed in a light of a robot. They have no power or control over their own lives.
  • In terms of pastoral perspective, the "red" symbolises the sun, "blue" symbolises the ocean and "green" symbolises the grass. They are all part of nature and Blake states the pastoral/rural area to be idyllic. Blake believes children under-go their "Golden Age" when they are young, but to emphasise the exploitation and industrialisation of the society he sort of presents the children to be dragged away from their pastoral environment and be taken to the Cathedral to thank God for the Charity Schools. 
  • The Charity Schools only teach limited curriculums. Those curriculums are there to brainwash the children into thinking about how to obey their authority or how to know the basics of hard work (labour). 
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"Grey headed beadles"

"Grey headed beadles"

  • "Grey headed beadles" are the benefactors who are escorting the children to the Cathedral to thank God for the Charity Schools. Blake has always been again organised religion. The fact that the children are forced to go to the Cathedral shows that it is a 'must' and they have no choice but to go. This makes religion seem very organised, forceful and restrictive. 
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"Harmonious thunderings"

"Harmonious thunderings"

  • This juxtaposition/oxymoron emphasises on the anger reserved within the children. The only way they can vent their emotions out in through singing hymns or through prayer. "Harmonious" can also be interpreted to describe the innocent and pure children whereas the "thunderings" describe the benefactors who benefit from the work of the children. 
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"Cherish pitty"

"Cherish pitty"

  • Blake may have used a sarcastic tone here or mimic the benefactors. 
  • This can also be interpreted to be the benefactors voice which gives off a commanding tone. 
  • This juxta-position emphasises on the high level of domination of those who are at the top of the hierarchy as opposed to those who are at the bottom. 
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