The Little Boy Found Analysis

HideShow resource information

The Little Boy Found

Key Themes

  • The vulnerability of innocence - Innocence is especially endangered when it is ignorant of the ‘woe' in life and of the possibility of failure and betrayal

  • God in Man's Image
  • Parenting


  • The Little Boy Found is about the finding of the lost boy, who has been following a 'wandr'ing light'. God appears and leads him back to his mother, who has been searching for him.

  • Strangely, she was searching for him in the dale, not the fen. This could be interpreted as meaning she was in the wrong place and would not have found him without God's help.

  • ABCB rhyme scheme in both stanzas, it is easily identified, making it seem more organized and “right” to the reader's senses - Similar to that of a nursery room.

  • The little boy represents the human soul or spirit, seeking God the Father in a sin-wracked world that seeks to obliterate the signs of His presence..

  • It is only through the intervention of God Himself in the poem that the child returns to a state of safety, possibly intended to suggest the salvation of the regenerate soul, in the arms of a maternal figure.

  • The nurturing mother is able to give comfort where the earthly father and or the society created by such men only offer abandonment and hopelessness.

  • Blake may be suggesting a stronger healing power within “mother earth” than within the “father church” of his day.

  • He may also be seeking to balance the male and female aspects of creation: the male, in this case God the Father, leads the soul to its destination, while the female passively awaits the soul to offer it bliss.

  • The line ‘appears like his father', could suggest that this external Father God is simply a fantasy of perfect fatherhood, substituting for the reality. This would accord with what is known of Blake's beliefs.

  • The child is given to his mother, as though he is her possession. Yet parents have already been seen to be suspect.

  • Similarly to The Little Boy Lost, the poem is aware of the potential inadequacy of parental figures. When the innocent are unaware of this it demonstrates that innocence is vulnerable; lacking wisdom provides an incomplete vision of life. In this sense, Blake can also be seen to parody contemporary Christian approaches to God as an external…


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all William Blake resources »