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The Tyger and The Lamb

            Before we jump into the 'The Tyger' and 'The Lamb,' let's discuss the larger bodies of work the poems belong to. In 1789, William Blake printed a collection of nineteen poems called "Songs of Innocence" (which contained 'The Lamb'). Five years later, in 1794, Blake printed a collection of twenty-six poems entitled "Songs of Experience" (which contained 'The Tyger'). After this, the two volumes were published together as a collection called "Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul". The title encourages us to consider the 'contrary states' of innocence and experience as we read the poems in both collections. Through a cycle of unanswered questions, Blake motivates the readers to question God. These two poems are meant to be interpreted in a comparison and contrast. 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' share two different perspectives representing an innocent and an experienced view of creation and existence. To Blake, innocence is not better than experience. Both states have their good and bad sides. The positive side of innocence is joy and optimism, while the bad side is naivety. The negative side of experience is cynicism, but the good side is wisdom. .
             The main question that Blake is asking in the two poems is how can the same God make an animal as innocent as the lamb and also make a vicious animal like a tiger. God created all creatures great and small, and he could not have created two creatures more different from each other than the lamb and the tiger. The tiger and the lamb are just vehicles for Blake to express what he feels happens to people as they grow, develop and eventually become perverted by the world around them. In the poems, "The Tyger" and "The Lamb", William Blake uses symbolism, tone, and rhyme to express the theme that God can create good and bad creatures. .
             In his book "Songs of Innocence", in choosing a lamb for the subject, Blake immediately symbolizes it as representing Jesus Christ.

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