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William Blake

            Yeah Twelve English Literature Long Essay - BLAKE.
             "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear as it is, infinite." (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, p. 258) Comment on the value of reading Blake's poetry through this proposition and support your argument with at least two poems. .
             Suspended between the neoclassicism of the eighteenth century and the early phases of Romanticism, William Blake belongs to no single poetic age. Only in the twentieth century did wide audiences begin to acknowledge his profound originality and genius. In "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell", Blake stated that "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear as it is, infinite". This suggests that the removal of social ideologies, class and racial constraints and direct and indirect oppression from an individuals life, they would then be faced with endless possibilities, opportunities and different ways of viewing the World and its occupants. "The Little Black Boy"1 and "The Chimney Sweeper"2 from Blakes" Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience respectively, both which were written in the late eighteenth century demonstrate the nature of oppression upon an innocent and accepting child ("The Little Black Boy") and the results of being exposed to the injustice ("The Chimney Sweeper"). It is through being exposed to this injustice or "experience" that the individual is able to see life through untainted windows, and thus form personal uninfluenced opinions and be exposed to the infinite possibilities of life through untainted doors. .
             Blake employs the voices of "black" children to undermine the ideology and embedded structures of racial oppression operative in England in the late eighteenth century, but at the same time these voices also reinscribe traditionally accepted ideas of the time (slavery) through the innocent acceptance of oppression. .
             As a twenty first-century reader who has accepted Blake's proposition we are made aware of idea's concerning child labour, institutionalised religion and the effect that the removal of traditionally accepted patterns of thinking has upon the message of the poem.

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