We turn to literature and to art to help us define our world. Great literature and great art live beyond their own day because they answer not only the need and impulse of the days in which they were crafted, but because they continue to speak to a modern audience--perhaps in a different register or tone, but continuing to address a vital human need, filling an emotional void or addressing an inherent aesthetic. Being removed from the time in which a particular work was created presents a multitude of difficulties. One school of critics argues that we cannot hope to understand a work unless we first consider the historical moment in which it was created, looking for historical and biographical clues to the artist in the work. Other critics assert that the only way to approach a work of art--visual or literary--is to take the work solely on its own terms, disregarding its context or the experience of the artist. The poetic and artistic work of William Blake must synthesize both approaches. We can view his illuminations and respond to the imagery with a sense of transcendence. However, we lose a fair amount of import if we fail to look closely at the context in which Blake worked. Blake lived on a "faultline" of "ascendant modernity, along which values can be radically transformed" (Myrone 34). On that faultline is where we find the poet as prophet, as the voice crying in a wilderness, as the teller of truth to power.
The Hanoverian image was one of rationality and moderation (Myrone), but the veneer was cracked. Not far beneath the surface was a seething mass of unrest--intellectual, social, and political. Many of Blake's companions were radical thinkers, like Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas Paine, whom Blake had met through h...
... middle of paper ...
Eaves, Morris, Robert Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, eds. The William Blake Archive. Lib of Cong., 22 June 2010. Web. 25 Aug. 2010.
Fairer, David. “Experience Reading Innocence: Contextualizing Blake’s ‘Holy Thursday’.” Eighteenth-Century Studies Summer 2002: 536-562. JSTOR. Web. 17 Aug. 2010.
"Flour Milling and the port: Milling by steam." PortCities London. Portcities. 27 July 2010. Web.
Myrone, Martin. Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination. London: Tate Publishing. 2006.
Pollen, John Hungerford. "Gordon Riots." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 26 Jul. 2010. Web.
Thompson, E.P. Witnessing Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law. Cambridge UP. 1993.
Wright, Julia M. Blake, Nationalism and the Politics of Alienation. Athens OH: Ohio UP. 2004. eBook.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- A married couple may not always be the happiest couple even though it may seem that love is expressed in the relationship. Some marriages are meant to be while some are not. What causes a person to be dissatisfied with their marriage. Or how do external factors play a role on the outcome of a relationship. As for the case in "Holding Things Together" and "The Painted Door"; these short stories have a few similarities, but they also have many contrasting factors to take into consideration on why one couple is successful with there relationship while the other is not.... [tags: Holding Things Together, Painted Door, marriage, ]
704 words (2 pages)
- The Infinity Mirror "Tularecito" is a myth about truth. Tularicito, just a character of that myth, is the focus for this glossed over fable. Steinbeck draws on this form of genre to present the idea that we are all a part of what happens to others, based upon our nature. The image presented of Tularecito is that of a demon, an idiot savant, a boy with a gift from God, and that gift's cost. He is a freak, a dangerous misfit, an innocent who does not need the constraints of reality.... [tags: The Infinity Mirror]
715 words (2 pages)
- Mirror for Man - A Logical Conclusion Kluckhohn explains the differences and similarities among people of the world as culture. Culture, in this instance, spans a variety of areas. To begin with, culture is the way a person was raised. In addition, it's the values a person was taught. Finally, culture is related to man's biological needs. Habits that a person is taught as a youngster will influence the rest of his life. Societies have a tendency to have distinct habits that their people live by, First, education is one example.... [tags: Mirror for Man Essays]
565 words (1.6 pages)
- Mirror for Man: Understanding the Definition of Culture In Clyde Kluckhohn's passage, adapted from his book, Mirror for Man, we are given an illumination of anthropology on the concept of culture. He explains that culture is not only derived by "the way we are brought up," but also personal past experiences and the biological properties of the people concerned. As humans we have learned to adapt to our own personal surroundings and have conditioned ourselves and our life styles to revolve around such surroundings by the most comfortable means possible.... [tags: Mirror for Man Essays]
679 words (1.9 pages)
- In Clyde Kluckhohn's Mirror for Man, he explains the differences and similarities among the world's peoples by stating two important ideas: 1) People are similar because they have the same biological equipment and undergo similar life experiences "such as birth, helplessness, illness, old age, and death," but, 2) people are culturally different because of the way they were brought up and they may live in a different environment created by human beings, and acquire a distinct social legacy from their own people.... [tags: Mirror for Man Essays]
891 words (2.5 pages)
- ... This is where influences are either acknowledged and enforced or frowned upon. These influences have affected our culture tremendously, especially since society is prone to technology. In the article, “Never too Buff” by John Cloud, he gives the example of the G.I Joe action figure going from scrawny to extreme in just 8 years. Young boys idealize what they see in their real or fairytale hero's, and often want to be just like them. Children are growing up too fast and are often manipulated by the influence of an individual they decide to follow, but many times we don’t lead by example.... [tags: individualism, self-esteem, society, cultural]
843 words (2.4 pages)
- In a world where everyone has experienced "the same poignant life experiences, such as birth, helplessness, illness, old age, and death," it is incredible to think of the number of ways that peoples can go through these events in life. It is most common that their attitudes and responses are influenced by their environment and society. As Clyde Kluckhohn had explained in "Mirror for Man", the best explanation for any human action is the "concept of culture." One cannot clearly define this idea, but through the comparison of two different groups of people hopefully one can better understand the meaning of culture.... [tags: Mirror for Man Essays]
772 words (2.2 pages)
- An Analysis of To Have without Holding by Marge Piercy The poem "To Have without Holding," by Marge Piercy, is about the speaker trying to reconcile the conflict between her preconceived notion of a personal relationship with present reality. Her partner, whom she must feel worth the pain and effort, apparently has a more liberal and open approach, which causes her to feel insecure. The poem expresses, using metaphor, simile, and symbolism, the speaker's discomfort at a point in time in this emotionally unbalanced relationship.... [tags: To Have without Holding Essays]
1382 words (3.9 pages)
- The Oppressing Face of Madness in the Mirror of Society For centuries women in life and literature were often portrayed as submissive, docile, and obedient to men. Focusing primarily on the nineteenth century, literature of the period often characterized women as victims oppressed by society, culture, as well as by the male influences in their lives. Many of the female characters suffered the effects of isolation brought on by constant oppression and subservience driving them insane and mad. The views of women in early literature were often silenced and their opinion’s disregarded by a dominant patriarchal society.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
2146 words (6.1 pages)
- Transcending Place and Time in Mirror for Man In the given passage from Mirror for Man, Clyde Kluckhorn explains the similarities and differences between cultures by first defining the anthropological concept of "culture" and then explaining his definition. The definition Kluckhorn gives relies heavily on common sense. Culture is: "the total life way of a people, the social legacy individuals acquire from their group. Or culture can be regarded as that part of the environment that is the creation of human beings." By giving us this definition, Kluckhorn immediately deletes any chance of mininterpreting the word and concept of culture.... [tags: Mirror for Man Essays]
1068 words (3.1 pages)