Sociological Criticism on William Blake’s Poetry Essay

Sociological Criticism on William Blake’s Poetry Essay

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Sociological criticism emphasizes the political, economic, and cultural aspects of literature, and one of its main focuses is evaluating writing from a Marxist perspective, which examines the writing in mostly political and economic fashion, including ideas such as communism and social inequality. The idea of class oppression is clearly represented in many of William Blake’s writings. Blake’s opposition to the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists is obvious in many of his poems. Blake’s ideology of an equalitarian society could be described in the sayings of Karl Marx. Marxist criticism explains the reasons behind Blake’s anger towards social inequality. Poems like “The Chimney Sweeper” and “London” illustrate Blake’s despairing sadness towards the phenomena produced by the unjust inequality in 18th century England. In “The Chimney Sweeper,” Blake expresses his anger at the late 18th and 19th century's use of child labor in urban England. In “London,” Blake illustrates the depressing class oppression that could be easily seen through the streets of London.
Often considered by scholars as the greatest pioneer of the Romantic movement in English literature, Blake was crowned as a “glorious luminary” by the 19th century English writer William Rossetti. Blake's poetry consistently embraces the idea of rebellion against the abuse of class power. Blake encountered both the American and French revolutions and was heavily influenced by the sense of liberation in both revolutions. He was also concerned about the negative effects of the industrial revolution, which further polarized the income distribution among different classes. The British Marxist historian E.P. Thompson classified Blake as having many similar beliefs as ...


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Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. Literature: an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. Print.
LaGuardia, Cheryl. "WILLIAM BLAKE: SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND OF EXPERIENCE." Library Journal 128.9 (2003): 140. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 13 July 2011.
"William Blake - Biography and Works. Search Texts, Read Online. Discuss." The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 07 July 2011. .
"William Blake : Biography." Spartacus Educational - Home Page. Web. 07 July 2011 .
"William Blake's London - 21st Century Socialism." 21st Century Socialism - 21st Century Socialism. Web. 07 July 2011. _london_01594.html>.

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Sociological Criticism on William Blake’s Poetry Essay

- Sociological criticism emphasizes the political, economic, and cultural aspects of literature, and one of its main focuses is evaluating writing from a Marxist perspective, which examines the writing in mostly political and economic fashion, including ideas such as communism and social inequality. The idea of class oppression is clearly represented in many of William Blake’s writings. Blake’s opposition to the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists is obvious in many of his poems. Blake’s ideology of an equalitarian society could be described in the sayings of Karl Marx....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

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