Essay PreviewMore ↓
London, Wordsworth’s Composed Upon Westminster Bridge and
Johnson’s Inglan Is A Bitch.
In “London”, Blake creates the image that London is a very grim
place. He describes it, as having mapped out streets, even the river
Thames is not flowing along its natural route, the whole place is
unnatural, and false. All Blake can see is misery everywhere. This
is made very clear by the repetition of the word “every”:
“In every cry of every man,
In every infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.”
He uses repetition to get the message across that he sees real misery
everywhere he looks, and in everything he hears. It gets the message
into your mind. Also, “in every ban” is a public declaration, saying
that everything about the place is made so that people are miserable.
Blake goes on to say how London is a very dirty place; “black’ning
church appals” creates the image of dirt being everywhere, even on
churches, which are normally seen as places that are not left to get
Clearly, Blake does not like London, and uses imagery to show this.
With use of repetition, vivid images of the dirty, and miserable place
he sees are created.
Wordsworth however, has a very different approach to London. He sees
it as the finest place on Earth, and that never before has he seen a
place that really is so beautiful as London. He says that if you don’t
see London as being like this, then you have no soul, no feelings.
There is a very positive approach to the poem. “The beauty of the
morning” and “majesty” used to build a picture of what he sees. “Like
a garment” is a simile used to make it sound alive.
Here you see a complete contrast to the way Blake sees London.
Blake's misery and dullness, now seen as happiness and beauty.
Wordsworth describes the Thames as being very natural, as flowing at
its own will. Blake describes it as chartered, and unnatural. A
complete contrast. In Wordsworth’s poem, there is no dirt, just clean
“smokeless” air. The buildings are alive in Wordsworth’s poem, but
not in Blake's. It is as if the two poets, are writing about a
completely different place, even though they are writing about the
same place at around the same time, the 19th century.
However, and important factor we can take into account, is the time of
day that the poems are describing. Wordsworth’s poem is written early
in the morning, just as the sun is rising.
How to Cite this Page
"Compare and contrast the three portrayals of London in Blake’s." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Aug 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Oppression and Spiritual Deterioration in William Blake's Poem London London I wander thro' each charter'd street, 1 Near where the charter'd Thames does flow, 2 And mark in every face I meet, 3 Marks of weakness, marks of woe. 4 In every cry of every Man, 5 In every Infant's cry of fear, 6 In every voice, in every ban, 7 The mind-forg'd manacles I hear: 8 How the Chimney-sweeper's cry 9 Every blackning Church appalls, 10 And the hapless Soldier's sigh, 11 Runs the blood down Palace walls.... [tags: Blake's London Essays]
1165 words (3.3 pages)
- William Blake, the Jonah of London missing works cited Through the streets and alleyways of Nineveh the prophet Jonah trudged. At every marketplace and city gate he joyously roared his tidings of evil, “forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned!” Two and a half millennia after the great fish vomited Jonah back onto dry land, William Blake faithfully follows that path of bilge and seaweed, bile and gall, into the fraternity of prophets and oracles. Just as Jonah was reluctant to prophesy to the Ninevites for fear that his enemies would hear and repent, Blake has a vested interest in perpetuating the blindness of his readers.... [tags: Blake Jonah London]
2913 words (8.3 pages)
- The Effects of Industrialization in William Blake's London 'London' by William Blake is one example of Blake's disapproval of changes that occurred in his lifetime. In his poem "London," from his work Songs of Experience, Blake describes the woes of the Industrial Revolution and the breaking of the common man's ties to the land, which he has brought upon himself. He describes the Thames River and the city streets as "chartered," or controlled by commercial interests; he refers to "mind-forged manacles"; he relates that every man's face contains "Marks of weakness, marks of woe"; and he discusses the "every cry of every Man" and "every Infant's cry of fear." He connects marriage and death... [tags: Blake London Essays Poetry Poet Poem ]
1029 words (2.9 pages)
- The Theme of the Suffering Innocent in Blake's London The poem "London" by William Blake paints a frightening, dark picture of the eighteenth century London, a picture of war, poverty and pain. Written in the historical context of the English crusade against France in 1793, William Blake cries out with vivid analogies and images against the repressive and hypocritical English society. He accuses the government, the clergy and the crown of failing their mandate to serve people. Blake confronts the reader in an apocalyptic picture with the devastating consequences of diseasing the creative capabilities of a society.... [tags: Blake's London Essays Poetry]
1071 words (3.1 pages)
- Appreciation for London by William Blake The first stanza of the poem London opens with the image of Blake as he wanders “thro' each charter'd street”. Blake selected the word “charter'd” to convey various images in the readers mind. The immediate image the audience will visualize is that the streets of London were mapped out. However, on further examination the reader can determine that Blake had another meaning for the word. The word charter is also a document bestowing certain rights on a town or city.... [tags: London William Blake Poems Poetry Essays]
504 words (1.4 pages)
- Analysis of William Blake's Poem London London by William Blake is a poem characterised by its dark and overbearing tone. It is a glimpse at a period of England's history (particularly London) during war and poverty, experienced by the narrator as he walks through the streets. Using personification it draws a great human aspect to its representation of thoughts and beliefs of the narrator. The author uses a rhyme scheme that mirrors the pace of walking. The pace is moderate using an octameter meter, and each stressed syllable is like each footfall of the narrator.... [tags: William Blake London Poetry Essays]
533 words (1.5 pages)
- Self-Made Misery in Blake’s London The poet William Blake paints a picture of the dirty, miserable streets of London in his poem, "London". He describes the wretched people at the bottom of the society, the chimney-sweeps, soldiers, and harlots. These people cry out from their pain and the injustices done to them. The entire poem centers around the wails of these people and what they have become due to wrongs done to them by the rest of society, primarily institutions such as the church and government.... [tags: Blake's London Essays]
532 words (1.5 pages)
- A Symbolic Analysis of William Blake's London .........In his reflection "London," William Blake laments the poverty faced by the lower class of modern, industrialized London, and he can find no note of consolation or hope for their future. The poet uses this theme to dramatically depict the conditions in which the oppressed lower class is forced to live; he develops the theme through the use of sounds, symbolism, and an ironic twist of words in the last line that expresses Blake's ultimate belief in the hopelessness of the situation.... [tags: Literature William Blake London Poem Essay]
935 words (2.7 pages)
- William Blake's "London" Works Cited Not Included William Blake's "London" is a representative of English society as a whole, and the human condition in general that outlines the socio-economic problems of the time and the major communal evils. It condemns authoritative institutions including the military, royalty, new industries, and the Church. Blake's tone creates a feeling of informative bitterness, and is both angry and despondent at the suffering and increasing corruption of London's society.... [tags: William Blake London Poem Poetry Essays]
1007 words (2.9 pages)
- Compare and Contrast William Wordsworth's Composed Upon Westminster Bridge and William Blake's London William Wordsworth and William Blake wrote poems about London, but they presented their views from different angles. Wordsworth sees the beauty in London and Blake sees only the ugliness. William Wordsworth's "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" gives a step-by-step look at the awe-inspiring beauty of a London sunrise, whereas William Blake's "London" shows the dreary ugliness of London life by taking a stroll down London's streets.... [tags: comparison compare contrast wordsworth blake]
1170 words (3.3 pages)
- Comparison of Dulce et Decorum Est and Charge of the Light Brigade
- Comparing The Lamb and The Tyger by William Blake
- A Comparison of The death of a hired man and Out, Out- by Robert Frost
- Compare and contrast the two poems, focusing on how the poets use
- Compare and Contrast the two poems, London and Composed Upon Westminster
- The Theme of Death in War in The Rich Dead and Dulce et Decorum Est
would have a very different view of London to Blake, who is writing
having been in London for some time. Early in the morning, London
would almost be asleep still, and so no noise, or smoke, with the
sunlight giving a very different view. This maybe begins to explain
why these poems, of the same time, show contrasting views about
Johnson’s poem, “Inglan is a Bitch”, takes a very different approach
to London. It is written from his own experiences of life in London.
Like Blake, he greatly dislikes London. He says that the people
wanted to hide him, because he was black, and so they made him work on
the underground. He felt that he was treated badly, and unfairly no
matter what he did, or how hard he tried. He was given all the jobs
that other people didn’t want, for example, dishwasher in a hotel. He
says how there was never any time for clock watching, as he was always
made too do work. He dislikes it how people take money that he has
rightly earned away by tax. There are many more examples of what he
is made to do, for very little money.
To make the audience realise what has happened to him, he uses
refrains. Each time, the last line changes, from saying that you
can’t escape the fact that England is a bitch, to how he can’t sleep
because he worries about how he is going to cope with so little money,
to how he feels that people should just face up to the fact that it is
like this, admit it and change it. Because he uses these refrains,
what he trying to say gets into your mind, and you are made to think
The poem ends with a rhetorical question,
“is whey wi a goh dhu ‘bout it?”
This end makes people think, that yes the way he was treated is wrong,
and that something should be done about it. This is exactly what
Johnson wanted people to do when he wrote it, as it is his way of
‘having a go’ at England.
This poem is different from both Blake's and Wordsworth’s poems in
many ways. A major way, being that it is written in Johnson’s
dialect. It is written exactly how he thought of it. It also shows
that he is from Jamaica, and makes the reader think that maybe a lot
of what went on was racial abuse, and people just didn’t accept him.
He was made a minority. It also makes the simple task of reading the
poem hard work. He does this as it is a way getting his own back.
His life was made hard, and so he will make something simple on our
lives difficult to. You are able to understand how bitter he felt
about how he was treated.
It is also based on what is almost a completely different London.
Both Blake and Wordsworth wrote in the 19th Century, however, Johnson
wrote his poem in the 20th Century. No longer are there the fields
that Wordsworth saw in his day, instead there are busy streets,
hotels, and the underground. London would be completely
unrecognisable to Blake or Wordsworth.
It is clear therefore, that the three poems here are all very
different. They do all show the views of the poets writing them, but
they all have a very different effect. Blake's poem is very critical
of London, by saying that it is a dark, dirty and miserable place to
be. Even the river is unnatural.
Wordsworth’s poem is very positive about London. He says that he has
never seen somewhere that is as beautiful. There is not a hint of
criticism in the poem.
Johnson’s poem is very negative, like Blake’s, but in a different
way. He feels that London has treated him unfairly, that is why he
does not like it. It is not what it looks like that bothers him.
Blake, and Wordsworth wrote in the 19th Century, looking at London
from the outside. They write about the image that it left them with.
Johnson, writing in the 20th Century, tells us about his personal
experiences in London, and the effect that that had on him. This
means that there is a very different approach to Johnson’s poem.
The poem that I find most effective is Johnson’s poem, as it is light
hearted, with some humour, whilst still making you think about what he
is saying, and understanding why he wrote the poem.