William Wordsworth's Composed Upon Westminster Bridge and William Blake's London

William Wordsworth's Composed Upon Westminster Bridge and William Blake's London

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William Wordsworth's Composed Upon Westminster Bridge and William Blake's London


In London during the 1800s most poor young children used to get
diseases by drinking water from the river Thames. This was because the
people of London would throw there waste into it. Many poor children
died of a disease called cholera that made them turn blue and spotty;
it was carried through infected drinking water in the public water
pumps. The lower classes were too poor to buy medicine from the
doctors to cure themselves, so many died from illnesses that would not
be serious today. There were no medicines given to children to stop
them getting diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough and polio. A
large percentage of children died from these diseases. In poor areas
of the inner cities, up to half the children born were dead before the
age of five years.

The poor people lived in terraced housing; this type of housing was
usually very cramped for the large families. They did not have back
gardens, and the streets between the houses were cobbled, with waste
channels running along them. There was no water supply in the houses,
so they had to walk to the local pump every day to collect water for
their washing, cooking and cleaning. Also at the end of the alley was
a communal "privy" which was the only toilet facilities for the
families to share. About Hundred and eighty people used the same
toilet every day, so it was very smelly and unhealthy. The children
had to share beds: four people usually lay top to tail in the same
bed. They often had to take it in turns to sleep in the beds or on
mattresses. Families owned tin baths which they filled with water,
usually once a week. The family members all used the same water, one
after the other. Houses were warmed by coal fires, which made the area
very smelly and smoky in the winter.

Many poor children had to work in factories making cloth or household
goods.

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It was very dangerous in the factories for children, especially
when they had to go underneath the machines and pick up the waste
material. They often worked twelve hours a day, among machines that
were deafening and fast-moving. One job children had was as "piecers",
repairing broken thread in cotton mills. Many became ill or had bad
accidents, which left them with injuries. Factory and mine owners did
not think that anything was wrong with children doing nasty jobs. They
were paid very little money there were no laws to protect them. Small
boys also did chimney sweeping for rich people, they worked as slaves
for a master sweep, who forced them up the chimneys. Sometimes they
got stuck up there and died of suffocation, or would become ill
because of the soot that would enter the boy's lungs.

William Wordsworth thinks London is a happy place where the sun is
always shining. He was did not seem aware of the poorer more dreary
side of London. He likes London more in the morning because he
describes its beauty in the morning only. He mentions that London was
a majestic place which may refer to the fact that London is a very
royal city. He mentions all the leisure aspects of London like the
ships, towers, domes and theaters which refer to London as being a
wealthy and a fun place. William Wordsworth must of thought that
London was full of nature and beauty, with lovely rivers and steep
hills. He talks about the house's being asleep and of calm.

William Blake has a very negative view of London. He sees the reality
of the poor and run down areas, so he has a more realistic view on
London. He mentions all the dreary but true points of London. He
thinks London is a place full of fear. He sees all the harlots and
what pain they are going through. He feels for the poor and the
hardship they are going through. He thinks that London is not a very
comfortable place to live in, that there is a lot of commotion and
disruption in most area's that he passes. He feels that London is a
place where unwanted babies are born and are also dieing because of
diseases being past through the mother to the baby. He thinks London
is a place where poor people are dieing because they can't afford
medical treatment.

William Wordsworth describes the sun rising as beautiful since it is
in the morning. He describes the morning as if it is like heaven with
words such as "bright and glittering". He says the air is "smokeless"
which obviously would be in the morning since the factories are not
running, but during the noon and after it is full of smoke because of
the factories. He uses personification by describing the river as if
it was alive. This would make William Wordsworth feel like he is in
wonderland or in his own world. It would make him feel more relaxed
and calm.

When you compare the two poems, their moods are completely different.
William Wordsworth's poem has a more positive view compared to William
Blake's. Blake's poem is more sullen with a feeling of hopelessness to
it. There is a dark feeling about his poem. Where as Wordsworth has a
brighter outlook on London. Wordsworth's poem is an optimistic view;
there is a sense of beauty, calm and godliness.

Out of the two poems I prefer Blake's poem. His poem is more down to
earth, he has taken time to look at the reality of everyday lives of
people from poorer backgrounds. Yet he recognizes that there are
riches in London by mentioning the walls of the palace. His poem is
more realistic then Wordsworths. He does not just go on about one
thing he writes about different difficulties of people in London. I
don't like William Wordsworth's poem that much because it is a bit
boring and its like as if he is describing a picture instead of
London.

William Blake uses repetition in the second verse with "every". This
poem is written in verses. "Mind forg'd manacle" is a metaphor. "Runs
in blood down palace walls" is also a metaphor it creates an image in
your head of blood running down palace walls and it means that it's
the royalties fault for all the soldiers because their sending them to
war. The rhyme in Blake's poem is
a,b,a,b,c,d,c,d,e,f,e,f,g,h,g,h,d,i,d,i.

William Wordsworth's poem is a sonnet (it contains fourteen lines).
The rhythm of the sonnet expresses love. The rhyming pattern is always
changing. He uses repetition with the word "never". "The city now doth
like a garment wear" is a simile an is also personification he gives
the city a human characteristic. The sun is personified by using the
word "his". "The river glideth at its own sweet will" is also
personification; it's describing the river as if it flows as it wants.
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