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Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1994. The primary source that directs the study is Blake William's Songs of Innocence and Experience. Throughout his poetry, the poet aims to highlight the different conflicts between the free will to love and human enlightenment in a world that is otherwise full of bigotry represented by slavery and other types of demeaning profiling. The poems "The Chimney Sweeper" and "Little Black Boy" provide insight into Blake's experience of humanity and how he sees it as a whole. Blake continues to center his attention in his poetry on slavery and the mistreatment of people of color. Impressively, Blake perceives all humans as equal as can be seen from his interpretation of the Bible. He gives several examples using the Bible, utilizing it as a reference in more than one occasion; claiming all humans are equal in the eyes of God.
The poem collection is significant, more so in helping the reader understand the various themes passed across by the author. The poems that are analyzed in the essay explicitly point out towards the theme of slavery and racism while offering a much-required insight on how the two issues might impact modern societies. This poses the question of just how much racism and slavery affect our societies and the various ways in which issues concerning racism might be addressed.
Ebert, Kimberly L. "Demystifying color-blind ideology: Denying race, ignoring racial inequalities." Skin/deep: How race and complexion matter in the “color-blind” era (2004): 174-196. Ebert`s article is based on her interpretation of Blake`s pieces and that of other anti-slavery authors. Throughout, she defines the role played by racism in dragging progression and how the issue could be addressed in the modern society. Thus, through the focus placed on the effects of racial inequality, Ebert explains the insubstantiality of human bodies while using Blake`s “The Little Black Boy” as a reference. She shares Blake`s desires of a racism-free society where every individual is treated equally and not segregated by the color of their skin. Thus, she comes to a similar conclusion to that of Blake which is, there is no superior skin color and that the character of a person is the only difference in bodies that are otherwise used as vases for the spirit and soul.
Ebert`s work is essential, especially when attempting to uncover the various ideas conveyed by Blake involving the modern society. Ebert`s work acts as a reflection of the modern society and the various morals it stands for. This provides a unique perspective on the significance of Blake`s pieces to the current generation. Also, it leads to the question of how effective the fight against racism and other types of segregation is in the modern society. This helps analyze Blake`s work from a critical perspective.
Hague, William. William Wilberforce: The life of the great anti-slave trade campaigner. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007. Hague attempts to draw comparisons from Blake`s attitude towards racial segregation and slavery with the experiences of William Wilberforce, a well-revered campaigner of human rights as well as anti-slave trade campaigns. From Hague`s perspective, Blake borrowed quite a lot from Wilberforce`s experiences as it depicted the various types of mistreatment the black people were subjected to which included torture and slavery without any form of respect to humanity. Similarly, Hague attempts to uncover the themes and topics addressed by Blake throughout the poem. This can be seen from the interpretation of Blake`s Christian perspectives, such as equality in the eyes of God. Also, Williams places his focus on comprehending Blake`s various thoughts.
The book enables the reader to develop a more profound understanding of Blake`s poem. This is due to the various perspectives provided which are centered towards the themes of slavery and racism. Through comparing Blake`s work to that of other poets and human rights campaigners, it becomes easier for the reader to understand Blake`s central themes and the techniques used by the poet to communicate his ideas.
Kim, Hae Yeon. "Unification And Fragments Of Words And Visual Images In Songs Of Innocence And Experience." The Journal of Modern British & American Language & Literature 35.1 (2017): 49. Web. Kim`s article focuses solely on analyzing Blake`s poems and the power of his words in creating vivid descriptions of the plights undergone by the black child. Throughout Kim`s work, “Songs of Innocence and Experience” is described as a collection of highly intellectual verses coupled with powerful wordings such as the description of God as the Sun, and how he sheds light equally to all humans. Additionally, Kim describes comparisons, such as those made by Blake involving the similarity of the human skin to clouds. The article further explains the meaning of such descriptions, claiming the comparison of human skins to clouds renders them as useless and instead, describes them as potential hindrances to sunlight(God`s love) if not correctly interpreted.
The article bears significant meaning, more so to the paper as it helps understand various concepts from Blake`s piece. For instance, the various descriptions offered help provide the reader with a much-required insight on Blake`s thinking when he used specific imageries and wordings throughout his texts. This helps comprehend the entire poem better while creating an open-minded atmosphere that enables the critical assessment of Blake`s central ideas.
Whissell, Cynthia. "The Emotionality Of William Blake's Poems: A Quantitative Comparison Of Songs Of Innocence With Songs Of Experience." Perceptual and Motor Skills 92.2 (2001): 459-467. Web. Whissel`s article focuses on the deeper aspects of Blake`s poems. This can be seen through the various lines in which she attempts to comprehend the depth of the wordings in the poem such as the first stanza of “The Little Black Boy” in which the child claims that despite being black, his soul is white. The line is described as deep and a pointer of the direction the poet intends to take. Also, other lines have been analyzed such as the depiction of evil as dark and holy as white. The author takes a solid stance, especially when interpreting the lines and stanzas of Blake`s poems. What is more, the author appears to be in full agreement of Blake`s various perspectives as she provides examples to back her assertions and conclusions.
The article is significant due to its focus on the profoundness of Blake`s poems. Throughout, Whissel attempts to understand the thinking behind Blake`s pieces, and successfully, she manages to convey her findings to the reader. This helps in comprehending some of Blake`s deepest lines which could otherwise be misinterpreted and assumed instead of being considered as vital points of references. Therefore, Whissel`s work is essential to the entire research as it helps provide a much-required deeper understanding of some of the most important themes put across by Blake. Further, her interpretation of Blake`s emotionality also enables readers to understand Blake`s thinking on slavery and racial segregation better without losing direction or focus on the various communications passed across throughout the poems.
Wu, Frank. Yellow: Race in America beyond black and white. Basic Books, 2003.The book is a critical analysis of race in America and how the fight against racism will be won. Throughout the book, the author analyzes racism and its effects not only in America but also in the entire world and how it continues to deny humans the various joys associated with communal living, equality and peaceful societies. Also, the book defines a care free society and the various requirements of such a society. ‘Care free’ according to Wu, is not the literal care free which implies irresponsibility, but instead, it points out to a society that sees beyond the racial lines.
The read offers a critical insight into the effects of racism on the American society and describes just how much work must be done to ensure the modern society is not dragged deeper into the old days of racial segregation. Similar to Blake`s pieces, the author presents color as just an irrelevant external coating that protects the otherwise delicate soul that safeguards human life. This book helps understand Blake`s perspectives as well as providing an insight into how anti-racism ideas can be put to practice and consequently provide solutions on the ongoing plight.
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