Saturday, November 22, 2014

Final Project Proposal: Revision of Blake

I would like to continue working on my essay regarding Blake and discussing why the ambiguity in his poem London was important during the time. I will build off of my previous revision of how the combination of text and imagery creates ambiguity but how this ambiguity reveals that his purpose is to show the social and political unrest in London as well as the unrest leading up to the French Revolution.  I will be using other poems from Songs of Experience such as The Chimney Sweeper and Nurses song to show how their content and meanings show the unhappiness and injustices that happened to people during this time. I will also use historical texts to prove the connection between the social unrest during the late 1700’s to early 1800’s and the content of Blake’s poems.

This argument is important to discuss because it shows an example of how people questioned the government and the world around them without being violent during this time. It shows the negatives of Europe during this time that is known for growth and enlightenment. Blake shows the people who were overshadowed and the struggles of the many common people, and although this is a opinionated essay it sheds a new light onto history.

Works Cited: From first revision
Hirschel, J. David, and William Wakefield. "Chapter 6: England." International Handbook on Juvenile Justice. By Donald J. Shoemaker. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1996. N. pag. Print.

and Victorians: William Blake's Radical Politics." The British Library. The British Library Board, n.d. Web. 5 Oct. 2014.

New Sources:

The Poetry Foundation. "William Blake." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 2014. Web. 22 Nov. 2014. <>.
-This source gives information about Blake, his childhood, his career and political views, helping me back up my argument that his purpose is political.

Adams, Hazard. "The Dizziness of Freedom; Or, Why I Read William Blake." College English 48.5 (1986): 431-43. JSTOR. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.
-This book discusses how some of Blakes ideas were not accepted during the time. This article helps support my argument of why there is ambiguity in his poem London, and supports the questioning of government.

The British Library Board. "Health and Hygiene." Health and Hygiene. The British Library Board, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2014. <>.\
This site gives insight into the realities of Britian, specifically London during the time Blake wrote Songs of Innocence and Experience.

While I do not have a concrete introduction yet, the outline of my paper will deal with the analysis of the poems London, talk about the meaning, and then answering why. I will then add the analysis of the other poems and how they support my argument as well. I  will use the biographical source to help me make my argument as well. 


  1. Rina - your revision idea sounds great and it's something that really interests me. Blake was one of the harder books we read this semester, in my opinion, because of how hard it was to interpret. Like you mentioned, there was a lot of ambiguity. I think it's great that you're taking that ambiguity and making it into a concrete argument. Using other poems is great and I like that you will be giving a mini history lesson as well.
    Your research seems to be pretty spot on to me. I like that you are also going into Blake's personal history. The only thing I can think of to suggest is maybe the reasons why the common people were so overshadowed and maybe comparing the Blake's accounts to actual accounts - but I have a feeling you were already planning on doing that.

    I didn't have an outline or introduction to read, but it sounds like you know exactly what and how you wanna write, which is great!

  2. The health and hygiene source sounds good. I'm a little hesitant about relationship between sources and argument here. If this is basically an essay which focuses on explaining Blake historically, through the conflicts and events of his time -- that is, if your basic purpose is to help us understand Blake better through historical research -- then I think the research component is pretty light, even if it's moving in the right direction. If, on the other hand, you are interested in an producing an interpretation of Blake which is merely historically *informed*, then the trajectory or purpose of that interpretation is perhaps underdeveloped.

    So fundamentally I'm okay with this approach, but I assume that more research and/or a clearer argument will emerge as you go.