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In Blake's work, parents are often perceived as inhibiting and repressing their children.Their own fears and shame are communicated to the next generation through the parental desire to ‘protect' children from their desires and their sexuality.It also echoes the vision of Jesus in heaven who holds the keys of life / death in Revelation wash in a river – With poor sanitation and no running water, washing in a river represented a thorough clean, as well as evoking a pastoral idyll.
Reinforced by the Church of England and the monarchy, the restrictive circumstances of the time facilitated the development of the Romantic ideals of freedom of expression, individuality, subjectivity, equality and Pantheism, as well as the French Revolution.
Dissenters such as Blake fiercely challenged the status quo, pioneering the Romantic Movement.
A green plain – Blake often refers to a green, usually the village green, or the use of the adjective, green, in a way intended to evoke the same associations: Blake attacks the pious hope of future solace in heaven, advocated by some Christians as a way of avoiding the uncomfortable reality of injustice and exploitation.
This taught people to accept present suffering and injustice because of the promise of bliss and the absence of all suffering in the next world.
[child] - Underlying the poem, though the term is not used, is the fact that the speaker is a child.
All Blake's associations with the image of the child are therefore in the background of the poem and affect our understanding of it.Christian teaching about respecting authority led to the sense that being ‘good' meant accepting the status quo as though it had been designed by God to be that way.It is represented by a verse from a 19th century hymn: Blake felt such a view was contradicted by the care for the poor and stance against injustice demonstrated by Jesus and the early church.successfully articulates the Romantic concept of passion using the innocence and vulnerability of a child as a plea for social justice.The combination of the AABB rhyme scheme, simple word choice, and anapaestic and iambic feet in the poem creates a childlike, light-hearted tone which accentuates the naivety of the speaker, who does not comprehend his grim situation and the exploitation that he is subject to. "' demonstrate the injustice of forcing such young children into an incredibly dangerous line of work.He is reminding his readers either that a maltreated child still bears the image of God, or that there is something divinely human about the child.coffins of black – The claustrophobic confines of grimy chimneys may have seemed like living coffins to their young occupants, many of whom lost their lives through their job.However, lambs are also associated with vulnerable sacrifices for human evil.See Big ideas from the Bible Sheep, shepherd, lambs.However, Blake believed that it was mistaken to look for ‘release' in the future.He felt that humans do not need freeing from their bodies, but from the perception that reality can only be experienced through the senses.