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Discuss the major themes in the poetry of William Blake

William Black, renowned for poetry, painting and engraving with distinguished God gifted vision of imagination, has composed several poetries, which were unknown to his lifetime but gathers huge appreciation after his life. His poetry can be read by various age groups with different level of meaning. His poetry can be enjoyed even by the children for its rhythmic beauty and also by scholars for its deep meaning at different levels. His strong visual mind has the capacity to compose the things which he imagined as he can see his imagination.

His poetry has always a mystical or spiritual meaning though he chooses the theme of poetry physically as a tiger or a rose or a lamb. The interpretation of the poems of Black can be done at four different levels as Dante had suggested for the understanding of his Divine Comedy. The first one is literal meaning, in which poems have no other meaning than a sequence of events or external description of a thing or of an understanding.

Second one is moral meaning, in which only the moral commands in a sequence is interpreted with both positive and negative aspects with awards for the right action and punishments for the wrong doings as is suggested in Dante’s poems. Third one is allegorical meanings, showing the interpretation of some figurative system of belief. The fourth and the highest level of meaning is anagogical meaning, in which the poems should be interpreted in mystical ways. For example understanding of Jerusalem in Black’s poetry can be different at various levels.

At literal level it may simply represents the city in Palestine with its population, if the moral aspect is considered it may be a believing soul, in terms of allegorical meaning it may have the meaning of the Church, and if the anagogical meaning is considered this may be the mystic city of God. Black has sought for new forms in his poetry with new themes and techniques discarding the contemporary tradition in neoclassical age. New verses with new techniques were introduced by him. In his view the poem is not only composition of words but combination of words themes with illustration and other visual things.

In one of his famous poems ‘Tyger’ he has used the unusual spelling of tiger to express some burning desire effect, which he felt at the time of composing the poem. This effect can be seen in the first line of the poem. “Tyger! Tyger! burning bright”. He also uses the process of engraving the writing material on the metals to give the visual effects. His painted illustrations were other revolutionary materials in providing the value to his theme of the poetry. Black has extended the scheme of triadic division to the theme of the poetry.

In his poetry the thought of oneness in the loss of life can be seen. He wanted to establish the early way of thinking which were lost in the passage of time. He emphasizes on the theme to restore the primitive way of viewing to revitalize the heart. Through his Songs of Innocence, he expresses the joy of nature through the child as the observer with deep meaning for the scholars at different levels whereas in Songs of Experience he has depicted the theme of imprisonment of a child in the complexity of state and church.

In later he expresses the opposite and contrary state of human soul and in former his theme of innocence is depicted through the use of lamb describing as the child and asking the question innocently who have made the lamb. Is there any similarity between the mind of the creator of the lamb and the creator of the tiger, as both are different in nature? This question is raised by the poet himself.

Hence through the visualizing mind William Black has created the various poetries which were not simple in meaning though looks very simple to the reader of that respective age but when viewed with different angle and level that poetry gives deep meaning depending upon the capacity of the reader. This high level art with visualizing effect is certainly highly appreciable. Reference: Prof. Rao, E. Nageswara. British Poetry. IGNOU. New Delhi. 2004. Unit 28 ********************** Q2. How do issues of class get raised in the Pride and Prejudice? How does the novel resolve these issues?

What role does gender play in how Austen engages issues of class in the novel? Jane Austen, in Pride and Prejudice, the novel of vivid portrayal of social class with the help of lively characterization of the people in the contemporary society, has successfully raised the issue of class differentiation with the help of her main plot characters Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. The different between the middle and higher middle class in the social status and the indifference of the latter from the former is clearly portrayed in terms of personal pride by Mr.

Darcy and personal prejudice by Elizabeth. The owing of the mansion called Pemberley house by Mr. Darcy is a great matter of pride for him and his annual income of ten thousand pounds per annum adds more weight to his pride. For this he even feeling attracted towards Elizabeth by inner hearts at the ball, social gathering in the town of Meryton which is at a few distance of Longbourn, he makes unbearable remark about her, which make her to keep a distance from him. He does not find a person who is in comparison with the social status of him so he only dances with Mrs.

Hurst and sister of Mr. Bingley who are in the same status of the class with him. And when he proposes to Elizabeth for the marriage he can not leave his pride and his intention of making mercy by lowering his status by proposing to a low class woman is clearly indicated in his voice, which cannot be accepted by Elizabeth Bennet and she promptly refuses the proposal which was not expected to Mr. Darcy. He is astonished with this act of Elizabeth. This class differences is resolved in the development of the plot with the change of mind with discarding the false pride by Mr.

Darcy with helping the Bennet family in arranging the marriage of Miss Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley, and solving the problems of elopement of Lydia and Mr. Wickham by arranging marriage between them without any consent of Elizabeth. After this happening only Elizabeth’s heart feels close intimation to him and she accepts the second proposal of marriage of Mr. Darcy. Another difference of class due to pride is noticed clearly in Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who also belongs to upper class. She owns a large house, called Rosings Parks, herself being a mistress of a large estate.

So when she speaks to other persons who are from lower middle class she keeps herself at social and economical height. While entertaining Mr. and Mrs. Collin’s guest at her house, she keeps the distance in her speech to them thinking them inferior persons in the class. When she invites Elizabeth in her house to play piano, she asks her to remain in the housekeeper’s quarters. For her it is matter of disgrace if her upper class nephew married to the girl of lower class in terms of status and finance like Elizabeth.

Miss Bingley has same attitude towards the persons of the inferior class. She even not prefers to talk to them in proper manners. As the society is male dominated one, the importance is given to them. The female are to show themselves as beauty at the assembly to be chosen as their bride by males. Mrs. Bennet is very much conscious about choosing the husbands for her five girls. She supposes to settle all her daughters with wealthy man. When she hears about Mr. Bingley that he is from a high-class family, she expects to choose one of her daughter by him as his would be wife.

“If I can see one of my daughters happily settled at Netherfield…and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing to wish for” (Chapter 3 of Volume 1). This shows her anxiety due to class difference to have upper class husband for her daughters to have a match to upper class. Gender inequality in the novel is such that there is no any say that the female may choose any male at the social gathering but always the male are supposed to choose female. Q3.

Why does Austen call Elizabeth by her first name and Mr. Darcy by his last name throughout the novel? What is the effect of this naming? What are its social implications? Jane Austen in her contemporary period novel, Pride and Prejudice, providing social message about the matrimonial complexity about her society, has called the girls of Bennet family including Elizabeth Bennet by her first name and Mr. Firtzwilliam Darcy by his last name throughout the novel, firstly to show the status of the class and its pride.

Mr. Darcy belong to the upper middle class of the contemporary society and he himself has got self respect for this status and he does not looks other persons of middle class or lower middle class family as a highly respectable persons. He has got a big estate and earning of ten thousand of ponds per annum. This always gives him thought not to keep contact with the lower financial status persons in the society. On the other hand Elizabeth Bennet is from the lower middle class in the contemporary society.

This naming also indicate that the due respect is given to the male unmarried person by calling by their last name and in case of female the respect is obtained only after the marriage and the spinsters are called by their first name. Also the society at the time of Austen was a male dominated society so the male persons are given due respect by calling them by their last name as the females were bound to marry a male and after the marriage the last name of the male has to be taken by the female so they were called by first name only as when married, no problems of naming should arise.

Last name of a family and person indicate the family and social status, so to call a person by last name is to call the family with a social respect and s/he is thought to be the representative of the family either as head or an important member of the family. When Mr. Bennet is also called by his last name, he is given the importance as the head of the family and social respect is given to the family. He represents the family whenever he is called in the novel likewise Mr.

Darcy is given importance as the representative of the Darcy family. Another reason to call the Mr. Darcy by his last name and Miss Elizabeth by her first name in the novel is that there are five Bennet sisters in the family and they all are on the scene but on the other hand Mr. Darcy is alone male member from the Darcy family in scene, so for the convenient of the understanding without any extra indication, this naming system is used by Austen throughout the novel.

If she would have called Elizabeth by her last name as Miss Bennet then the reader would always ask which one, then she should have to number the sister as Miss Bennet first, second, third, fourth and fifth with would have certainly lowered the dignity of the novel and all the illusion of the fiction would have destroyed in the novel with no any value to give proper names as Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine or Lydia. This naming also give some characteristic indications of the girls. Name of Jane itself suggest some calm and believing character. With hearing the name of Lydia we can imagine swiftness in her character.

Calling Elizabeth as second Bennet sister would not have created the current picture of her in the mind of the reader. It is very important for a writer to portrait the character in the fiction as a live picture of the character when reading the fiction. So by calling Mr. Darcy by his first name and Elizabeth by her last name in the novel by Austen is a total justice to the development of the novel with social value with the indication of pride and intolerance of the characters of the plot. Reference: Austen, J. Pride and Prejudice, June 16, 2009. http://www. pemberley. com/janeinfo/ppv1n01. html

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