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How did the Industrial Revolution affect William Blake's poetry?Here is what I have so...

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ban-chan | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 19, 2009 at 3:15 AM via web

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How did the Industrial Revolution affect William Blake's poetry?

Here is what I have so far:

Blake and Wordsworth were part of the Romantic Movement. Wordsworth began to worship nature. For Wordsworth the Revolution was an inspiration and a hope- a sign that human imagination and hope could reshape the world for the better.

Blake saw the Revolution as a prophetic sign of the transformation of the world. Once, a drunk solider was in Blake’s garden. Blake ejected him was tried for treason.

I would like more information on this. May you please help me? Thank you

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:31 AM (Answer #1)

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The Industrial Revolution built a middle class of workers who had, for the first time in history, access to a more comfortable lifestyle because of increase of accessible products, increase in wages and decrease in illness. This economic and material gain came at the expense of the air and the land.

The smokes of the Industrial Revolution became infamous and, more importantly, choking. They obscured the view of and access to Nature. Poets like William Blake have for all time sung the praises of Nature, among other themes, and now Nature was being, literally, blackened.

William Blake was known as a seer, some thought him mentally unbalanced. Blake despised the effects of industrialization on Nature. Blake saw industrialization as a negative "transformation of the world." In his poetry he tried to draw a picture of the reality of these effects of industrialization and he tried to warn that if careful thought and action were not taken, Nature would become further and increasingly further removed from humanity's reach. And such has been the case.

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