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What does the apple in "A Poison Tree" by William Blake represent? Does it have...

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bilebile | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 20, 2009 at 12:45 AM via web

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What does the apple in "A Poison Tree" by William Blake represent? Does it have anything to do with the persona's revenge on his foe?

 

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted March 20, 2009 at 5:23 AM (Answer #1)

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The apple represents all of the pent up frustration or anger that the speaker has for his enemy.  He never got whatever problem he had with his enemy off his chest.  So instead of venting like he did with his friend, and working it out together, his anger and bitterness slowly grew.  It is "cultivated" in the poem, and ends up turning into wrath, or the apple.

The apple itself is not necessarily revenge on his enemy, but it ends up functioning that way.  Whatever he held in so long, when finally exposed to his enemy, ended up destroying his enemy.

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