Is anger a predominant note in "Songs of Experience"?

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your question covers a tremendous amount of territory, asking about the collection of poems by Blake, Songs of Experience.  Yet you ask for a detailed answer.  That's difficult in this forum of relatively short answers.  I'll answer giving you much detail about one particular poem, and let other editors deal with the collection as a whole.

No, anger is not predominant in William Blake's "The Tyger."  Awe and reverence and wonder are dominant.

The poem focuses on the creator and the tyger.  The speaker is not angry at the creator, though, nor is the speaker angry at the tyger.  The speaker is in awe that a creator could make a beast with such "fearful symmetry," with such "fire" in its eyes.  The speaker wonders at a creator that could "twist the sinews" of the heart of the great beast, and at the blacksmith (figuratively speaking) that could form a beast capable of such "deadly terrors." 

When studied in conjunction with its companion poem, "The Lamb," the tyger, or any large, ferocious cat, is contrasted with the meek, mild, innocent lamb.  The tyger is the opposite of the lamb.  If the lamb is innocence, the tyger is experience.  And the speaker's point is that the same creator that made the lamb made the tyger.  They are two sides of the same creator, and by extension, two sides of nature and existence and humans.  Humans consist of oppositions, and therefore oppositions are not really oppositions.  Humans consist of a mixture of good and evil, innocence and experience.  Dichotomies do not exist, for Blake.  People are not totally good or totally evil--we are mixtures. 

Blake is also interested in perspectives, vantage points, points of view.  The lamb and the tyger also present different perspectives of the creator and of existence.

Read the study guide:
Songs of Innocence and of Experience

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