Discuss Blake's use of imagery an symbolism with detailed reference to specific poems in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Answer in detail.

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In William Blake's "The Lamb" from Songs of Innocence, the lamb symbolizes humankind. The poem's speaker asks in the first stanza, "Little Lamb who made thee," and offers imagery of "clothing of delight / softest clothing wooly bright" to establish the innocence of the lamb. The speaker goes on to explain that its maker "calls himself a lamb" too. The creator is presented as "meek" and "mild" just like his creation.

In Songs of Experience the speaker of "The Tyger" offers a contrasting view. In considering the creation of the tiger, the speaker wonders, "What immortal hand or eye, / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?" He considers its fiery eyes and awe-inspiring physique and ponders, "Did he smile his work to see?"

Both poems invite the reader to take on the question of the nature of a God who created both a lamb and a tiger. In the penultimate stanza of "The Tiger," the speaker alludes to "The Lamb" by asking, "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" The contrast of a predator and prey raises questions about God's plan for the inhabitants of the Earth. The two poems also invite reflection on the nature of God; if he calls himself a lamb, does he also call himself a tiger?

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In both versions of Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper," images of light and dark are used to characterize the children's experiences.  The version of this poem in Songs of Innocence portrays an angel that the boy Tom dreams about before he wakes to go with the other children to work.  In the final stanza of the poem, Tom is "happy and warm" after having had this dream although he is going to a dangerous job in the middle of winter.  The version in Songs of Experience on the other hand portrays a more grim picture of the realities of child labor.  The boy is described as a "little black thing among the snow" who cries because he is alone and suffering.  The color imagery in this version is related to death and stands in contrast to Blake's other version of "The Chimney Sweeper."

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