Thinking about William Blake’s poetry, describe in several sentences how the theme of “innocence” plays a role in the opening parts of the story.

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Looking at Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in light of William Blake's poetry, specifically Songs of Innocence and Experience, lends a good insight into what happens in Victor's story arc. In Blake's collection of poems, those falling under the category of "innocence" are just that, innocent. They often focus on children or rural settings. However, those that fall under "experience" are much darker and often take the same situations from the innocence poems and turn them on their heads. A good example of this is the Chimney Sweep poems. In the innocence version, there's a happy child chimney sweep, but in the experience version, it becomes a critique of the way children were treated and abandoned by their parents. Another example are the two "Holy Thursday" poems which show the same orphaned and abandoned children in two very different lights. 

As far as Victor's story goes, especially at the beginning of the novel, we see a clear change from innocence to experience. At the beginning of his studies, he is eager to learn and loves to be taught, but slowly, as he becomes more experienced, he also becomes more sinister in his desires. His lift moves from light and innocence - his engagement, his studies, his family - to darkness and experience - isolation, insanity, and huberis. Thus, just like Blake's poems moving from innocence to experience, from lightness to darkness, so does Victor's life. 

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