William Blake's use of symbols in Songs of Innocence and Experience are multi-faceted and complex. Similar symbols recur throughout both halves of the text, and Blake uses these reoccurring symbols to further develop the themes within his poems.
For example, churches are often used as negative symbols, referring to Blake's condemnation of organized religion's hypocrisy and repressive laws. In the poem "The Chimney Sweep" from Songs of Experience, the church is presented as a place people go to in order to feel holy and respectable while ignoring the suffering going on outside. The chimney sweeper condemns his parents, who let him freeze during his work while they go to church, feeling they have not done ill by their son since he finds small comfort in songs.
Flowers emerge as symbols in several poems as well, usually representing beauty and joy. In "The Garden of Love ," the flowers representing childhood liberation are replaced by graves. The titular flower in "The Lilly" is contrasted with...
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