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The Meeting of Childhood and Colonialism in William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013).
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Mötet mellan Barndom och Kolonialism i Songs of Innocence and of Experience av William Blake (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

In Songs of Innocence and of Experience William Blake contrasts childhood and adulthood. This essay relates this to another prominent social issue in the collection, colonialism. This essay aims at answering the question of what happens when the child is black rather than white. By providing an analysis of how children in general are portrayed, followed up with a brief discussion of how Blake deals with colonial issues this essay sets the stage for a final concluding discussion about what happens when the two themes of childhood and colonialism meet. The discussion reveals that Blake is using irony to ridicule the contemporary polarized meanings of the words “black” and “white”. By doing this Blake makes the little black boy in “The Little Black Boy” the perfect symbol for criticising the contemporary issues of child abuse and colonialism in one single piece of poetry.

Abstract [sv]

I Songs of Innocence and of Experience visar William Blake på motsättningarna mellan barndom och de vuxnas värld. Denna uppsats kopplar detta tema till kolonialism, en annan framstående social fråga som behandlas i diktsamlingen. Syftet med denna uppsats är att besvara frågan om vad skillnaden blir när det är ett svart barn istället för ett vitt som framställs i dikterna. Genom att först analysera hur barn i allmänhet framställs, följt av en kort diskussion om hur Blake hanterar problemet med kolonialismen leder denna uppsats fram till en avslutande diskussion kring vad som händer när två stora teman som barndom och kolonialism möts. Den avslutande diskussionen framhäver att genom Blakes användande av ironi så gör han den samtida polariseringen av orden ”svart” och ”vit” till åtlöje. Den svarta pojken i ”The Little Black Boy” blir Blakes perfekta symbol för att kritisera de samtida frågorna kring barns utsatthet och kolonialism i en och samma dikt.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 19
Keywords [en]
William Blake, Black, Childhood, Colonialism, Poetry, Social criticism, White
Keywords [sv]
William Blake, Barndom, Kolonialism, Poesi, Social kritik, Svart, Vit
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66163OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-66163DiVA, id: diva2:1181400
Subject / course
English
Educational program
Teacher education
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-02-16 Created: 2018-02-08 Last updated: 2018-02-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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