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Innocence, experience and the significance of keepers innocence in Blakes Song of innocence and of experience
2001 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Blake describes the states of innocence and experience in an abstract manner. By analysing symbols and images one can give a broader and more comprehensive picture of what innocence and experience implies, instead of offering a well-formulated definition that inevitably will be insufficient. The results of my studies show that innocence is often symbolised by children, birds, laughter, joy and consensus among people. The symbols of experience have a wider range and are more difficult to point out. Some evident ones, though, are separation from nature, education and conflict and competition among people. By studying the poems it is easy to detect the different levels at which Blake places the course of events. In some poems innocence is described without any revolutionary events while others contain more or less threatening situations. There are also poems where the protagonist voluntarily searches for events that will bring experience. Besides the protagonists, there are also actors that try to prevent the transition from innocence to experience by helping the protagonists to find their way back to innocence after a revolting event. These “keepers of innocence” are present in the poems in the shape of shepherds, angels or even God himself. Sometimes the keepers of innocence are omnipotent and capable of restoring innocence. But there are also examples where they are unable to preserve the state of innocence. This is especially obvious where the protagonists themselves want to enter into the state of experience.

Abstract [en]

Blake describes the states of innocence and experience in an abstract manner. By analysing symbols and images one can give a broader and more comprehensive picture of what innocence and experience implies, instead of offering a well-formulated definition that inevitably will be insufficient. The results of my studies show that innocence is often symbolised by children, birds, laughter, joy and consensus among people. The symbols of experience have a wider range and are more difficult to point out. Some evident ones, though, are separation from nature, education and conflict and competition among people. By studying the poems it is easy to detect the different levels at which Blake places the course of events. In some poems innocence is described without any revolutionary events while others contain more or less threatening situations. There are also poems where the protagonist voluntarily searches for events that will bring experience. Besides the protagonists, there are also actors that try to prevent the transition from innocence to experience by helping the protagonists to find their way back to innocence after a revolting event. These “keepers of innocence” are present in the poems in the shape of shepherds, angels or even God himself. Sometimes the keepers of innocence are omnipotent and capable of restoring innocence. But there are also examples where they are unable to preserve the state of innocence. This is especially obvious where the protagonists themselves want to enter into the state of experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 18 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53663Local ID: ENG C-12OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53663DiVA: diva2:1102223
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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