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The Fly Analysis



Author: poem of William Blake Type: poem Views: 123


Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing;
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath;
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




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Wow--careful, you guys. Main point to realize is that Blake is the _author_ of the poem, but he is not supposed to be the _speaker_ in the poem. "The Fly" is from the collection "Songs of Experience," which are experiments in how the world looks to people who are "experienced"--and as Blake defines the word, that means people who see human beings, nature, and God as all separate and even mutually hostile things. ("Innocent" people, by contrast, see nature, God, and human beings as unified and mutually benevolent.)
So, this poem isn't about how _Blake_ saw anything--it's a portrait of how a certain kind of person (who is not Blake) sees life.
The speaker in this poem sees the forces that control his life and destiny (God) as remote, thoughtless, and hostile--some day he'll just accidentally/randomly be mowed down by them. To them, he's just a fly. To handle that view of the world and get through the day, he mostly just parties (dances, drinks, sings). That way, he can be happy no matter what happens, right up until he's crushed. So yes, it's a little dark and a little stupid. That's Blake's point about this way of seeing the world.

| Posted on 2014-03-06 | by a guest


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I think that william blake is trying to convey that he likes the game pirates of the carribean.

| Posted on 2013-05-06 | by a guest


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I believe the poet is trying to convey that every life is equal, and that we should live life to the fullest everyday

| Posted on 2012-10-10 | by a guest


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One word sets the tone,
/Thy Summer\'s \"PLAY\"/ suggests
The fly is not a drone.
Summer and life are fleeting. Blake questions beyond the \'form of life\' to an essence of consciousness and the brutishness of judging any life as less valued. Especially to the one that\'s living it such as an endearing \"Little Fly\" (not \"Damn Fly\").

| Posted on 2012-07-26 | by a guest


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Blake is talking about how the fly is unnoticed yet so is he in the eyes of God. the fly and him could die at any moment,yet he would notice and the fly wouldn\'t.

| Posted on 2011-09-22 | by a guest


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This is the interpretation that I wrote for a paper in my high school english class (10th grade):
\"The Fly\", written by William Blake, is a poem that exemplifies the use of symbolism to analyze and explore the idea and meaning behind life, and the antithetical parallel: death. But, behind the deeper meaning, there are quite a few structural and rhyme patterns that set the tone for more the rest of the poem. The poem itself consists of five stanzas, each with four lines. Using this structure allows for the reader to focus on the message Blake is trying to convey. The second and fourth lines in each stanza encompass the technique of ending rhyme. For example, \"Little fly/ Thy summer\'s play/My thoughtless hand/Has brushed away\" (Lines 1-4, Blake \"The Fly\"). In doing so, it adds conformity and structure to the poem.
With these common elements throughout, one may explore the idea and meaning behind both life and death through Blake\'s excellent use of symbolism in his story. The story itself is carefully crafted, with Blake himself as the first-person narrator. The speaker reveals a story of an experience in which he accidentally brushed away the life of a carefree and innocent creature: the fly. As Blake considers the deeper meaning of this action, he also dives in the reflective idea of how his life is more important than that of a fly\'s. Blake questions the worth of human existence through the comparison between our importance, and the objects, creatures, and even people that human beings consider to be unimportant. The fly represents these objects, creatures, and people. \"Am not I/A fly like thee?/or art not thou/A man like me?\" Blake asks (Lines 5-8, Blake \"The Fly\"). Through this symbolism, readers are forced to question his or her own life: How does humankind reflect upon the less-developed elements of the universe? What makes mankind so superior?
As Blake attempts to answer this question, he reaches upon the idea of conscious thought versus the lack of thought. He suggests that in society, thinking and breathing is what life is at its fullest, a quality that humankind does not know if the fly has the ability to do. On the other hand, the lack thought and intelligence represents death. Regardless of the shape, size, or species of the creature or individual, Blake asks what the difference is between them intellectually. How can we put off such a different individual when we are not the creature or individual himself? As humans perceive it, the fly doesn’t have any understanding of what death means, therefore it lives its life not worrying about death, and the consequences that await it. In saying that, Blake considers himself to be like a fly, as he doesn’t see any knowledge that necessarily opposes that viewpoint. In the last stanza, when Blake says, “Then am I/A happy fly/If I live,/Or if I die” he is suggesting that the nature of mankind should find a balance between both; humankind must live life to the fullest, but also remember that life will come to an end at some point (Lines 17-20, Blake “The Fly”).
Though this explanation would likely be the more modernized interpretation, it is also important as a reader to keep in mind that Blake’s poetry often questioned the religion of his time. In the third stanza, Blake pokes at the idea of a “blind hand” which would end the life of the speaker. This reveals that the speaker is questioning how religion controls the individual. Does God have the power to control when one dies? This question, although not fully answered provides insight into some of Blake’s ideas on theodicy. In all, each element of this poem has a specific role, which seems to be a common theme in all of Blake’s poetry. Through structure, symbolism, and language, and the questioning of religion, Blake forms a poem that analyzes the opposites of life and death and also the contrary ideas of thought and the lack of thought.

| Posted on 2011-09-05 | by a guest


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T think the poem is trying to explain how insignificant things are sometimes dissregared and forgoten. By using words like thoughtless and blind, William Blake is showing how such little things tend to go unnoticed.

| Posted on 2011-03-28 | by a guest


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In the first stanza he brushed away the fly with a \"thoughtless hand\" - without really thinking about it.
Then in the second stanza he wonders about the differences between his life style and that of the fly. The third stanza explains in more detail in what sense their lives could be similar by saying how they both live their lives not worrying about how it could suddenly end.
In the final two stanzas Blake asks aloud who\'s happier: someone who\'s thinking (intelligence, traditionally seen as something to envy - Blake calls it \"life, strength and breath\"), or rather someone who just lives life without worrying or asking too many questions x it boils down to: \"being more intelligent than others offers no guarantees to happiness\" ?

| Posted on 2011-01-04 | by a guest


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I think the fly could be a metaphor for those considered insignificant in this world such as the black. William Blake could be mentioning the problem of racism here. The reason the fly is capitalized in the first line and no where else is because it\'s a sign of respect. Calling such a petty thing as a fly \"thy,\" personifying it, is also proof of that. \"Thoughtless hand [h]ad brush\'d away\" is other people who continue to ignore and turn the cold shoulder. In reality, however, we are them and they are us. There is no difference. Just like the black, other people too try to get attention and are ignored.
Only if the black were acknowledged a bit, they would be given \"life and strength, & breath.\" They only have \"the want of thought\" from other people, which brings, ironically, nothing but death to them. In the last stanze, William Blake conveys his message. If he lives, he can live his life thinking about the people suffering under the society and give them hope that way, and even if he dies, then at least he can go through the same pain the black had gone through and die symphathizing with their sufferings.

| Posted on 2010-12-16 | by a guest


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Blake was a Catholic, so he obviously believed in God and the sacredness of life. But I think here he is talking about the shortness of life— how easy it is to slip away from this world. We don\'t even think about death before \"some blind hand\" brushes us away. It only takes a \"thoughtless\" brush to end life. But the transition between life and death seems not to matter. The tone is apathetic: life passes and death passes. The fly doesn\'t care because it isn\'t rational. The man doesn\'t care because death is unexpected and once it happens, it is over before he realizes how fleeting and unimportant life has been.

| Posted on 2010-10-06 | by a guest


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As most have posted, yes, the poem is speaking of \"God\" and \"Immortality\". Earth, or The World, as we call it is no more important to the universe than any other planet out there. As part of the universe we need them all and our importance is no more or less than any other.
-Rachel Ashton-

| Posted on 2010-08-25 | by a guest


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I believe Blake is speaking of awareness. How many things do we do throughout the day without noticing or paying attention. Who among us has taken advantage of the sound of a chirping cricket or a song bird. I think he is saying pay attention to life and all the simpliest beauties. The fly and the human are the same... neither life is more important than the other and we are all interconnected.

| Posted on 2010-05-22 | by a guest


.: :.

I believe Blake is speaking of awareness. How many things do we do throughout the day without noticing or paying attention. Who among us has taken advantage of the sound of a chirping cricket or a song bird. I think he is saying pay attention to life and all the simpliest beauties. The fly and the human are the same... neither life is more important than the other and we are all interconnected.

| Posted on 2010-05-22 | by a guest


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The fly does not comprehend that it is about to die so therfore it does not matter to him so he lives carelessly.

| Posted on 2010-03-03 | by a guest


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in this poem blake talks about the similarity between a fly and a human. if he can carelessly kill a fly can god not do the same to him? yes he can. although in the last to stanzas he speaks as they fly and states that he is happy even if god chooses to give him death or if he chooses to give him happiness and stregnth.
mariam siddique

| Posted on 2010-01-11 | by a guest


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I think that Blake wants to compare the fly and the man.Who of them is more important for god and who can live more.That's why the poem tals about unimportance and inmortality.

| Posted on 2009-11-27 | by a guest


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Blake is talking about his unimportance in the world. If he could so carelessly brush a fly aside, what is to say "God" can not brush him aside? "Till some blind hand brush my wing" The poem speaks of unimportance and immortality.
k.t.

| Posted on 2008-11-25 | by a guest




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