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The Little Black Boy Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Blake Type: Poetry Views: 3812

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Songs of Innocence1789My mother bore me in the southern wild,

And I am black, but O! my soul is white.

White as an angel is the English child:

But I am black as if bereav'd of light.My mother taught me underneath a tree

And sitting down before the heat of day.

She took me on her lap and kissed me,

And pointing to the east began to say.Look on the rising sun: there God does live

And gives his light, and gives his heat away.

And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive

Comfort in morning joy in the noon day.And we are put on earth a little space..

That we may learn to bear the beams of love.

And these black bodies and this sun-burnt face

Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.For when our souls have learn'd the heat to bear

The cloud will vanish we shall hear his voice.

Saying: come out from the grove my love & care.

And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.Thus did my mother say and kissed me.

And thus I say to little English boy.

When I from black and he from white cloud free,

And round the tent of God like lambs we joy:Ill shade him from the heat till he can bear,

To lean in joy upon our fathers knee.

And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,

And be like him and he will then love me.






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

.: :.

blake :.
Blake here, contrasts between black/white as one may decipher good/bad. The mother in trying to explain the little boy puts through her confusion regarding God. Blake being a rebel in his times, a believer in dissenting christianity, silently through his poem "the little black boy", underlines the confusion created by church,priests (Authority) on the the mother(Innocence). Also slavery being the backdrop,blake paints the picture of a "black boy" stroking the "silver hair" a certain ambiguity prevails the whole senaroi , whether the "black bodies" and the "sunburnt face", is the "protection"against the heat(here in sun being described as God) or the harshness of the sun.The boy is confused ,why hes being kept in a "grove" and not in a transparent sort of way being loved by God.
Definately theres some mocking undertones, criticising the slavery movement, the authoritarian manners of the priests,the parents,the masters(as of the slaves).
| Posted on 2005-02-07 | by electro_cutes

| Posted on 2016-10-29 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem,which is about the black boy who shows negative reviews on his Black color,this is also significantly shows that at that time whites were in rule. This little black boy pointing out the condition of all Blacks and discrimination among white and black. Symbols and metaphors have used in great manner. There is also the symbol that stands for religion and supernatural.

| Posted on 2013-08-29 | by a guest


.: :.

I think that the poem does highlight some important contextual information of the late 18th century and beginning of the 19th about slavery and how in actuality everyone is equal ,the \"black\" boy with a \"White\" soul does suggest this but at the same time why is a \"white\" soul perceived to be better by the child. Is this why the poem appears in the innocence rather than the experience collection? The young boys innate thoughts lead him to believe that he is less of a person due to his skin colour

| Posted on 2011-04-18 | by a guest


.: :.

The logical reasoning of the script is simple! The universal diety or higher power, a God, who loves and provides for us all. Secondly, the script pertaining to the heat is recognizing its value! Imagine living in their era, quite rough times for the average family. Think like the artist thinks. The sun sets and he speaks? Yes, the thunder and lightning from the storms. Many moons before our times the families prepared differently for the weather. The protection from the elements with a tent and the appreciation for the sunrise bringing warmth. The script pertaing to the knee is obviously refering to a role model and hear again presenting a value. The things the individual may learn, value and feel or think as a kid are presented by the intaglio artist\'s point of view. The religion and value of an authority and its acceptance is casually brought to light. The artististic culture is filled with symbolism! The extreme control upon the earth by a deity is present throughout poem.

| Posted on 2010-11-16 | by a guest


.: :.

Saying, 'Come out from the grove, my love and care
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice',"
Thus did my mother say, and kissed me;
And thus I say to little English boy.
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy
I'll shade him from the heat till he can bear
To lean in joy upon our Father's knee;
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him, and he will then love me.

| Posted on 2010-02-05 | by a guest


.: :.

In this poem Blake deals with the suffering of The blacks in the hand of white pepole and it shows how the whites used to look down upon them in the name of colour and racial discimination.

| Posted on 2010-01-28 | by a guest


.: :.

In the Little Black Boy Blake shows his hatred for the slave trade. The poem shows Blake’s view for racial equality, that the black boy should not be criticized and put in the slave trade because his “soul is white” and subsequently there is no difference between black and white people. Blake views were radical however the views are more modern but the poem suggests if your black your missing something “but I am black as if bereaved of light” The little black boy shows his jealousy for the white boy. “ white as an angel” the white can be interpreted as more than just the skin colour because white is compared to an angel.

| Posted on 2009-11-16 | by a guest


.: :.

This is about race and religion and how the two and interidentified. though Blake felt strongly about the chimney sweep trade, this is about race and the innocence of children. this is shown in the line "i FROM black". this hints at an innate blckness...not the cause of chimney sweeping.

| Posted on 2009-10-05 | by a guest


.: :.

It is not about race at ALL. The "little black boy" in the poem is a child chimney sweeper whose skin has been tainted with black soot, therefore a "little black boy."

| Posted on 2009-03-21 | by a guest


.: :.

Through this poem, Blake does not criticise God or any race, but he shows that we are all ultimately the same. There is no evidence that the little boy is a slave, or that he is subject to racial criticism (though in that time it wouldn't be surprising if he was), but this innocent boy shows his confusion as to why he is black instead of white. Why is he different from others?
In many of Blake's poems, black represents evil, and white represents good, but in The Little Black Boy, black is not seen as bad. God is represented by the sun, and he "gives his heat away". Ironically, black absorbs heat more than white does, so in effect the black boy would be gaining more of God's heat, or his love.
But nevertheless, it is what is on the inside that counts, for "these black bodies and this sun-burnt face/Is but a cloud". So when these clouds are removed, the black boy and the white boy are equal. We see the black boy "stroke his (white boy's) silver hair". Silver is a variant of the colour grey, which is black and white mixed. So the white boy isn't white, but a mixture of white and black, glorified to a luminescent colour. We assume the black boy is the same, for he says "I'll... be like him, and he will then love me".

| Posted on 2008-09-14 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is about racial equality, and the fact that even though the black boy is critisized and put into slavery, he is still pure in heart, and therefore there should be no difference between black and white.

| Posted on 2008-09-06 | by a guest


.: summary :.

this poem is not good i dont like it .and its about love the black boy represents the sea and the sun represents the fish

| Posted on 2008-04-10 | by a guest


.: blake :.

Blake here, contrasts between black/white as one may decipher good/bad. The mother in trying to explain the little boy puts through her confusion regarding God. Blake being a rebel in his times, a believer in dissenting christianity, silently through his poem "the little black boy", underlines the confusion created by church,priests (Authority) on the the mother(Innocence). Also slavery being the backdrop,blake paints the picture of a "black boy" stroking the "silver hair" a certain ambiguity prevails the whole senaroi , whether the "black bodies" and the "sunburnt face", is the "protection"against the heat(here in sun being described as God) or the harshness of the sun.The boy is confused ,why hes being kept in a "grove" and not in a transparent sort of way being loved by God.

Definately theres some mocking undertones, criticising the slavery movement, the authoritarian manners of the priests,the parents,the masters(as of the slaves).

| Posted on 2005-02-07 | by electro_cutes




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