Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Hannah More vs. William Blake :: Poem Poetry Compare Contrast Essays
Hannah More vs. William Blake The Little Black Boy and The Sorrows of Yamba are both anti-slavery poems. Both Blake and More were against the political and social structure of slavery, but the way in which they choose to address the issue through their poetry is quite different. Differences in tonality, gender of main characters, implications for the future of these characters, and the audiences these pieces were addressed to make for a good contrast to the similarities they inevitably share in being both anti-slavery. Blake's poem, The Little Black Boy seems to be more hopeful then More's, The Sorrows of Yamba, which is in accordance with comments made about Blake's general attitude in Songs of Innocence. This hopefulness appears to come from a combination of faith and hope on the part of the author mixed with a type of ignorance on the characters part. The boy does not know any better; therefore, he can envision a heaven where he is an equal to the white English boy in heaven with him. More's poem does not seem as hopeful, it is more laden with grotesque imagery, something we might expect to see in a counterpart to Little Black Boy in Songs of Experience. More's descriptions are corporeal, and the despair and pain seem to be shouting out of these carcasses with 'mangled flesh.' Part of this difference in tonality may be due to the gender of the narrators and similarly the authors. As a man, Blake has always maintained the position a more privileged position in society compared to More simply beca use she is a woman. Although Blake may not agree with slavery, he is not writing from the perspective of a person who has been marginalized because of a biological difference within him, whereas More is. Perhaps because of this she has more knowledge and understanding of the internal strife, and more of a right to speak, of a person of color being stripped of all they have - even the desire to live. However, beyond the superficial reading of the authors' gender, though beneficial, there are lots of similarities and differences within the texts themselves. First, the genders of the narrators match up with the genders of the authors. One is a child, a boy, and one is an adult-the mother. I thought Blake's poem seemed to fit within the end of More's poem through the mother's sentiment, in the sense that the little boy was accepting Christian teachings of heaven?