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It’s another social denunciation. Songs of Experience. Blake described London as a big industrial city with 725.000 habitants.
The country was seen like something of free. The poet was walking in the industrial time (durty, smells…). The bad thing were created by the society. Everywhere he saw grief, sorrow and weakness. Nothing of right, good and justice. This such situation was created by the mind/reason.
The victims of this social exploitations were:
- chimney sweepers;
- soldiers: they were made to fight and to leave their family in a war and they might die;
- harlots.
Prostitution was the way to spread the plague during the industrial time. It was always an expression of poverty: young women sold their selves.

Lots of country people moved to the towns and the young women went to work to the rich house as house maid. Most times the landlords might rape/seduce the young and, as they were ignorant, they hadn’t any possibilities to refuse it. They got pregnant and so they were dismissed as they were unworthy and they were guilty, so they were obliged to leave the house.
After the childbirth they had a child to look after and they didn’t work so the only possibility to live on was to take to prostitution. That meant unhealthy and bad life. They got ill from syphilis or they took to drinking and so they looked older. -> That’s why Blake used them to denounce the social injustice of the industrial time.
For a long time, London was divided into two sides:
- east side: poor, prostitutions, hard games;
- west side: rich and lords. They went to the east side during the night, but their social appearance was perfect.
The “Marriage hearse” is an oxymoron ‘cause the marriage wasn’t a happy tool, it was something of false, it wasn’t the result of love, it was a social condition. It’s a little irony too, good appearance hide the injustice/bad life.


Io vago lungo ogni strada sfruttata commercialmente
Vicino dove il gli argini del Tamigi scorrono
E vedo in ogni faccia che incontro
Segni di debolezza, segni di dolore
In ogni urlo di ogni uomo,
in ogni pianto di paura degli infanti,
in ogni voce, in ogni bando/divieto,
io sento le manette forgiate dalla mente.
Come l’urlo dello spazzacamino
Scuote ogni scurita chiesa,

e il sospiro di un soldato sfortunato
scorre nel sangue giù dalle mura del Palazzo.
Ma soprattutto per le strade a mezzanotte io sento
Come la maledizione della giovane prostituta
Distrugge/asciuga il pianto del nuovo infante nato,
e contamina con le infezioni il carro funebre delle nozze.

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Blake, William - London, analisi