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William Blake and William Wordsworth’s Reactions to the Industrial Revolution

Year 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1, 113 - 123, 01.05.2014

Abstract

The Romantic Period in literature roughly between the years 1780 and 1830 was an age of war, upheaval, and in particular, an age of revolutions. With the French Revolution, there appeared new ideals based on ‘Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity’, which affected the European societies in several aspects including the political, social, and cultural dynamics of the countries. William Blake was hopeful for the outcomes of the revolution. During the first phase of the French Revolution, he wrote a long epic called The French Revolution (1790-1791) whose subject matter is the revolution itself and his radical political views. He was in favor of the abolition of the corrupted monarchy and the decaying feudal system. Similar to Blake, William Wordsworth believed in the necessity of changes not only in the political system but also in the social structure of his country. He praised the French Revolution in his long autobiographical poem, The Prelude: “France was standing on top of the golden hours / And human nature seeming born again.”1 Nevertheless, both Blake and Wordsworth were dissapointed due to the violent acts, riots, and particularly September Massacres, which caused a growing disillusionment with the ideals of the French Revolution. 

References

  • Beer, John, William Blake (England: The Gresham Press, 1982). Blake, William, “London,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: Norton Company Inc. 1993), p.39. Blake, William, “The Chimney Sweeper,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: W. W. Norton Company Inc. 1993), p.30 Blake, William, “The Chimney Sweeper,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.) The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: W. W. Norton Company Inc., 1993), p. 35 Ferber, Michael, The Poetry of William Blake (London: Penguin,1991). Jessup, William P., “The Making of London,” The New Reasoner Winter, 58/3, retrieved from http://www.amielandmelburn.org.uk/collections/nr/03-65.pdf, on May 2, 2013. Kazin, Alfred, “An Introduction to William Blake,” The Multimedia Library, retrieved from http://www.multimedialibrary.com/Articles/Kazin/alfredblake.asp, on May 2, 2013. Mahoney, John L., William Wordsworth: A Poetic Life, (New York: Fordham University Press, 1997). Paananen, Victor N., William Blake (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1996). Peterfreund, Stuart, William Blake in a Newtonian World (New York: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998). Stevenson, John, “Industrialization,” in Iain McCalman (ed.), An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp.133-141. Tomlinson, Alan, MacMillan Master Guides: Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake, (London: Macmillan Education, 1989). Wordsworth, William, “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: W. W. Norton Company Inc. 1993), p.198. Wordsworth, William, “Preface to Lyrical Ballads,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: W.W. Norton Company Inc. 1993), pp.141-152. Wordsworth, William, The Letters of William Wordsworth: A New Selection, in Alan G. Hill (ed.), (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984). Wordsworth, William, “The Prelude, or Growth of a Poet’s Mind,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: W.W. Norton Company Inc. 1993), pp.207-286.

William Blake and William Wordsworth’s Reactions to the Industrial Revolution

Year 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1, 113 - 123, 01.05.2014

Abstract

The Romantic Period in literature roughly between the years 1780 and 1830 was an age of war, upheaval, and in particular, an age of revolutions. With the French Revolution, there appeared new ideals based on ‘Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity’, which affected the European societies in several aspects including the political, social, and cultural dynamics of the countries. William Blake was hopeful for the outcomes of the revolution. During the first phase of the French Revolution, he wrote a long epic called The French Revolution (1790-1791) whose subject matter is the revolution itself and his radical political views. He was in favor of the abolition of the corrupted monarchy and the decaying feudal system. Similar to Blake, William Wordsworth believed in the necessity of changes not only in the political system but also in the social structure of his country. He praised the French Revolution in his long autobiographical poem, The Prelude: “France was standing on top of the golden hours / And human nature seeming born again.”1 Nevertheless, both Blake and Wordsworth were dissapointed due to the violent acts, riots, and particularly September Massacres, which caused a growing disillusionment with the ideals of the French Revolution. 

References

  • Beer, John, William Blake (England: The Gresham Press, 1982). Blake, William, “London,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: Norton Company Inc. 1993), p.39. Blake, William, “The Chimney Sweeper,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: W. W. Norton Company Inc. 1993), p.30 Blake, William, “The Chimney Sweeper,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.) The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: W. W. Norton Company Inc., 1993), p. 35 Ferber, Michael, The Poetry of William Blake (London: Penguin,1991). Jessup, William P., “The Making of London,” The New Reasoner Winter, 58/3, retrieved from http://www.amielandmelburn.org.uk/collections/nr/03-65.pdf, on May 2, 2013. Kazin, Alfred, “An Introduction to William Blake,” The Multimedia Library, retrieved from http://www.multimedialibrary.com/Articles/Kazin/alfredblake.asp, on May 2, 2013. Mahoney, John L., William Wordsworth: A Poetic Life, (New York: Fordham University Press, 1997). Paananen, Victor N., William Blake (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1996). Peterfreund, Stuart, William Blake in a Newtonian World (New York: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998). Stevenson, John, “Industrialization,” in Iain McCalman (ed.), An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp.133-141. Tomlinson, Alan, MacMillan Master Guides: Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake, (London: Macmillan Education, 1989). Wordsworth, William, “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: W. W. Norton Company Inc. 1993), p.198. Wordsworth, William, “Preface to Lyrical Ballads,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: W.W. Norton Company Inc. 1993), pp.141-152. Wordsworth, William, The Letters of William Wordsworth: A New Selection, in Alan G. Hill (ed.), (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984). Wordsworth, William, “The Prelude, or Growth of a Poet’s Mind,” in M. H. Abrams, et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 2, 6th edition (New York: W.W. Norton Company Inc. 1993), pp.207-286.

Details

Primary Language English
Journal Section Research Articles
Authors

Özge GÜVENÇ This is me (Primary Author)
CANKAYA UNIVERSITY
Türkiye

Publication Date May 1, 2014
Published in Issue Year 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1

Cite

APA Güvenç, O. (2014). William Blake and William Wordsworth’s Reactions to the Industrial Revolution . Cankaya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences , 11 (1) , 113-123 . Retrieved from https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/cankujhss/issue/44412/551944


Çankaya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences
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