London, by William Blake, Composed on Westminster Bridge, by William Wordsworth, The Green Linnet, also by William Wordsworth and Work, by Charles Lamb are poems that explore the broad changes that occur during the Industrial Revolution.
They expose the true affects of the revolution and what it has caused upon social, economic, and spiritual values. By studying these poems it is clear the Industrial Revolution has made a hectic and busy life style for the people of Britain. Industrialisation mixed the whole hierarchy system in Britain.
The middle class could own factories and make more money but one person’s heaven is another person’s hell. The lower class worked in dangerous, cramped, squalid working conditions enduring long hours of hard labour. But this is what inspired the Romantics.
The Romantics were artists in different forms such poetry, novels or art. They believed that emotions run deeper than cold hard logic and that peoples opinions should be expressed to the fullest. As long as someone talks through their emotions and what they truly feel instead of what society wants has dictated then they are a true Romantic.Their mystical and inexplicable ideas became a trend and an inspiration to Britain. Through analysing poetry I realise some poets, such as, Blake believe industrialisation has changed Britain for the worse and it’s clear as the person in the poet sees “Marks of weakness, marks of woe” depicting how industrialisation has become a kryptonite for London and has weekend the Londoners severely.
Unlike Blake, Wordsworth shows the beauty of London through his poem and thinks industrialisation has created “A sight so touching in its majesty” as the person in the poem gazes at Westminster Bridge.This demonstrates the glory it shines down towards London and how majestic and graceful it stands. In The Green Linnet I think Wordsworth was trying to show how industrialisation had made the country seem even more beautiful. “And birds and flowers once more to greet, my last years friends together” demonstrates how peaceful tranquil and sequestered it is in the country side and how, unlike people of the city, the creatures are friendly. Wordsworth was in contact with the creatures through his presence.
Lamb, on the other hand, exposes the tough life of a worker in the country.Lamb thinks “Sabbathless Satan” has taken over the country through work which shows how he thinks work should be a sin and whoever made it is evil. The Romantics were influenced by things occurring at the time of the industrial revolution and it wasn’t only events that occurred in Britain but also in France. This shows how the Romantics were insightful as they looked at other countries comparing the differences between Britain and, in this case, France to see any links between the both that might inspire them.
The peasants of France were furious by the hierarchy system as they were at the bottom of the hierarchy.Most of the population were peasants so they had an advantage. In 1793 France decided to over throw there royals and the aristocracy so they killed the upper class and beheaded their king with the guillotine.
Priceless possessions that belonged to the royals were handed out to French citizens to show that it was the end of the royals. It was the end of an era but the beginning of a new one for France. The Romantics wondered whether the same thing would happen in Britain as Britain’s colonial power was growing at a fast rate and industrialisation had wiped clean the true meaning of a hierarchy as the middle class could own factories.Industrialisation had changed the role of the average man in Britain. With the end of the royals seen, France became a republic.
France became ambitious with it lead by Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon Bonaparte was the key to Frances notorious and power-hungry status. The Romantics knew this. They wondered whether Napoleon would try to invade Britain as it was the most powerful place in Europe and it was thought maybe France was jealous of how Britain was industrialised and was becoming even more powerful which may have triggered the war. Industrialisation also meant an improvement in inventions.At the beginning of industrialisation lots of inventions were made for the cotton industry. An inventor called John Kay set the standards by inventing the flying shuttle. This revolutionised the speed in which cotton was cut.
It cut twice as fast the normal pace of a person. This would save valuable time for factories instead of wasting time on such an insignificant part of the making process. Industrialisation combined ideas together to make bigger and better things.
In 1769, before the industrial revolution, two inventions were made to improve and increase the speed of yarn spinning.But in 1800 an inventor called Eli Whitney combined both the spinning jenny and the water-powered frame to make a faster, stronger and better machine which was valuable to factories. Eli Whitney also invented the cotton jin in 1793. The cotton jin cleaned cotton faster than any other human which saved time for the factories in Britain. Although industrialisation revolutionised inventions it harshly affected the lives of the workers (lower class). With industrialisation came poor living conditions, long working hours and child labour.
The population in Britain grew from six million to nine million people.Britain became extremely cramped. Houses were built on top of each other because of the increase as there was little space. Some couldn’t even afford houses so the lived in the streets. Working hours were unbelievably long. The majority of factories did not allow breaks. Workers would be very lucky if they had a short recess. The workers would work hours in putrid, squalid, dangerous working conditions.
People could die in factories as they had many gears which people could get caught on to. Children were taken advantage of as they had little pay yet would work the longest.Some would work 12 hours a day. There were even eight year old boys who would chimney sweep. Their life expectancy was at a maximum of 40 years old. In the poem Composed on Westminster Bridge Wordsworth shows how the city is a graceful place and captivates the city people.
It has a rhyme scheme of A, B, C, A, A, B, B, A, D, E, D, E, D, E. I think this rhyme scheme was made like this as it keeps a good beet. Also, as the poem is in the form of a sonnet, the last 6 lines had an easier rhythm. As it is in the form of a sonnet it has 14 lines and 1 verse.There are 10 syllables per line or an iambic pentameter with a uniform structure. The poem has a proud, wondrous and loving tone. Wordsworth uses positive imagery by giving a Godly role to Westminster Bridge and a big image of it.
“This city now doth like a garment wear” demonstrates how London is like a person and wears Westminster Bridge like jewellery. This is a good example if a simile which personifies the city. Westminster Bridge strengthens the city.
“Never did the sun more beautifully steep” depicts how the suns beautiful stillness can only be thoroughly seen in the city.This is also a good metaphor as it shows how the sun can only truly captivate in the city and you won’t believe how graceful it is unless you see it for yourself. Wordsworth tries to signal the reader that the city is a “deep” and carefree place where at night everything is beautiful and “asleep”. It also implies he is at a powerful state of calmness. This also an interesting rhyme as “deep” appears in line 12 and “asleep” appears in line 14 so we get the impression the city sleeps a sleep which can not be awoken from. This quote is also a form of personification. I get the impression the houses of London are asleep.
Wordsworth sees the “bright and glitter” of London as a symbol of life in London as “smokeless” and clean. This gives another idea of freshness and a new beginning for London. All the past of the city has been wiped clean for a new one.
As industrialisation occurred I think Wordsworth assumed it was a new time for the city and he saw it in its magnificent architecture. Wordsworth admires London’s “mighty heart” as he watched it “lying still” through its architecture. This depicts the strength that is in London and how beautiful it is to watch even when it does nothing.
This also demonstrates the power in London.I get a good impression of the city from this poem as it mainly focuses on the amazing buildings and architecture that is the “mighty heart” of London. Wordsworth also gives the impression that every one is free and has no power possessed over them. In London, Blake gives a condemning attitude towards the government which is the main tone of the poem. It has a simple rhyme scheme if A, B, A, B in a 4 line stanza of 4 stanzas.
I think Blake kept this regular lay out as it is simple and maintains a good rhythm and I think Blake wanted us to really take in the context of the poem.Also it gives the poem a simple common feeling which is what I think he was going for in the poem. As if it was a normal day in London. What interests me about Blake’s poem is that it sounds like he sees the disastrous affects of Industrialisation every day of his life as he strolls by London. This makes the poem very realistic and gives a strong pattern of imagery.
Blake gives a negative image of the city by emphasizing the pain that the lower class Londoners must endure as they go through their day.In every cry in every man, in every infant’s cry of fear, in every voice in every ban” depicts how every person in London has their painful issues and there is not one person who hasn’t suffered. I also get the impression London has cursed the Londoners which tells me it is the government Blake is condemning. Wordsworth sees the “deep” power of London and how London sees more than war but emotion which was what the Romantics were about. “And the hapless soldiers sigh runs in blood down palace walls” demonstrates how it is the governments fault soldiers are dying as they are sending them.This metaphor also tells me the blood of dead soldiers is in the hands of the monarchy. This shows how Blake sees London as tarnished and cursed unlike Wordsworth who thinks “the beauty of the morning” can only be seen in London. “And blights with plagues the marriage hearse! ” shows how something as happy and wonderful as marriage is tainted by the hearse which gives an image of death.
This is a good example of juxtaposition. This gives London a dry, hopeless impression towards the reader unlike Wordsworth who thinks the “bright and glittering” rays of sun give London a warm exciting, environment.But most through midnight streets I hear how the youthful harlots curse” shows how Blake’s pattern of imagery is cold and frightful and it also gives the impression that it’s a common to see such things. Blake, again, uses juxtaposition with “youthful harlots”. This shows the curse of London affecting and tainted young and pretty girls turning them into prostitutes. Wordsworth, on the other hand, sees the “mighty heart” of London as the source of its great power to make its people proud. In this poem London is depicted as an evil cursed place where people are all the same and are heartless.Every body thinks what the government tells them to think and don’t think for themselves.
I get a dark gloomy impression from this poem which tells me industrialisation has caused a horrific outcome affecting the people of Londoners. It also shows how none of the upper class Londoners cares for the lower class as they don’t help them. The Green Linnet gives a peaceful calm tone.
Its rhyme scheme is A, A, B, C, C, C, B with 8 lines per stanza in 5 stanzas. I think Wordsworth done this to show when he would start talking about something in the country.Also in the 4th and 7th lines in each stanza there is an indent to show Wordsworth has progresses and found something better to explain.
“With brightest sunshine round me spread” shows how the sunshine in the country is greater than any other. Also, through the quote I understand he felt the sun shine around him which symbolises happiness and comfort he feels when he’s in the country. “Hail to thee far above the rest” demonstrates Wordsworth wants the reader to recognise the Linnet as royal and unique which no other animal can compare to. This quote shows me that the wildlife is the peaceful rulers of the country.Wordsworth sees the country as a “dominion” of the Linnet. Using “dominion” glorifies the country and implies the country as a kingdom of peace.
“While birds and butterflies and flowers make all one band of paramours” depicts how the animals and wild life are strong together and work as one. Every animal and plant has a partner which it shares life in the country with and what I think Wordsworth is trying to imply is that humans in the city are to distracted by money and greed that, at the time of the industrial revolution, people didn’t notice the small thing in life that are more valuable than money.By that quote I get the image of the wildlife helping each other out. “Scattering thy gladness with out care” depicts the calm and freedom that is in the depth of the country. Also, the animals glide through the country free to go where ever they feel with nothing holding them back. There isn’t a mighty overruling greater authority pressuring them to do what is expected by society. What’s interesting is money is very valuable in the hustle and bustle of the city but in the secluded and quiet country it’s worthless.
The wildlife and animals don’t experience the pain and suffering of city life but they live a care free life.In the poem we are introduced to the lurking animals of the country such as butterflies, birds, flowers and trees. I think Wordsworth has shown us these creatures as it symbolises living creatures in the forests that live their lives completely different to ours even though they have a brain and a heart just like us. But the most important creature that lurks, inexplicably in the country, is the Green Linnet. The Green Linnet is the leader of the country. Just as the people of the city have a royal, the royal of the country is the Green Linnet. What’s good about the country is Wordsworth gives it the role as the source of peace in Britain.
Wordsworth is implying that the wildlife welcome the city people with open arms yet they would never enter the city because then they would be trapped and away from their secluded country. From Wordsworth, I also learn that when he is in the country it feels different. He feels free like the Green Linnet. Like no one can find him as he is so rare. Wordsworth also implies that he mainly came to the country to see the Green Linnet as it is free and that is what he wants to be.
Lamb has pushed the limits of figurative writing by writing Work as it gives a hellish, harsh and evil tone about the affects of the city to the country.It has a rhyme scheme of A, B, A, B, C, D, D, C, E, F, F, E, G, G in the form of a sonnet with 14 lines in 1 verse. It has an irregular form as the context is dark and cold but still maintains its rhythm. It has a conclusive rhyming couplet at the end to make it sound more conclusive.
Lamb tries to exploit the government for making work and tells of their “haunting importunity” towards the workers as they are constantly reminded and annoyed by work where as Wordsworth sees the country as “sequestered” which symbolises the rest and peace the wild life experience.Lamb uses interesting words as they were “haunted” by their annoying duties. This shows how the idea of work for long harsh hours scared and mystically frightened them. This also tells me that mans city is making Gods earth a ghostly haunted place. “Most sad to that dry drudgery at the desks dead wood? ” shows how Lamb thinks the city people are killing the country for them selves unlike Wordsworth who’s “orchard-seat” sees life, freshness and food.
Lamb speaks as if the wood was a living breathing thing which makes work look like murder. This also tells me that Lamb sees work as a sin which links religion into work.Also, I get a sarcastic impression from Lambs quote which tells me he’s not surprised by how people will stoop so low for money.
The “dead wood” is also a symbol of lost hope and how humans take important things for granted. Lamb sees “work” as the evil creeds of “Sabbathless Satan” whereas Wordsworth sees the country as a “dominion” belonging to the animals and plants. Again, Lamb tries to link in religion to make work like a deadly sin. What he is implying is the workers are working for Satan as minions, sinning and destroying as they work in hell.Lamb sees the country as a “red realm” which implies a hellish working area whereas Wordsworth sees the “twinkle” of a “gusty breeze” as the heavenly light of the country. What I think Lamb is doing is replacing the country with hell, the workers with sinners of hell and the Boss as Satan.
The workers are sinning in hell by working for the devil destroying what’s around them. Also, Lamb makes the workers seem as if they are clueless of their errors. Lamb sees the “reel” go “round and round” whereas Wordsworth sees the freedom and “dancing leaves” which demonstrates the carefree status the country holds in his eyes.Lamb tells me that the hard labour the workers go through feels infinite and unending. The hard work, great pressure expected and surrounding importunity makes the workers tired and dizzy.
The never ending cycle of work shows how great and huge the country is and takes a lot of hard work. The word “reel” is a word which implies a mechanical theme. This tells me that industrialisation and work is taking over every where including the country. The impression I get from the country from this poem is very negative.Lamb has thrown the reader in a hellish environment as the workers are tormented by the monsters of hell. But I think Lamb is against the people of the city for destroying the country. Most people would describe the country as heavenly so Lamb as gone for the opposite to show the reader what humans can really do. In conclusion I would like to say I have tried to explain how the causes which inspired the Romantics to write such poetry and how it how industrialisation has affected Britain to the fullest of my ability.
I have looked at the opinions of the Romantics from which I analysed from their poetry.By writing this essay I have also learned the different forms of Romanticism and how it can range from poetry to artistic paintings. I also tried to write about the differences between the country and the city. As I went a long the poem I tried to answer my own question. I wondered whether country life is better than city life. However, I got mixed view from the Romantics to whether city or country life is good or bad.
From what I have learnt from the poems I have come to a conclusion that country life is far more peaceful and secluded and gives a free inexplicable life whereas city life is to serious and hectic.The image I get from city life is a malignant tumour that spreads around the city affecting its people. Some poets see the country as a place of life where as others see it has a place of torture and torment to the wildlife. Wordsworth sees the “hazel trees” symbolising the life and strong colour that the trees bring to the country instead of dull, grey, dead life whereas Lamb gives his last respects to the “desks dead wood” depicting lifelessness and death of God’s pure natural creations. This gives an image of strong, useful natural trees compared to cold, hard plain desks.This is a similar structure of what the Romantics believed in as they believed in free, warm and uncontrollable emotions and not cold, hard logic.
Lamb sees the country as a cold, dead place but I disagree with his views as it seems too mechanised which is more like the city. In my opinion the city is quite the opposite of Lambs. However, what I think Wordsworth is trying to imply is that it’s the city people that are ruining the city and are causing distraction. I think that Wordsworth gives a more realistic view of the country in his poem The Green Linnet.
Wordsworth gives a peaceful and tranquil environment and introduces the countries inhabitance. When I analysed Westminster Bridge I only learnt about the architecture and what good things have come from the industrial revolution but I don’t think Wordsworth looked at how it affected the city people which, in my opinion, is much more important than the revolution. I think London was a bad place to work at the time as it caused pain and suffering towards the city people and cursed London. I don’t think industrialisation brought much good to the Londoners.But the bad impressions we get from London is what creates the great scary tension.
Unlike the city I get much more positive impressions from the country than the city. In my opinion I think that the country is more peaceful and natural rather than mechanised. I think Blake’s London is the most correct as he has shown how city people aren’t perfect.
Also by studying the history of the industrial revolution what Blake writes matches the affects of industrialisation. If the city was made by man then it will definitely not be as perfect as Gods country.I think the most incorrect poem, in my opinion, is Lamb’s Work as Lamb didn’t look at the depth of God’s country and the natural side of the country which is the main side of it.
I think what Lamb was trying to imply was the disastrous consequences of work and how it should be a sin, which I personally don’t agree with. If Lamb looked at the wildlife more instead of the workers than it would have been more realistic towards the country but the poem is about work and how it is evil so if he does write about the beauty and essence of the country it will ruin the context of the poem.I think people read Romantic poetry because it opens many questions on today’s life and society structure. People want answers to whether industrialisation has shaped today’s society and if so is this good or bad. By studying many Romantic poems people can get an insight to the times of the industrial revolution and can come to their own conclusion.
If “God made the country and man made the Town”, by William Cowper, is true then I don’t think it’s a good think because people can’t take proper care of their own land so how so their real resource is to use God’s country and destroy it.This shows how people are greedy and selfish and waste resources instead of using them for tomorrow’s satisfaction. On one hand industrialisation is a good thing because it brought great architecture that we still have today and are our main tourist attractions. Also due to the industrial revolution, industries have now developed their mechanism ideas. On the other hand, during the time of the industrial revolution pain and suffering were parts of the deal when the cities of Britain sold their souls.
London city became over populated and excruciatingly affected the lives of the lower class.