In the poem The Little Black Boy, poet, William Blake expresses the theme of the insidious effects of racism. With the speaker of the poem being a black boy who conveys his message to an English boy in hope to show him that they are equals. The speakerâ€™s use of imagery, language, and style help portray his emotions to the boy.
William Blake employs a great variety of metaphors. For instance, in the line â€œLook on the rising sun: there God does live and gives his light, and gives his heat away.â€ God is compared to the sun, a phenomena that provides people with light, warmth and hope. Scholars at academon website refer to the â€œlight as a conceptual metaphor for knowledge which lies in the human mindâ€. With the image of the boyâ€™s sun-burnt face is a sign of his desire to be educated and become a human being just like ...view middle of the document...
With reference to the poemâ€™s imagery, the devices present in this literary work mostly appeal to the readerâ€™s visual and tactile senses. The black and white colors used in the description serve not only to differentiate the races, but also to impact the childâ€™s understanding of good and bad. For example, the line â€“ â€œAnd I am black, but Oh! my soul is white,â€ shows us a great degree of the boyâ€™s awareness and will to show his kindness and knowledge. The little child stands here for the whole nation, being vulnerable under the rule of those who are not tolerant of people who simply have a different appearance. Scholars at exclusive papers website refer to â€œThe slant of the poem to be quite nostalgic and absorbingâ€. The poem centers on a spiritual awakening to a divine love that transcends race. Blake is able to show this by the use of short lines that are shorter than iambic parameter in a style of ballad stanza. By doing this he is able to provide symbolic gymnastics with the poem. With this heâ€™s also able to make the mother the center of the poem, by making her symbolize a natural and selfless love. The mother persuades the speaker in the poem that the life here on earth is just a preparation for heaven doing this by saying â€œThe cloud will vanish we shall hear his voiceâ€. With this type of writing Blake is also able to bring out the contrast of Body and soul, black and white, and earth and heaven all aligned in the rhetorical gesture that basically confirms the symbolism of all this to be the Christian resignation.
Due to the use of imagery, language, and style we are able to see the emotions that the black boy is trying to use to convey to the English boy that they are in equal regards to each other. This helps the reader understand the poem The Little Black Boy by William Blake the overall theme of the gradual and harmful effects of racism.