Analysis Of William Blake's The Little Black Boy

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Although a sympathetic depiction of the injustices of slavery the language used in ‘The Little Black Boy’ by William Blake inadvertently upholds the traditional Western concept that race is characterised by binary definitions between the so called ‘civilised’ Western idea of culture and other more ‘primitive’ cultures (Wolfreys 82). The English poet William Blake, wrote one of his most famous poems, ‘The Little Black Boy’ in 1789. This was a time when slavery was still in practice in many of the colonies of the British Empire. The poem itself is one of Blake’s best known portrayals of the themes of slavery and race. It is also a very contentious poem as it uses both terms such as ‘black’ and ‘white’ to depict the concepts of morality that are present throughout the poem (Bakić-Mirić). These criticisms are particularly relevant to many classic racial contextualisation’s that existed in eighteenth century imperialist Britain at the time. Edward Said, one of the main theoretical architects of postcolonial criticism described this process as a way of viewing the East as having separate or outside values and as being lesser than the West (Orientalism 43). Postcolonial criticism is a movement that arose in the 1990s. The main concern of this criticism is the history of imperialism (particularly in Europe) and interpreting art that came from a colonial era and culturally critiquing it. This practice will be developed more on throughout the course of this essay. In addition to this,

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