Literary Analysis Of 'The Little Black Boy'

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The poem, "The Little Black Boy" appeals to both sides of the ongoing debate revolving around slavery at the time, in one sense it provides comfort for the slaves through religion and in another sense, it points out why the same idea is problematic. The little boy in the sonnet is full of ironic naivety, he is lucky to be so naive about the world and his implied situation of being a slave but it is also uncomfortable as it seems unfair to teach a young child that he has to just bear his unjust suffering. "The Little Black Boy" is in quatrains and has a ABAB rhyme scheme. This form gives the poem a 'sing-song ' feeling and reminds the reader almost of a nursery rhyme, especially when read aloud. This is also relevant as the poem is in "Songs of Innocence". This tone along with the deeper message of the poem make it seem cheerful yet very morbid at the same time. This contrast is due to the sad content placed against an upbeat rhyme scheme. This paradox makes the reader connect with the boys innocence and gives the reader a glimpse into the thoughts of the boy. It shows how the boy does not take these thoughts he is having too seriously and is just trying to make sense of the world around him. The child-like rhythm also emphasises that the black boy is the speaker and not Blake. It must be made very clear that throughout the sonnet, the speaker is always the black boy and never Blake himself. This is not Blake 's personal views and words but rather those of the little black

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