Symbolism In William Blake's The Little Black Boy

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“The Little Black Boy” is a poem written by William Blake (1757 –1827). Blake throws light on the racial issues and the realities of oppression and racism, and a too-passive acceptance of suffering and injustice. His focus in this poem is on the mental state of the black child. The theme of equality of men before God is strongly prevalent in this poem. This poem focuses on a spiritual awakening to a divine love that transcends race and it is a description of God creating the world as an act of divine mercy, giving the sun to shine upon and warm all people everywhere as a preparation for the light and heat of God love. Blake attacks the approach of some forms of contemporary Christianity that taught people to accept present suffering…show more content…
There is a visual image in “And I am black” (2) as Blake focuses on the idea that exposure to the sun causes the blackness of the African body and the notion that a black body contains a white soul. Blake throws light on the racial issues by conveying the little black boy. There is a tactile image in “She took me on her lap and kissed me” (7) in which his loving mother taught him about God who lives in the East, who gives light and life to all creation and comfort and joy to men. The child’s mother symbolizes a natural and selfless love that becomes the poem’s ideal. She shows a tender concern for her child’s self-esteem, as well as a strong desire for knowing the comfort of God. There is another visual image “Look on the rising sun: there God does live” (9) as it conveys that God is the source of light and heat which the flowers, trees, beasts, and men receive .The mother explains the sun as God’s gift to mankind, sharing both His light and his heat, both of which are forms of His love. She says that black people are so loved that their faces are sun-burnt. she explains that black people will be called by God to sit with him. it seems to imply that black people are near God as a result of their suffering. There is an auditory image in “shall hear his voice” (18) which reveals that for the black child freedom and salvation are only possible after death where the cloud will vanish and he will hear God’s voice asking him to come out of his grove to enjoy God’s love and care. Blake uses a Kinesthetic image in “And round the tent of God like lambs we joy” (24) to show that the black boy and the white boy will play around God’s tent like innocent lambs. The black boy will become like the white boy, who in turn will learn to love his black counterpart. The speaker ends by saying he will tell the English boy this truth and look forward to the day when both of them have put off this cloud and can love one

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