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    Does anybody have anything in the way of model answers for these two texts. There were loads about for the war unit, but nothing for these. If you know where to get any I'd really appreciate it. Got to say, I'm s%^tting it about this exam - Othello in particular. At least Blake always has something about context in it, thats something I suppose.

    hmm yeah, I'd appreciate a model answer to those two as well. Only thing I could find was on the AQA website, they have model answers for the duchess of malfi and wordsworth, which give you kind of a structure you could apply to Othello/Blake. I'm totally scared about Othello too - I'm so rubbish at analysing that play. Sob. Good luck anyway.

    hey where can i find the wordsworth essay?

    The Wordsworth essay can be found on............

    Voila: http://www.aqa.org.uk/qual/gceasa/engLiA_teach.html

    Click on 'Unit 4 Support Booklet' and it's on page 7 I think.

    (The Duchess one is on there as well)

    Erm not sure if this helps, but I did this essay a little while ago in January and got full marks ( I think) if i remember rightly:

    How does Blake, in his ‘Songs’, display his indignation about the brainwashing and exploitation of children by those in power?
    Refer to one or two poems in detail or range more generally throughout the ‘Songs’ (20 marks).

    The Industrial Revolution had forced many children, some as young as four years old, into hard manual work. Exploitation was widespread throughout society and propagated by ‘moral’ institutions such as the church, who mentally manipulated society into believing that this subversion of natural order was in fact ‘a holy thing to see’. In this essay I shall examine how Blake displays his own moral indignation about the brainwashing and exploitation of children in both ‘The Chimney Sweeper’ of Innocence, and ‘Holy Thursdays’ of Experience.

    Blake believed that a closer proximity to truth was achieved through personal revelation, and as such a lot of his poetry is implicit in its assertions. It is through the audience’s inference that we gain an insight into Blake’s own indignation and feelings; which are reflected in our own responses.

    ‘The Chimney Sweeper’ of Innocence recalls the story of a sweep sold into slavery by his father. He encounters another sweep who comes to accept his degradation in life.

    The anapaestic metre of the poem creates a soft, pattering sound, much like a child’s footsteps. Blake wishes to remind us that these ‘workers’ are but children, and as such them working is a grave immorality. This may seem obvious, but this was something frequently forgotten in Blake’s society. This anapaestic rhythm is relentless, except for the end of stanza one in which the narrator is allowed to cry out through the death of his mother. This rhythm is personified as the ‘master’ I believe, who urges the children on, exploiting them with no regard for their psychological or physical well-being.

    As readers, we feel his indignation, but are forced to wonder as to whether we are complicit with this exploitation. The italicised ‘your’ of ‘your chimneys I sweep and in soot I sleep’ makes this a universal indictment. Blake is targeting his indignation at those who are literate, the upper and middle class audience of his poems, those who propagate this immorality and exploitation.

    The French Revolution had brought a resurgence of puritanical Christianity with it. By shaving the Tom Dacre’s hair off, which ‘curled like a lambs back’, Blake suggests that this exploitation of children is a symbolic repudiation of Christ who preached ‘whoever welcomes this child, welcomes me’. Blake’s indignation is shown by a revelation that the pious attitudes of the time are vacuous and fundamentally corrupt in nature.

    Blake uses numerous ‘half-rhymes’ such as ‘work’ and ‘dark’ which give a sense of uneasiness and the impression that things are somehow wrong. This is re-emphasised by the list of mono-syllabic names of the sweeps; ‘Dick, Joe, Ned and Tom’. Blake establishes that each of these children exploited is an individual, the list hints at the massive problem and the lack of individuality afforded to each child.

    However, Blake’s most potent expression of his indignation at the exploitation and brainwashing of children comes in the character construct of Tom Dacre, who ‘although the morning was cold…was happy and warm’. This acceptance and almost embrace of exploitation infuriates Blake as it infuriates us. This raises the question; what does one do with an exploited individual who is happy? We are at the mercy of a ‘catch 22’ situation, and perhaps this is Blake’s biggest expression of his indignation; he cannot do anything with regards to Tom Dacre.

    The lack of alternatives to sweeping, shows just how effective the brainwashing has been in eradicating all ideas of escapism. The final line of the poem ‘so if they all do their duty they need not fear harm’, reiterates the earlier message given by the angels that if the children accept their impoverished existence they will be granted the eternal promise of heaven. Blake ends the poem with a ‘masculine’ or stressed syllable in ‘harm’, which breaks the metre, portraying Blake’s supreme moral indignation at the brainwashing and exploitation of children as expounded in this poem. He calls for the abrogation of these practises.

    ‘Holy Thursday’ of Experience recounts the eponymous charity event which saw orphaned children paraded around streets as a sign of their piety. Again, Blake portrays his indignation at the exploitation and brainwashing of the children in a variety of ways.

    The varied iambic metre of the poem causes the beats to hang longer, creating a sense of an arduous struggle. We experience a sense of exhaustion, and feel Blake’s indignation that the children are being worked like this. We notice that there is no child’s voice, only that of the observer in this poem. This suggests the children are unaware of their exploitation, and as such the brainwashing of the church, and indeed the entire social establishment has worked. Simply by alerting us to this Blake shows his anger. The observer adopts a stance of incomprehension; he rebukes the notion that the two polarised concepts of ‘poverty’ and ‘plenty’ can be found in the same world.

    The rhetorical questions employed by Blake; ‘is that trembling cry a song? Can it be a song of joy?’ suggests that the brainwashing techniques have eradicated all ability of the child to identify their actions. These children are literally robots following the commands of the despotic establishment. The children are used as a form of propaganda in order to propagate the entirely corrupt and morally defunct social structure of those in power.

    The bleak picture of life painted by Blake of the charity children outrages us. As we have said before, our outrage is symmetrical to Blake’s. ‘And their fields are bleak and bare…it is eternal winter there’. The use of half-rhymes such as ‘joy and poverty’ and ‘bare and there’ give a guttural sound, as if the children are choking. This superb effect heightens our emotional awareness and indignation as Blake intended it to.
    The biggest expression of Blake’s indignation is that he is forced to subconsciously create a new, utopian world in which the children may live a ‘rich and fruitful’ life. Here, where ‘the sun does shine’ and where the ‘rain does fall’ the children can never hunger ‘nor poverty the mind appal’. This visionary notion is a call for revolution and social change. After all, Blake’s poems have a political agenda, and his portrayal of his own righteous indignation has a purpose.

    To Blake, the entire social structure of England was corrupt and morally defunct. The word of God had been perverted by a ‘blackening church’ and the country as a whole had become a “harlot”, to which everything was ‘charter’d’ and all was morally expendable. Nothing seemed to anger him, however, as much as the exploitation and brainwashing of children. He portrays his indignation of these practises in several ways. Blake uses the audience as an extension of his own moral being, allowing us to feel his moral indignation, forcing us to think about our role in this grave moral subversion. Blake uses metre to create a sombre mood which infuriates the reader, as does the guttural sounds evoked through the consistent use of half rhymes. However it is the construct of Tom Dacre who, through brainwashing, has accepted his station as a sweep and embraces it that most potently shows Blake’s indignation. He is powerless to effect those who will not repudiate this immorality, but he can effect those around them, hence the political natures of ‘The Chimney Sweeper’ and ‘Holy Thursday’.

    Wow, fantastic essay, I really like the idea of the audience as "an extension of Blake's own moral being". Thanks a lot

    Ok, i shared, anymore model answers....?
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