Symbolism And Imagery In William Blakes Poem The Echoing Green Essay, Research Paper
From dancing daffodils to a wandering breeze, poets use many different literary tools to help express their thoughts. The dictionary defines symbolism as the representation of things by means of a symbol. Imagery, also a type of symbol, can be defined as mental images or figures of speech. These include vivid descriptions, which convey poetic images. Authors like William Blake feel that the use of symbolism and imagery assist in bringing their works of art to life.
William Blake was born in London. He grew up taking on odds jobs, giving drawing lessons and illustrating books. This work helped him to support his vision to write poetry. Although Blake was able to write poetry, he died before he was ever recognized for his work. Blake used many imagenative descriptions to help the reader visualize his thoughts.
Through Blake s original portrayal of an echoing green we are told of much more than a field. He takes a simple piece of land and allows us to see inside its existence with the use of symbolism and imagery. For example, this excerpt:
The Sun does arise,
And make happy the skies;
The merry bells ring
To welcome the Spring.
We know that the sun cannot arise, but with Blake s use of personification, we get a completely different picture. The sun, in a sense, is our alarm clock;
waking us to begin our day, making the skies happy by filling them with comfort and warm air.
Blake describes his echoing green as a place where the birds sing and children play. Overlooking all this is Old John. He watches in delight as the girls and boys play, then run to their mothers like birds in their nest as the green darkens. The sun is a symbol of comfort and security. When it is present the children feel they can run about but as it leaves they must retreat to their mothers for fear of being alone. Old John also presents a feeling of security, but one of a different tone. His is almost like the light at the end of the hall, there could be something hiding in the corner, but the presence of the light makes us more comfortable.
Without the use of symbolism and imagery Blake would have never been able to depict the insecurities of children through the rising and falling of the sun. He is able to create a very original message with the use of these literary tools.