Comparative Analysis of Infant Joy and Infant Sorrow
William Blake's Infant Joy from the Songs of Innocence and Infant Sorrow from the Songs of Experience are in direct contrast from one another. Infant Joy represents the celebration and joy felt at the arrival of an innocent babe, while Infant Sorrow is a poem of the despair and rejection at the birth of an unwanted child. The former poem leaves one with the feeling of warmth and innocence; the latter only offers a bleak and dark existence that shall last a lifetime. Blake presents the reader with two aspects of the birth of life-one that is softened by peace and purity, and another that is really no life at all.
Infant Joy radiates happiness and love. It is an expression of the elation and wonder felt at the birth of a tiny babe. The scene is one of tranquillity-a mother gently cradling her child at her breast. Both the mother and babe are given a voice. The mother addresses her tiny infant, only thoughts of tenderness and love consuming her. She revels in the joy of her motherhood. Her precious infant is embracing his new life and surroundings, proclaiming to the world his arrival of only two days before. The tone is one of hope mingled with a glowing, radiant happiness.
The tiny infant is only two days old, and he has yet to be named. Without a name, the infant cannot be judged; his short life has only been one of unblemished innocence. Limiting factors do not exist for the babe. He is potential-a whole lifetime awaits him. The innocence known to the infant only serves to emphasize the lack of evilness and corruption in his world. At this moment, the babe is goodness and all those things in life that are warm and giving. One is left with the hope his innocence will not be lost, and that a beautiful and uplifting aura will always envelope him.
The words chosen by Blake-joy, happy, pretty, sweet, sing, and smile-exude a sense of contentment. The words cont... Continues...