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by William Blake

London Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why do you think the speaker never actually says the word "London" in the poem itself? Could this poem be about other cities?
  2. How one-sided is the speaker's perspective of London? Why doesn't he say anything positive, or point out any of the beauties of London?
  3. What do you make of the phrase "marriage hearse"? Why might be marriage be associated with death in "London"?
  4. Why are there so many children in this poem (chimney sweeper, infants, etc.)? What do they symbolize, and why do you think so?
  5. Blake illustrated much of his work. Take a look at "London." How do the pictures enhance or complicate the poem's themes?

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