Study Guide

Auguries of Innocence Injustice

By William Blake

Injustice

There's a ton of injustice going on in "Auguries of Innocence": animal abuse, child abuse, unlawful empire building… the works. And what does Blake think about injustice? Well, he's against it, obviously. No surprise there. But Blake takes a unique tack against it—he refuses to accept poverty as an inevitable thing. He imagines a beggar's rags tearing the heavens into rags: it has dire consequences for the entire world. In Blake's eyes, no one can afford to ignore an injustice, no matter how small.

Questions About Injustice

  1. How does Blake think we should deal with injustice? Does he have a plan?
  2. Do you think that things like "a dog starving at his Master's Gate" really do herald the collapse of society? If so or if not, why?
  3. What does Blake think is the punishment for injustice? Is it in this life or after death?

Chew on This

Blake was on it—human cruelty is the main source of injustice.

Actually, it's human indifference to cruelty that's the main source of injustice.

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