Study Guide

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Freedom and Confinement

By William Blake

Freedom and Confinement

"Break on through to the other side." That's a lyric performed by the '60s psychedelic rock band the Doors. The Doors got their name from a book written by Aldous Huxley called The Doors of Perception. And guess where Huxley got his idea for the book title. Bonus points for you if you said The Marriage of Heaven and Hell—super-bonus points if you knew which section this quote was in (psst: it's at the end of section 5). And so now—from the Doors to Huxley to Blake—we've come full circle with our theme of freedom and confinement. The Doors were about breaking out of prescribed boundaries, and a big part of this book celebrates that very same idea.

Questions About Freedom and Confinement

  1. What does this book value about freedom? What are the reasons it gives that people should be free?
  2. What forces get the blame in this book for repression and constraint? Do you agree with those assessments? Why or why not?
  3. Which people are the freest, according to the book? Which are the most confined?
  4. What is the book's advice for how to be truly free?

Chew on This

The true measure of freedom, this book teaches us, is the ability to pursue and express original thought.

By this book's definitions, the freest person on the planet is, oddly enough, William Blake himself.

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