The Contrasting World Views in William Blake’s
“The Lamb” and “The Tyger”
A person’s view of the world is very situational, depending on their life experiences and their religious beliefs. William Blake examines two different world views in the poems “The Lamb,” and “The Tyger.” These poems were written as a pairing which were shown in Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience respectively. While the first poem deals with a view of the world as innocent and beautiful, the other suggests a darker theme, with the narrator having a distorted view of the world he lives in. The world view depicted in Blake’s poem “The Lamb” is of innocence and beauty. The narrator of the poem is a young child who begins by asking a lamb “who
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I feel that the narrator comes to the realization at the end of “The Tyger” that it was Satan who created the Tyger, and it was God who created the Lamb. Unlike the innocent world view depicted in “The Lamb,” the narrator in “The Tyger” has come to the realization through life experience that although the world still remains beautiful and holds a sense of goodness, their also lies hidden evils within it. In conclusion, I feel that the life experiences and added wisdom of the adult narrator in “The Tyger” drastically alter his world view to a world capable of violence and pain as opposed to a world of innocence and beauty as depicted in “The Lamb.” While “The Lamb” deals with a view of the world as innocent and beautiful, “The Tyger” suggests a darker theme, with the narrator having a distorted view of the world he lives in, which in turn opposes the world view of the narrator in “The Lamb.” The contrasting world views of these two poems are possibly about Blake himself, depicting his world views when he was a child, and again when he was an older man.
Baine, Mary R. Baine, Rodney M. “Blake’s Other Tigers, and ‘The Tyger.’” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. (1975).