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William Blake\'s works include many of which relate to the role and interest of many figures of children and caretakers who appear in Songs of Innocence and Experience. The poems I will be discussing in this thesis are, from the Songs of Innocence: "The Little Girl Lost," "The Little Girl Found" and "The Chimney Sweeper." All of which show caretakers in a good light. The other poems, from The Songs of Experience: "The Chimney Sweeper," "NURSE\'S Song" and "Infant Sorrow" all depict caretakers in a bad light.
The first poem I will discuss is from the Songs of Innocence, its title is "The Little Girl Lost." This poem tells the story of a seven-year old child who becomes separated from her parents and is lost in a wild kingdom.
In the first stanza the author prophasizes the future, foretelling of a serious situation. William Blake then goes on in the poem to tell about how the young girls parents react to the new knowledge that their daughter is missing. The parents are fearful because they know the dangers of the jungle their daughter is lost in. The parents, caretakers, of the young girl can not conceive the possibility that the jungle may have a soft and caring side.
We then find out the age of young Lyca, "seven summers old." At the age of seven, a young girl must be very scared alone in the wood with out her mother and father. William Blake also in this stanza tells how Lyca became lost in this wilderness. Lyca, being a young and playful girl had saw beautiful birds singing and had followed them into the jungle, enchanted by their song.
Lyca cannot go on. She is weary from walking and needs to lay down for a moments rest. Lyca lies under a tree, and begins to think about her parents whom she misses so much. She wonders if they are looking for her, and if they are worried about her. These thoughts make Lyca very sad for she loves her caretakers dearly. Lyca knows she needs rest if she wants to go on in her journey to find home. As she lies under the tree she has difficulty sleeping. She knows her mother and father are afraid for her in this wild jungle. She cannot rest knowing that her caretakers are upset.
In the next stanza we picture Lyca still continuing on her search for her home. We picture her eyes closing, much too tired to continue. Lyca has to rest. She lies down and closes her eyes as the daytime fades away and the moon arises over this frightful night. As Lyca lays sleeping the beasts of the jungle come from their caves and roam about in search of food. Instead of food, to their surprise they find Lyca. To the reader this is the point of climax. The reader is scared for Lyca. She is just an innocent child. The reader begins to fear for Lyca\'s life, not realizing the beasts true intentions.
The lion is the first beast to spot Lyca sleeping. He begins to circle her, not quite sure of the situation put before him. We the reader have the natural instinct in us to believe that the lion is going to eat Lyca. We cannot conceive the notion that maybe the lion has other intentions as to what to do with young Lyca. The tygers and leopards begin to dance around the sleeping Lyca, while the lion is still accessing the situation. The reader is confused at this point, because it seems as though the natural thing for the lion to do would be to eat Lyca. When the lion seems as though he is not going to eat Lyca, the reader is enticed to read more.
In the next stanza the lion begins to lick Lyca\'s body, and a softness emerges in his heart. This kindness surprises the reader. It is something we could not expect as a human being used to a violent world. The reader is shocked by this softness in the heart of a ferocious lion.
In the last stanza of the poem the mother lion undresses the sleeping girl, and carries her away to her cave. The lion takes on the role of the caretaker in this
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Songs of Innocence and of Experience, The Little Girl Lost, The Little Girl Found, Night, Infant Sorrow, The Chimney Sweeper, William Blake, Lion, Scar
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