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Want to revise your theme evaluation skills in 'London'?

(Hint, yes you do! Double hint, you've come to the right place to do this!)


Thought bubble


In this activity, you'll be able to practise your evaluating skills concerning key themes in 'London'. This activity should allow you to practise some key skills in detecting how the writer develops key themes and presents them effectively. This is a mixed activity some of your answers will need to be manually marked!



An evaluation template:

Identifying the theme ie: In 'London' Blake presents the theme of vulnerability in the lower-class people of London.

Example ie: The quote "marks of weakness, marks of woe" really emphasises this.


Effect ie: The nouns "weakness" and "woe" are examples of emotive language, urging the reader to imaging the frailty and sadness of the people on the streets of London. Repetition of "marks" emphasises, perhaps, the physical marks of people who are subject to harsh conditions. Perhaps Blake repeats the word marks to place emphasis on the vast amount of people who are vulnerable. Hence, the repetition iterates the very word, making it seem as if Blake is encountering person after person with marks of sadness and pain on their face.


Linking the theme to the poem as a whole: ie: Blake emphasises lower class vulnerability to send a moral message: that the lower-class are more vulnerable to a harsh, painful and destitute (poor) lifestyle due to the selfishness and corruption of the upper-class. The quote "every black'ning church'"uses metaphorical language to stress Blake's negative attitudes towards the church, who is responsible for looking after the lower-class. Clearly, Blake is subjecting the blame onto institutions run by the upper-class, or in the control of the upper-class.



Don't worry about making your evaluations super complex and don't get too intimidated by the example up there. It's more sophisticated, so that you have a super good example to look up to and work towards!

Hopefully this makes evaluating themes easier to understand. If it's still tricky, don't worry, because the activity will be filled with helpful hints and explanations that you can jot down as you do it. 

Remember, take your time, it's not a race!


You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples. These quotations are for reference only.

10 questions
The quotations/text used in this exercise are from the copyrighted works of William Blake, 'London’