William Blake's Social Vision and the Culture of Sensibility
|Keywords:||布雷克;情感文化;1790年代;中產階級;勞動;Blake, William;Culture of Sensibility;1790s;the middle clas;labor||Issue Date:||2007||Abstract:||null
This thesis sets out to demonstrate that Blake’s social vision in the 1790s was deeply intertwined with the eighteenth-century language and concept of sensibility. The dominant eighteenth-century culture of sensibility served the interests of the mainstream ideologies of the upper-middle class. They promote moral virtue, rational Christianity, charity movements, refinement, and consumerism, each of which consolidated the existing social hierarchy and social order. Blake’s social view diverges from the mainstream society in terms of class, artistic vision, and political stance. However, Blake’s poetry does not negate the cultural emphasis on sensibility, individual emotion, and social affections. On the contrary, he wishes to rid emotional energies of the many regulations from morality, rationalism, and hierarchical ideologies, propagating higher reverence for individual feelings and communal affections. I argue that Blake objects to the hierarchy and individualism inherent to the middle-class culture of sensibility with a freer and equalizing understanding of sensibility which is more in line with his antinomian and artisan background. My study seeks to demonstrate that Blake insists on the freedom of personal feeling from the bourgeois ideas of moral virtue and maintains the necessity of selfless and productive labors in the formation of sympathetic communities.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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