EXPLORE HOW BLAKE TACKLES THE THEME OF LOVE IN THIS POEM:
In the poem, “The Clod and the Pebble”, Blake deals with two totally different points of view about love.
In the first stanza, the Clod develops a positive idea about love. He believes love is happy, because as he is young and innocent he hasn’t experienced love so much. He shows love can be positive, joyful and generous. He explains love is generous: “Love seeketh not itself to please”; love isn’t selfish it pleases and cares for people.
On the other hand, in the third stanza, the Pebble works out a negative point of view about love. He thinks love is cynical, harsh, selfish and pessimistic, because he has experienced love in a bad way, therefore he has an adverse attitude towards life. He presents love can be negative, hard and difficult. He sorts out that love is selfish: “Joys in another’s loss of ease”; love is not worth it, it is only for itself.
In both stanzas, one and three, Blake uses hyperbolic language, through Heaven and Hell: “And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite”: he changes something wonderful into a miserable thing. This shows an exaggerated way of playing to different outlooks about love.
In conclusion, we believe Blake deals with the theme of love through the personification of the Clod and the Pebble, who give their own opinion on that topic. Moreover, both characters symbolize the crucial tones of this poem.
By: Anouk & Sofi