In 1794 an English poet named William Blake wrote a collection of poems. One of the poems in the compilation was "A Poison Tree". My essential question that ties to the Marxist Literary Theory is, What Social Class Is The Writer?
William Blake, in addition to being a poet, was also a dissenter who broke away from the Anglican Church. He also spoke openly in his poems his disdain for established religion and the establishment.
"A Poison Tree" was included in the collection "Songs of Innocence" in 1794. This work is regarded as being one of Blake's "hidden gems". My question is, what social class was he? Was he expressing his frustrations with the bourgeoisie? Or was he one of them, writing of the upper class suppression of the workers?
The Gordon Riots of 1780 is where we can find our answer. William Blake accompanied protesters on a march on the parliament building. According to biographers, he was in the fore-front of the mob. These protests were sparked in response to elimination of penalties against the Roman Catholic Church. The protesters were made up of an unruly proletariat as described by researchers.