William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker who lived in England from 1757-1827. He was largely unrecognized during his life but is now seen as a prominent figure in the poetry and art of the Romantic Age. Blake was considered to be “mad” by his contemporaries and other people who worked alongside him, he later became highly regarded for his creativity and forward thinking. His goal in writing his poetry was to create change in the social order and in the minds of men.
Blake’s views and goals for his work are very similar to Janina’s in Plow. Janina’s goal by writing this book and introducing us into her world was supposedly in an effort to tell her side of the story and state her distaste in regards to the accepted norms of their society. Her original goal was seemingly to speak out against the men who hunted and poached, which was a risk because those are some of the greatest values in their society. She was continually discounted and underestimated by men and authority figures throughout the book, similar to Blake. She was also called “crazy” and a “madwoman” and not valued, just like Blake.
However, throughout the course of Janina’s telling of her story, she veers away from radical ideas and begins to act radically. She starts killing the hunters and the people who support and uphold the laws of society instead of simply writing and publishing work about her beliefs. While Janina’s original actions and motivation may have been similar to Blake and his experiences with society discounting him, Janina takes it a step too far. Because she murders and has given up on trying to change her society through peaceful ways, there is very little chance of her becoming recognized as a foundational figure in a movement or being considered a visionary like Blake. She couldn’t accept the fact that her ideas were being rejected by her society and so, unlike Blake who left his work to be found and researched to garner support and value after his death, Janina’s work and view have now all been overshadowed by the fact that she murdered people to prove her point. She wasn’t willing ro give the world a chance to grow and change and eventually come back to her ideas. Instead she took matters into her own hands and now her ideas and work have a dark shadow cast over them forever.