Marxism in The Chimney Sweeper

1918 Words8 Pages
In his poem, "The Chimney Sweeper", William Blake displays the despondent urban life of a young chimney sweeper during the coming of the industrial revolution in order to emphasize the theme of innocence through Marxism and to inform people of the harsh working conditions during the times of child labor promoting political reform. William Blake was born in London on November 28, 1757, to James and Catherine Blake. From early childhood, Blake spoke of having visions. He learned to read and write at home. Blake expressed a wish to become a painter, so his parents sent him to drawing school. Two years later, Blake began writing poetry. One of Blake's assignments as apprentice was to sketch the tombs at Westminster Abbey, exposing him to a variety of Gothic styles from which he would draw inspiration throughout his career. After his seven-year term ended, he studied briefly at the Royal Academy. He married an illiterate woman named Catherine Boucher. Blake taught her to read and to write, and also instructed her in draftsmanship. Later, she helped him print the illuminated poetry for which he is remembered today. Reviewers criticized his physical representation of spiritual happenings and supposed visions as a part of theological insolence, Blake's love for creativity and imagination updates his conception of a personal cosmology that supports both his lyric and visionary poetry. Blake's poetry reflected early proclamations of Marxist topics even though Marxism had not even been documented as a theory.

In order to present the theme of innocence throughout the poem, the rhyming pattern of this poem is maintained in quatrain form allowing it to create a mood of innocence with the rhythm of a child-like song. Because the poem is being t...

... middle of paper ...

...nd Practice.

Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, 2003. 161-178.

Erdman, David V. "Infinite London." Blake: Prophet Against Empire. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969. Reprinted In Twentieth Century Interpretations of Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Ed. Morton D. Paley. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969.49-57.

"Factories and Mines: Report on Child Labor, 1843." . 8 November 2005.

Nurmi, Martin K. "Fact and Symbol in ‘The Chimney Sweeper' of Blake's Songs of Innocence." Blake: A Collection of Critical Essays. Northrop Frye ,ed. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1966.

"William Blake." DISCovering Authors. Online Edition. Gale, 2003. Student Resource Center. Thomson Gale. .22 November 2005.

Zimmer, Erika. "Child Victims of the Industrial Revolution."

< http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/feb2001/orph-f20.shtml>.20 February 2001.
Open Document