The Chimney Sweeper By William Blake

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William Blake wrote, ‘The Chimney Sweeper,’ as his cry against society. After being a witness to the appalling conditions the climbing boys experienced in London society during the French revolution. Blake was able to expose the tragedies of the young lives that lived during that time period; ‘The Chimney Sweeper,’ received public attention resulting in slight improvement of the 1788 Chimney Sweepers’ Act (Mellown 2). Blake’s poem both of Song of Innocence and Songs of Experience conflict the different states of the human soul through articulate literature techniques such as rhyme scheme, the voice of the speaker, and many other effective devices. Blake was able to unite the central themes of the Romantic period: childhood and the impact of the industrial Revolution (Norton 1). During this time period the children had the choice of life or death, but the fear of death would always be haunting them (Freedman 1). As Freedman states the reader is given two predicaments of how each situation would be perceived, a child’s language is not adequate to make such sense of sorrow. Songs of Innocence, the child speaker is unable to comprehend completely of the world he wakes up in. The innocent has no way of understanding which is more frightening than that of the state of Experience. Songs of Experience, the speaker knows of his position and he angrily betrays society because of his knowledge. The speaker, “directs his anger at the organized religion of the church,” weaving a fictional twinge of happiness that the boy is satisfied with living instead of suffering (Freedman). The sweeps are innocent victims of the cruelest exploitation associating with the smoke of the industrialization (Norton). The soot that covers them day to day, th... ... middle of paper ... ...s taken when they completely understand the world they wake up in. The world is a tough place. We all possess are own demons that dress us in, “clothes of death.” But it’s up to us to decide if we should blame society and sing of woe or wake up like Tom Dacre each morning with a smile because we are all one day closer to the very presence that haunts us. Work Cited Freedman, Linda. "Blake 's Two Chimney Sweepers." Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians. The British Library. Web. 03 Apr. 2016. . Mellown, Muriel. "Literary Criticism: “The Chimney Sweeper” (1794)." Masterplots II: Poetry, Revised Edition (2002): 1-3. Literary Reference Center, 12 May 2014. Web. 03 Apr. 2016. . Norton, George. "William Blake 's Chimney Sweeper Poems: A Close Reading." Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians. The British Library. Web. 03 Apr. 2016. .
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