Essay about Innocence Stolen in William Blake’s The Chimney Sweeper

Essay about Innocence Stolen in William Blake’s The Chimney Sweeper

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Throughout world history their have been and are many occurrences of society corruption and oppression of masses, such as the forcing of small children to sweep chimneys. Thus, William Blake’s Purpose in writing the two “The Chimney Sweeper” poems was to express his outrage at society for having oppressed and stolen the innocence of powerless children in forcing them to sweep. Both poems are similar in that he uses the actions and view point of the child speaker to express his rage against society, mostly through his verbal irony. However, the poems distinct in that one shares the view point of an innocent child who hasn’t yet fully experienced the corruption of society , whereas the other one is one of a more experienced child who realizes he has been abandoned, and sees his oppression past societies attempt to shield it.
The first poem “The Chimney Sweeper,” has an innocent child as a speaker, thus Blake’s main purpose in writing through the view point of a pure child who is soon to be corrupted and oppressed by society, is to create disturbance inside the readers mind, so they can share his fury. He goes through various measures to create an elevated depiction of the boys purity and innocence; an exact rhyme scheme (a childlike action), being “naked and white” in his dream (signs of purity), and being “Happy &warm” even when he has to sweep. The boy says “my father sold me while yet my tongue could scarcely cry ‘’weep!’Weep!’weep!,” thus since he is so young that he can not successfully advertise his job, it is implied that he was sold into apprenticeship way before he understood the injustice of his situation. Blake uses the Technique of naming the speaker, Little Tom Dacre, to make him into an actual individual that the re...


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... is seen in “and are gone to praise God & his priest & king who make up a heaven of our misery,” showing that the church as part of society is also the bad guy, and does not provide help for the children sweeper.
In both “The Chimney Sweeper” poems, William Blake, has an angry and infuriated view at society and the church for forcing young children to sweep chimneys. However the Poems contrast in that the first one share the view point of a naïve, innocent boy whereas the second one portrays an experienced boy who feels detestation towards society, and his parents for abandonment. It can be understood that the first poem is meant to disturb the readers more, because they identify with the innocent child and experience its corruption, where as the other poem is just a harsher, more outspoken version of his outrage, since the child is accustomed to the hardships.

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