Analysis Of Blake's Songs Of Innocence And Experience

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George Norton’s 2014 analysis of William’s Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience focuses primarily on the two poems titled “The Chimney Sweeper”. In his response to the innocent version, he says that, “the boy explains that he was sold by his father after the death of his mother. The reader, too, becomes implicated in his exploitation: ‘So your chimneys I sweep’ (my italics), he declares, though the suggestion is Blake’s; the speaker seems unaware of his own degradation. Central to the poem is the dual contrast between the grim realities of the sweeps’ lives and the ecstatic vision of liberty contained in the dream of Tom Dacre, a new recruit to the gang.” I agree with this completely. Next in the poem, it discusses the new recruit, Tom,…show more content…
The first stanza of the poem is not of the sweeper’s point of view, but another. The sweeper is described as “a little black thing among the snow. That changes the tone compared to the poem of innocence because it is monochrome and darker than the dream that the boy had, and the sweeper is depersonalized and deemed as a “thing”. According to Norton, the boy know of his troubles, “The speaker, though, remains determinedly happy. His instincts, like any child in Romantic writing, are positively driven even though, unlike the boys in the Innocence poem, he understands his oppression.” Norton and I had the same ideas about why the parents sold him, and thought that he was happy. Norton said, “It also serves to absolve them from feelings of guilt as ‘They think they have done me no injury’. Having forced their son into enslavement, teaching him to sing ‘the notes of woe’, the parents then head to church to praise ‘God and his priest and king’, who, the boy tells us, ‘make up a heaven of our misery’. Interestingly, in an earlier draft, Blake wrote that this grim trio ‘wrap themselves up in our misery’, suggesting that they take comfort from the misery of others. The final version is far more powerful; the speaker’s parents collude with Church and State, actively constructing a heaven out of the misery of others, or, as Nicholas Marsh argues, ‘they “make up” a heaven where, in fact, there is “misery”’.[3].”The parents believe that the boy is happy and serving God. This poem best fits the ideas of Romanticism because it had strong, negative, emotions towards the changes of the industrial revolution and the changes that were taking place in society because if it. I believe that Blake’s second piece of art also goes along with his second poem well because it is of a boy covered in black, soot and dirt, but it also represents the tone of the poem. The
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