The dangers and widespread injustice of the chimney sweeping profession caught William Blake’s attention, causing him to compose two similar works titled, ‘The Chimney Sweep.’ The first belonged to the book ‘Songs of Innocence’ published 1789 and the second, to ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ published in 1793. Both poems show the joys of childhood innocence as the main subject. It highlights how childhood innocence was destroyed, taken away or ruined by adults. Blake saw innocence as a joke. It does not exist because it is tainted by the world of experience - chimney sweeping, death, poverty, etc.
Where the first poem was longer and full of imagery, the second poem is short and blunt. It was written in 1794, five years later, and is full of bitterness due to the lack of change in society. Chimney Sweeping is still popular. Children are still being worked to death. No one has listened to he softer plea, so now William Blake must take a more aggressive approach.
In order to convey his reactions and frustrations, he created the poem “Did I Miss Anything?” (Wayman, “Did I Miss Anything?” par. 3-4). While incorporating tone, juxtaposition, and repetition, Wayman effectively asserts the theme of how absence leads to a loss of opportunities in the classroom. Throughout the majority of the poem, Wayman emphasizes a tone of sarcasm to demonstrate his annoyance as well as the important material that the student potentially missed, before shifting to a more serious tone. Initially, he portrays various exaggerated
Graham (2008) says “we were all lied to as kids, and some of the lies we were told still affect us”, this is exactly what Blake is depicting in his poem. The Chimney Sweeper: the innocent does not see the cruelty of the adults while the experienced mourn their existence in the contamination of the adult world which is symbolic of the effected group of people during the industrial revolution. In the poem both the children are misled into working for the aristocrats as their chimney sweepers. They were sold before they could hardly pronounce words properly and hear lies saying that their heads are shaved to save their hair: “my fathers sold me while yet my tongue could scarcely cry/ Weep! Weep!
The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake is about a young boy who is sold to be a chimney sweeper by his father, after his mother passed away. At the time, there were no child labor laws. In Infant Sorrow by William Blake, is about a child that is born into poverty and the infant feels that he is a burden to his parents; started being a burden to his parents from birth on. Not a happy birth for the infant, which lands this poem in Songs of Experience. An archetype is an action, idea, or character that represents something more than itself, often has a universal meaning
The poem tells the story of children as young as four and five, where child labour was an everyday occurrence in England in the 18th and 19th century. Beginning at a young age, boys were sold to clean chimneys due to their small size. The boys were subject to harsh and abusive treatment, usually came from a poor family, which was socially accepted at the time. In the poem a young chimney sweeper named Tom Dacre, tells the story from the poem as it was written, his mother died when he was very young, and his father sold him to chimney sweepers. Tom gives his interpretation about how sad he was about being sold and sweeping chimney’s, all he wanted to do was cry but he was too tired.
In the chimney sweeper and Holy Thursday written by William Blake, Blake uses the theme of innocence. In the chimney sweeper song of experience there are six stanzas with four verses each whereas in Holy Thursday song of innocence there are three stanzas with four verses each. In the two poems Blake shows his feelings about the way people treat the children. The aim is to find out how William Blake portray childhood with the theme of innocence in both poem. In the Chimney Sweeper, “And my father sold me while yet my tongue” shows that the speaker tells us the readers about his childhood and there is the theme of rejection s it runs out his father sold him before he could barely talk.
One can easily visualize from the word “hear” the cries and the sigh of the children, chimney sweepers and the soldiers alike. Churches become sooty not only literally, but also metaphorically through the Church of England 's downplaying of the shameful child labor system. English soldiers in the 1790s were, like chimney sweeps, treated brutally. The blood of these young men metaphorically stains royal residence walls. Women
William Blake and William Wordsworth both present views of the obtaining, losing and regaining of innocence within their work. From Blake’s perspective, ‘Chimney Sweeper’ reflects the belief that it is possible to regain innocence once it has been lost, hence appearing in Songs on Innocence by taking away a child’s innocence through trials on this earth, returning it to him in death. Whereas, Songs of Experience the sweeper is aware of the idea that the church and king manipulate people causing him to criticise religion, just like Blake criticises religion for being the root of the problem. On the other hand, Wordsworth reveals his reflections of innocence through ‘Anecdotes for Fathers’. ‘Chimney Sweeper’, is a poem that first appeared in
In the second stanza he generalizes the inhumane situation by repeating the word “every”, as the speaker says “In every cry of every Man, /In Infant’s cry of fear, /In every voice, in every ban, /The mind-forg’d manacles I hear:” (L. 5-8) In the third stanza, he gives another example of another social issue that appeared during that time, the suffering of chimney sweepers when he wrote “How the Chimney-sweeper’s cry” (L.9) which is a clear example of child abuse by materialism and the industry. He criticizes clergymen who allow such thing to happen to children “Every blackning Church appalls” (L.10) In addition to the chimney sweepers he mentions the soldiers as an example of suffering individuals. He pictures them as “hapless Soldier’s sighing” (L.11) The last victim of the corrupted society that Blake mentions are the “harlot”. Athe speaker states that the “blights with plagues the Marriage hearse” (L.16) and Changjuan Zhan states that “The unfortunate women are forced to be harlots. Just according to their curses, we can see everything covered with darkness, so the wedding becomes a funeral” (1613).