Innocence In Wordsworth And Chimney Sweeper

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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
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From Blake’s perspective, a passage through experience is necessary before entrance into a final state of vision, as it describes a journey from childhood innocence to maturity. In contrast to the omniscient narrator in the first poem, this poem uses the first-person singular ‘I’, indicating that he is now able to reflect deeply on his situation. The poem begins with the narrator amidst ‘a little black thing among the snow’, juxtaposing the experience of misery against the purity and whiteness of the snow. This stanza presents a self-contained introduction of the child’s plight, combined with monosyllabic phrases following the ABAB rhyme scheme which changes thereafter to an alternate rhyme scheme. Within this stanza, the conversation between the speaker and a sweeper establishes a slower, reflective pace and…show more content…
The poem has a subtitle ‘how the practice of lying can be taught’ presenting how adults corrupt children by forcing them to conform to logic and reason instead of accepting them as they are. The poem is based on a rendition of a relationship between a father and his child, forcing him to accept his choices, ignoring his simplicity and innocence. The poem follows the ABAB rhyme scheme conveying the emotion of gentle and honest love. The colloquial and simple rustic language relates to his aims as expressed in the Preface to Lyrical Ballads that this selection of language was ‘more easily comprehended’, and rustic life had the ‘best part of language’ allowing Wordsworth to write in the real language of men relating to the ordinary. He expresses that plain rural speech is the basis of
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