Mr Jon Essay

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Fantasy vs. Reality The two poems entitled "The Chimney Sweeper" tell the stories of the lives of English children who were sent into child labor by their parents. Children were sent to clean chimneys because of their small size. These children were subject to harsh treatment and had an early demise due to the smoke they inhaled. Society accepted this form of child labor at the time because it was a part of the Industrial Revolution. In Songs of Innocence a young chimney sweeper tells the story of a dream of one of the boys, which causes them to aspire to death. In Songs of Experience an adult stumbles across a child chimney sweeper who feels abandoned in the harsh weather while his parents are at church and do not consider his feelings. This child has no aspiration. Which is more beneficial: aspirations of hope or rage? One child seems to be in touched with fantasy and the other looks as though he is in touched with reality. In Songs of Innocence the young chimney sweeper lives by a dream of life after death. The dream tells the story of an angel who rescues the boys from their coffins and takes them to heaven. “And by came an Angel who had a bright key. And he open’d the coffins and set them all free”. Death is the only way out from their horrible lives. The children are miserable. They realize their unfortunate situation and look forward to a blissful death. The children find a way by accepting their lives and use their fantasies as a way of hope. These children are convinced their circumstances in the future will be better. Despite the adversity they face and the more difficult their situation becomes they have death to aspire to. In Songs of Experience the youthful chimney sweeper does not perceive hope and thinks violent thoughts. “They clothed me in the clothes of death, And taught sing the notes of woe”. There is no hope and no means of escape. The

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