The Chimney Sweeper Essay

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"The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake Name Course Professor Date "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake The theme of this song or poem may be interpreted as how a life of constant effort and unrelenting belief in God and church will elevate even the most deprived and poor soul to the kingdom of heaven. This may be a common interpretation due solely to the expanse of time that has expired since William Blake put his words on paper. There is a difficulty in this day and age to perceive children as young as the age of five being sold into manual labor especially one of such a sordid nature as chimney sweeping. There was a definite reason that Blake wrote these songs in two different venues, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. In this song of innocence Blake wants to chastise his society for giving the innocents false hope and then again for the church using their lessons to dispel the children's fears and anguish and not doing everything in the power of the Church to end the horrible conditions these children are suffering. Even though one may not be familiar with the Britain’s Act for the Better Regulation of Chimney Sweepers and their Apprentices of the late 1700s it would be difficult to miss the melancholy tone of the poem. Once knowing that this law was lobbying for a more humane treatment of chimney sweepers such as not allowing children to begin work as sweeps until they were at least eight years old and demanding that they be washed at least once a week makes the reader feel an even greater sadness when realizing the narrator that was sold into that cruel and damaging profession was probably eight or younger and his young friend Tom Darce was even younger than that. Tom is crying because they had shaved his head which Blake refers to as curling like a 'lambs back' and 'white as snow' using this powerful imagery to reinforce

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