The Chimney Sweeper

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Blake writes of the demoralization of children in his poems who have the unhappy job of cleaning up after others. He provides his sad & pitying commentary on a thankless job. He writes the poem from the point of view of a child, pulling the reader in & making him empathize with the children. The child narration is furthered through song and rhyming. In Blake’s 1789 poem, the persona begins by stating that his mother died when he was young & that his father sold him before he could properly protest his future uncivilized job of sweeping chimneys. The use of onomatopoeia in the statement, “could scarcely cry ‘’weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep!” (3), shows the agony of the child who’s not even old enough to pronounce the term“sweep”. The child states, “so your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep” (4). The use of the “s” sounds hint towards the childs sadness at what life has brought him.Nevertheless, the child tries to make the best out of his situation & help others like “little Tom Dacre” and accept their situation, Tom cried at the loss of his innocence, but the child convinces him that it’s better that way because then, the “soot cannot spoil your white hair” (8). This means that the impurity & disgrace of his position can no longer touch him or hurt him. This nature is unusual for a child, but was produced because society pushed the child to mature into becoming an adult before he was even a child.In the poem an Angel tells Tom that if he is righteous and acts with the goodness of his heart then God will be his father and he would never wish for joy because he will forever have it. So at the end of the poem when Tom had to go and sweep chimneys he had hope and had comfort because he knew that his “Father” was watching over him and would let no harm come to him. Blake’s second poem is also told from the point of view of a child and this

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