Innocence Stolen In William Blake’s The Chimney Sweeper

865 words - 3 pages

Throughout world history their have been and are many occurrences of society corruption and oppression of masses, such as the forcing of small children to sweep chimneys. Thus, William Blake’s Purpose in writing the two “The Chimney Sweeper” poems was to express his outrage at society for having oppressed and stolen the innocence of powerless children in forcing them to sweep. Both poems are similar in that he uses the actions and view point of the child speaker to express his rage against society, mostly through his verbal irony. However, the poems distinct in that one shares the view point of an innocent child who hasn’t yet fully experienced the corruption of society , whereas the other one is one of a more experienced child who realizes he has been abandoned, and sees his oppression past societies attempt to shield it.
The first poem “The Chimney Sweeper,” has an innocent child as a speaker, thus Blake’s main purpose in writing through the view point of a pure child who is soon to be corrupted and oppressed by society, is to create disturbance inside the readers mind, so they can share his fury. He goes through various measures to create an elevated depiction of the boys purity and innocence; an exact rhyme scheme (a childlike action), being “naked and white” in his dream (signs of purity), and being “Happy &warm” even when he has to sweep. The boy says “my father sold me while yet my tongue could scarcely cry ‘’weep!’Weep!’weep!,” thus since he is so young that he can not successfully advertise his job, it is implied that he was sold into apprenticeship way before he understood the injustice of his situation. Blake uses the Technique of naming the speaker, Little Tom Dacre, to make him into an actual individual that the reader can identify with. Little Tom Dacre’s dream is based on society implementing the belief that it was God’s will for him to do his duties and that only after he had effectively completed them and if “he’d be a good boy”, would he “have God for his father.” Therefore the innocent child views his dream as an optimistic message, and beneficial, with a promise of salvation from the church. However, the dream is full of irony in the readers eyes since they can see it has benefited the child in no shape, way or form; it has only made them believe the church will be their savior so they can willingly work for the church. Thus implementing, that society is so corrupt it brainwashes the children to...

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