For the Songs of Experience analysisfollow the link! In William Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" in the Songs of Innocence there is an immense contrast between the death, weeping, exploitation, and oppression that Tom Dacre endures and the childlike innocence that enables him to be naive about his grave situation and the widespread injustice in society. Tom Dacre's imagination takes him on a lovely journey with his ultimate hope of being nurtured and cared for by His Father in Heaven.
Why would Blake label these tales as such? But let us make no mistake about the nature of this labor. Poverty and famine were very real, very prevalent problems.
For starving, destitute families, sometimes the only chance that any members of the family had to find sustenance was for the parent to sell their child into menial labor.
Chimney sweeping was an ever-present job option for young children. Their small frames were ideal for squeezing down the tight flues. Chimney sweeping, however, was, and still is to this day, a very disastrous occupation to say the least.
Even more tragic is the presence of noxious fumes that one finds in a soot caked chimney. If a child did not fall victim to an accident, breathing these chemicals constantly would inevitably cause cancer and other severe health problems.
A large number of chimney sweepers who start as young children do not make it past their adolescent years. He or she has not yet been tainted by outside forces and has only begun to be subjected to the events that will shape what is called experience.
Apparently, Blake has attached additional meaning to the word innocence. He is free of spite or malice for his perpetuators, much the same as an innocent child who has so far had no reason to suspect any foul play. But does this mean that he is, perhaps, unfamiliar with the very concept of foul play?
Blake seems to desire their actions to suggest that to be innocent might mean to be willfully and subjectively blind to experience. Is it something that can be acquired? His words are full of pain and anger but it is pain and anger that has been stifled.
He tries to find solace in merriment but it does him no good. The willfully innocent children have at least found a degree of comfort in their life. This little boy has none. And if so, is experience any better than innocence? The experienced chimney sweeper is no less free from his circumstances than the innocent chimney sweeper.
To close, I would like to suggest that the answer to these questions may never be discernable but I would like to commend Blake in tackling both viewpoints. It is a testament to the impossibility of solving these questions, as well as the skills of Blake as a poet, that he can provide such a convincing example of each.
Links to my stuff! Share your videos with friends, family, and the world Related.Sep 14, · William Blake's two poems called "The Chimney Sweeper" create art by keeping us uncomfortable.
After introducing us to Tom, he relates a very strange dream that Tom had one night (it involved chimney sweepers in coffins, angels, flying, and a few other bizarre things).
The poem concludes with Tom and the speaker waking up . The Chimney Sweeper: When my mother died I was very young By William Blake About this Poet In his Life of William Blake () Alexander Gilchrist warned his readers that Blake "neither wrote nor drew for the many, hardly for work'y-day men at all, rather for children and angels; himself 'a divine.
George Norton shows how William Blake’s Chimney Sweeper poems highlight the injustice and brutality suffered by child chimney sweeps in . In William Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" in the Songs of Innocence there is an immense contrast between the death, weeping, exploitation, and oppression that Tom Dacre endures and the childlike innocence that enables him to be naive about his grave situation and the widespread injustice in society.
William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake's work is today considered seminal and significant in the history of both poetry and the visual arts. Blake's prophetic poetry has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the language"/5.