Chimney Sweeper Term Paper

Pages: 2 (624 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

William Blake's The Chimney Sweeper

William Blake's poem The Chimney Sweeper is a poignant morality tale, told from the point-of-view of a young child who was sold into back-breaking labor by his own father. They boy was too young to even utter the words "sweep," much less protest the injustice of this arrangement. Unfortunately, such an arrangement was far from rare in Blake's time.

The unnamed boy then goes on to comfort Tom Dacre, another sweep whose blond hair was cruelly shaven-off. The poem then moves to a dream/fantasy, where Tom dreams of an angel who sets the sweeps free. In this dream, Tom runs and plays, just as any innocent young child. Tom is also told that if he is a "good boy," he will reap the rewards, in the form of God's love and eternal happiness. Tom retains these thoughts when he wakes up, and no longer laments his shaven head or his fate. Instead, he has a renewed cheerfulness, happy that if he works as a good chimney sweep and does his duty, boys such as him "need not fear harm."

Blake was a social commentator who was highly critical of injustices pervading Victorian English society. Boys such as Tom Dacre and the poem's unnamed narrator were often sold off by poor parents at the age of five. Because they were so young, the boys could climb narrow chimneys to clean out soot. This work caused a number of health problems, such as stunted and deformed growth. Many suffered from lung disease, brought about by breathing soot and harmful particles. Others suffered burns to their body, especially on the soles of their feet, resulting from scalding and poking by adult masters. Many more died from disease, suffocation and falls.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Chimney Sweeper Assignment

Against this backdrop, Blake shows the reader a young boy, Tom Dacre, and his simple dream. When first introduced, the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Chimney Sweeper.  (2006, July 7).  Retrieved December 2, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/chimney-sweeper/7853439

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"Chimney Sweeper."  Essaytown.com.  July 7, 2006.  Accessed December 2, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/chimney-sweeper/7853439.