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William Blake's the Chimney Sweeper Term Paper

… Blake's The Chimney Sweeper

William Blake's poem "The Chimney Sweeper" -- a hopeful nursery rhyme style used to ironically highlight a child's reality of horror

Although our society is no longer dependant upon children to sweep our chimneys, and sacrifice their health and youth to this miserable task, William Blake's poem "The Chimney Sweeper" still has power over the attention of the viewer. This is because it makes imaginative use of the familiar tone of nursery rhyme, and deploys children's vocabulary and sing-song rhyme and diction to convey the horrible, limited circumstances of the speaker's life. The innocence, purity, hopes, and light of childhood and heaven are contrasted with the darkness of the soot and the physical, manual labor of chimney sweeping. Death will come…. [read more]

William Blake Social Indictment Essay

… This job of chimney sweep, Blake is saying, is dirty and the society that put children here is sinful, but neither of these earthly concerns can contaminate their innocent souls. Tom cannot necessarily see the salvation waiting for him at the end of his hard work during his waking hours. In the third stanza of the poem, though, he has an enlightening and terrible dream in which thousands of sweepers just like him are locked up in black coffins. Once again, Blake is using color to denote the difference between good and evil, saving grace and sin. The boys' rescue comes in the fourth stanza, when "an Angel who had a bright key" arrives and opens the coffins, setting all of the boys free. Not…. [read more]

William Blake Was an English Essay

… He is described as a "little black thing among the snow," standing out from his surroundings. He has been forced into his position because his parents mistook his childish innocence as happiness, and "because [he] was happy upon the heath…They clothed [him] in the clothes of death, and taught [him] to sing the notes of woe" (46). Because his parents cannot see how unhappy he is and think that "because [he is] happy, & dance & sing/They think they have done [him] no injury" (46). Much like the poem in Songs of Innocence, the chimneysweeper cries out "weep, weep, in notes of woe," however he seems to imply that he should be pitied because knows the horrors to which he is subjected to. The chimneysweeper…. [read more]

Chimney Sweeper Term Paper

… 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…. [read more]

Blake's "London" My Questions Term Paper

… In addition, the poet is observing that there is neither a time nor place from which our misery can be escaped. In essence, suffering and misery exist everywhere and no one is exempt from its perils. This is a sad reflection of the poet's time.

From the first lines of the poem, Blake is introducing us to a particular irony that exists in the "charter'd" streets of London that are supposedly "free."

This, of course, makes us wonder about the price of freedom, since he sees such a sadness all around him. Freedom is generally associated with positive things such as happiness and self-expression. Blake, however, looks at it differently, implying that a society would not be ravaged with weakness, woe, and fear if it…. [read more]

Shakespeare and Blake Essay

… This description of Tom Dacre gives him attributes of innocence that is associated with religion. Blake further elaborates on this religious symbolism by stating that Tom Dacre dreamt "that thousands of sweepers…were all of them lock'd up in coffins of black.//And by came an angel who had a bright key/And he open'd the coffins & set them all free" (lines 12-14). This descriptive dream parallels religious writings in which Jesus Christ descends into Hell and released souls trapped therein. This parallel is further highlighted in the second half of Tom Dacre's dream in which the freed chimney sweepers "naked and white, all their bags left behind,/They rise upon clouds and sport in the wind [and] if he'd be a good boy,/He'd have God for his…. [read more]

Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper Research Paper

… In the poem, Blake uses religious imagery to emphasize the chimneysweepers' innocence. For instance, he describes Tom Dacre as having "white hair…that curl'd like a lamb's back" (Blake, Songs of Innocence, 6). Furthermore, Blake continues to highlight the narrator's innocence by analyzing his unconscious thoughts. Even when the narrator is dreaming, he believes that God will save him. The narrator comments that he dreamed "that thousands of sweepers…were all of them lock'd up in coffins of black" until an angel "open'd the coffins & set them all free" (11-14). Not only does the chimneysweeper draw parallels between the chimneys that can be considered to be coffins, but he also references the Christian belief of Jesus Christ's resurrection and ascension into heaven.

On the other hand,…. [read more]

William Blake's the Chimney Sweeper and Stephen Dunn's Hard Work Term Paper

… ¶ … Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake, and "Hard Work" by Stephen Dunn. Specifically, it will discuss how the two poets view labor - young people's labor in particular. Both of these poems use labor and work as their central theme. Both of the narrators in the poems are young boys, and both work extremely hard. The biggest difference in the two works is the reason the boys must work so hard. In Blake's poem, the young boy has been sold to a chimney sweep and lives almost like a slave, while in Dunn's poem, the young boy is not working to survive, or to save his family. He is simply working to have "spending money" for the summer. One poem ends with a note…. [read more]

Blake and Wordsworth Thesis

… ¶ … Blake


Desire in Blake's poetry can range from pure innocence, as in "Infant Joy" ("Sweet joy befall thee" is repeated at the end of each stanza) to the dark and sinister desire for power seen in "The Tyger," with the speaker awed and wondering "On what wings dare he aspire," the "dare" reflecting the speaker's desire to be that daring, to the purely destructive and consumptive, as in "A Divine Image" where the human heart is called a "hungry gorge." It is the object of desire in Blake's poetry that determines its qualities.


Blake also deals a lot with authority in his poems. He is concerned with the unjust authority that the strong impose on the weak; this shows up in…. [read more]

Blake the Chimney Sweeper Term Paper

… William Blake

Alienation and moral degneration: the plight of humanity in a modern society in "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake

English poet William Blake, who became well-known for his contemplative poetry in 19th century, reflected in the collection Songs of Innocence his criticism and thoughts on various issues that plague human society during the period. Specifically centering on the poem, "The Chimney Sweeper," Blake highlights the most prevalent problem that modernization had created for 19th century: continuous poverty and the abusive nature of human labor. These social issues had been created in the midst of social and intellectual progress occurring in humanity, issues that inevitably surfaced as a result of too much focus on material wealth at the expense of human welfare. Inevitably, with…. [read more]

William Blake's London Research Paper

… Suffering in William Blake's "London"

William Blake's poem, "London," revives a certain place and time in Great Britain when mankind seemed to be hanging on the precipice of disaster. The city is in pain and a good deal of this pain comes from society itself. The things mankind works to achieve and the things he thinks he needs are often the things that bring eventual destruction and despair. The poet explores this notion by observing free people in a city where freedom seems to be the least of anyone's concern. Happiness is more than modernity but it is difficult to define from where happiness comes in this scene. The Church and the government are often seen as pillars in the community, offering strength and support…. [read more]

Term Paper


Obviously, William Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper," published in 1794, and Stephen Dunn's "Hard Work," written in 1956 and published in the collection Work and Love in 1981, focus upon hard labor by children. In the first poem by Blake, the young worker is a chimney sweep or a person who cleans out chimneys and fireplaces by being lowered down by a rope in order to use a broom to sweep out the soot. In the second poem by Dunn, a similar situation involves a young boy working as a laborer at a Coca Cola plant, where he hauls empty Coke bottles to the assembly line to be re-filled. Certainly, both of these jobs, at least for a child,…. [read more]

Listening to Poetry Essay

… Blake

Jon Stallworthy's reading of William Blake's "London" emphasizes the meter and rhythm of the poem. Stallworthy's reading stresses the raw sounds of syllables and the emphasis also draws attention to key words, phrases, and images in the poem. Viewing the poem on the printed page has its own merits: our eyes perceive patterns in Blake's arrangement of words such as "mark" in the first stanza. The repetition seems more noticeable in print because each instance of the word signifies a different meaning of "mark." Also, Stallworthy imparts his own tone into the reading. The quality of his voice: its timber, the way he enunciates, and the way he pronounces words affects the listening experience. Listening to a poem being read aloud and reading a…. [read more]

London by William Blake Essay

… ¶ … William Blake's "London"

William Blake's poem, "London," is poem that forces us to look at happiness and what exactly that term means. The poet goes to great lengths to describe certain scenes in the city that reveal pain and misery to him. He hears the cries of the people and he sees their suffering everywhere he turns. The imagery in this poem is powerful but it even more powerful is the irony. The poet is looking at a city that is modernized and, for all intents and purposes, should be happy. However, the townspeople are anything but happy. They are alienated and oppressed despite all the trappings of modern life. The poem asks us to consider what it means to be happy. These…. [read more]

Childhood Poets of the Eighteenth Essay

… Instead, Yeats hopes that she will be beautiful without being vain, intelligent but kind, and, somewhat problematically, unopinionated (Yeats 160-161). Here, Yeats is demonstrating that while his opinion of children has evolved somewhat such that he is not wishing to live vicariously through them, or use them to validate his own career, he does still have a notably regressive view of women, wishing for his daughter to "think opinions are accursed" (Yeats 161). In this sense Yeats is still somewhat patriarchal, but in an evolved, adapted manner, one that does not rely on reiterating the explicit power of the father but instead creates certain requirements for the daughter due to her gender and sex.

Nevertheless, Yeats' prayer for his daughter demonstrates the distinct evolution of…. [read more]

Romantic Ideal in the Poetry Term Paper

… William Wordsworth

Like Blake, Wordsworth is also disenchanted with the evils imposed by society. He however focuses more strongly on the self created by the society in which he lives. In "Ode: Imitations of Immortality" laments the boundaries imposed upon children by education. According to the poem, children, who enjoy and appreciate everything, learn to become disenchanted by learning. The poet's cure for this is a return to childhood innocence and an enjoyment of nature. For Wordsworth then, nature is the cure for the blandness imposed by modern society.

Walt Whitman

Whitman's poetry disregards all rules, regulations and forces of propriety. He focuses utterly on the self, like Wordsworth does. In "I Sing the Body Electric" Whitman however focuses on the joy it is to…. [read more]

Romantic Lit Romantic Notions Essay

… The narrator continues to emphasize the heavenly aspects of innocence and dreamt "that thousands of sweepers…were all of them lock'd up in coffins of black" until an angel "open'd the coffins & set them all free" (26). This allegory is a parallel of the Christian belief that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven.

Alternately in "The Chimney Sweeper" in Songs of Experience, the narrator does not look to the future comforts that may be attained after death, but rather focuses on the present and the deplorable situation that he finds himself in. The chimneysweeper in this version of the poem has been forced into his work because he claims that his parents mistook his innocence as happiness, and "because [he] was…. [read more]

Poem Comparison Essay

… Imagery in William Blake's Poetry

William Blake displays his versatility as a poet in his poems, "The Chimney Sweeper" and "London." Each poem represents a perspective that is very different but informative about life and how we perceive it. "The Chimney Sweeper" emphasizes a certain amount of innocence while "London" is more focused on the innocence that has been lost throughout the ages. These poems illustrate the poet's ability to express his perspective through powerful imagery.

In "The Chimney Sweeper," the poet focuses on positive imagery to show his appreciation for the innocence of life. A lamb is associated with innocence as well as an angel. The angel performs a heroic act when she opens "the coffin and set[s] them all free" (Blake The Chimney…. [read more]

Imagery Help Evoke Emotion in This Poem? Essay

… ¶ … imagery help evoke emotion in this poem? Choose three images from the poem and describe the emotions that the images evoke. Explain how the images are connected to the emotions.

The imagery is illustrating a range of emotions that a person is feeling. The way that this is depicted is through the use of three examples in the poem (to Marguerite-Continued) these include: the utilization of light, the island and spring. In the poem there is a discussion of the sentiments an individual is going through. During this process, they are experiencing different thoughts. The use of light is talking about the sense of uncertainty and isolation. Evidence of this can be seen with the passage that says, "But when the moon their…. [read more]

Slavery Art Robert, Calvin, Martha Essay

… It claimed that blacks were beasts that were created before Adam and had no souls, and that God would punish the country with extermination if it ever made them socially, politically and economically equal to whites (Acker 83).

Other artists at the time saw a very different side of slavery, such as the young British painter Erye Crowe, who traveled through Richmond, Charleston and Savannah in 1852-53. He was horrified by the pubic auctions of slaves in every Southern city, and drew sketches of them that he later turned into oil paintings, such as Slaves Waiting for Sale -- Richmond, Virginia (1861), which was exhibited at the Royal Academy at the time, the same year that the Civil War began. The sketch he used for…. [read more]

Suffer the Little Children -- Irony Research Proposal

… ¶ … Suffer the little children" -- Irony in William Blake's poem "The Chimney Sweep"

Characterize the speaker in this poem and describe his tone. Is his tone the same as the poet's. Consider especially lines 7, 8, and 24.

William Blake's poem "The Chimney Sweep" is told in the voice of a child. The poem's rhyme, cadence, and short metrical feet, along with its vocabulary, suggest a nursery rhyme more than a poem of outrage. However, although the young narrator accepts his fate, seemingly without protest, the poet does not. Blake uses the young speaker's stoicism and willingness to comfort a younger, newer sweep as a condemnation of an evil society that exploits children: "Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,…. [read more]

Role and Importance of the Poets Essay

… ¶ … role and importance of the poets has changed throughout the history of mankind. Back in the period, the Romantics believed that the poet represented the spiritual guide of the people, who helped the reader identify their most internal emotions, intuitions and imaginations.

Today, the role of the poet is less certain than during those days and this is the result of numerous changes obvious within the society. During the Romantic period, reading was a primary activity of the population, but today, other distractions exist and make reading less popular. Television for instance, alongside with the internet, computer games and other such distractions make it less tempting for the public to engage in reading poetry. Nowadays then, reading poetry is an activity carefully selected…. [read more]

Percy Bysshe Shelley's Defense of Poetry Term Paper

… Percy Bysshe Shelley

In Representative Poetry Online (2006), Percy Bysshe Shelley emphasized the importance and function of poetry in our lives. It is noted that in a Defence of Poetry, he claimed that poetry is not only a form of artistic expression, medium of language, or an activity of leisure and amusement. He explains how poetry not only shows what is beautiful, but more importantly what is true.

Shelley also elevated Poetry as a medium that has its own utilitarian functions; particularly those that pertain to vital institutions in society that instigate change. Some of these institutions are in the areas of education, law-making, governance, and even religion. For example, the relationship of religion and poetry, specifically poems during the Romantic literature is reflected in…. [read more]

Edgar Allan Poe -1849) Poem

… Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" is an extended plea to his father to continue battling death and fight to live. In order to achieve his goal, Thomas writes the poem in a villanelle format -- a 19-line poem that relies on repetition. The poem is divided into six stanzas, the first of which introduces the purpose of the poem. In the first stanza Thomas writes, "Do not go gentle into that good night,/Old age should burn and rave at close of day;/Rage, rage against the dying of the light," in an attempt to convince his father to fight against death (Thomas 1-3). In the next four stanzas, Thomas provides examples of different men who fought against death to try and live…. [read more]

Beowulf as a Hero Lesson 1 Journal Journal

… Beowulf as a Hero

Lesson 1 Journal Entry #

Journal Exercise 1.3A: What makes a hero?

Beowulf is a hero who possesses strength, courage and loyalty; these are the elements that make up a hero during his time. There is a certain heroic code that must be followed in Beowulf and Beowulf follows that code perfectly. During the course of the poem, Beowulf changes as a person -- he matures, and this is a journey that is typical of heroes. Most heroes in literature don't start out as heroes. They may have the qualities lying dormant, but their journey is what turns them into a hero.

When Beowulf goes to fight Grendel, he is a strong and combative leader, but by the end he has…. [read more]

Romantic Modern Post Modern Literature Thesis

… Romantic, Modern and Postmodern Literature

There is a great deal of debate about the demarcation points or the areas of transition between romanticism, modernism and postmodernism. On the one hand, many see the modernist movement in art and literature as being, in some senses, an extension of the themes and the intentions of the late romantics like W.B. Yeats; and there is an ongoing debate about whether Yeats is a romantic or modernist. On the other hand there is also a strong argument for the separation of romanticism and modernism.

Critics note that the romantics were more inclined towards absolutes and religious beliefs. (Introduction to Romanticism) This transcendental tendency can be seen for example in the works of Wordsworth. Wordsworth is also a prime example…. [read more]

Fern Hill (Dylan Thomas) Research Paper

… The imagery of "shining" and "praise" dramatize an older person's is gracious in giving to life.

"And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house / under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long / in the sun born over and over / I ran my heedless ways / my wishes raced through the house high hay / and nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows / in all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs / before the children green and golden / follow him out of grace…"

Earlier the speaker posited that the sun is just young once, but in this verse the sun is born "over and over" (imagery reflects the…. [read more]

Realism Term Paper

… As he grew older, Millet became more secure of his direction. However, with the advent of World War I and devastating deaths in his family, he began only to paint landscapes without the remarkable characters.

Realist artist William Frith was recognized for his city rather than rural paintings, including those as the "Crossing Sweeper" and "Railway Station." Over time, he has not made as great of an impact as the other artists depicted here. Much of his inspiration came from the works of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. As a painter of scenes of Victorian life, he always sought to depict images of the normal day-to-day existence and social concerns. During the 1850s, his success grew when Queen Victoria purchased his painting "Ramsgate Sands." The…. [read more]

Language and Social Grouping Essay

… The way language is used by an individual can also change with social and geographic factors, such as getting married and the spouse uses languages different. The language changes to communicate with the spouse on their own level. Sometimes languages change when individuals go to social groups that speak and use language different, the individual will change in order to communicate with the new group.

People adjust the way they talk according to their social situation (Eble). As individuals move from one social group to another, they change the way they use language. For example, someone would not talk the same to a peer social group as the way they talk to their parents. In the same respects, the individual would change the way language…. [read more]

Dylan Thomas Understanding a Poem Term Paper

… Thomas no longer thinks of this farm as his kingdom, in youthful glee. He compares his return to the beauty of the first Garden. The first horse, the first stable giving praise to their creator must have been similar to his favorite place - the farm of his youth. But he no longer experiences the joy as he spoke of in the first few lines. Now the beauty is in retrospect, and his place is one of an outsider, looking in.

I ran my heedless ways,

My wishes raced through the house high hay

And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows

His youth - a time when he ran heedless ways, and wishes raced along with him. He looks back,…. [read more]

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