Love's Secret. Songs of Experience-The Fly.
Songs of Experience-The Sunflower. Songs of Innocence-Night. Songs of Innocence-The Chimney Sweeper.
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Songs of Innocence-The Schoolboy. Songs of Innocence-The Shepherd. The Chimney Sweeper.
The Chimney Sweeper
The Clod and the Pebble. The Garden of Love.
The Lamb. The Land of Dreams.
The Sick Rose. The Tiger.
by William Blake
More irony is evident in the last lines of the poem where the narrator speaks of the sweeper doing their duty to avoid harm. Children should only have the duty of being happy children, not pleasing their masters and working terrible jobs like slaves. Another ironic situation in the poem is in its religious contexts. In Toms dream he is told by the angel that if he is good and does his work God will be his father. The use of vivid imagery also helps Blake express the sweeps lot in life.
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He cries when it is shaved but is told it is for the better because the black soot will only ruin it. Tom dreams of thousands of boys sleeping in dark coffins which are opened by an angel. In line 11, the boys are given names which personalize the boys as individuals and rehumanize them for the reader.
The Chimney Sweeper | Analysis
They are all let free to run and play and cleanse themselves in a river and feel the sun. These images again invoke a sense of childlike innocence that the sweeps were not allowed. We see the boys floating on clouds, playing in green fields, splashing in a river all of which can be equated with heaven and peacefulness. The images of the dream and the reality of the situation are very polarized and help the reader sense the bleak, helpless mood of the poem.
A Short Analysis of William Blake’s ‘The Chimney Sweeper’
Symbolism is evident throughout the poem as well. The color black runs through the poem and symbolizes death or evil just as the black soot of the chimneys brings the death of the sweeps at the hands of their evil masters. Being in a chimney would be very much like being in a black coffin as described in line In line 17, the boys are naked and white which are symbols of birth, life and freedom.
The coffin is a symbol of death associated with the chimney. The boys swept chimneys and slept in soot which is very dark and symbolizes death that the sweeps will certainly succumb to.