There appears to be multiple significances in William Blake ‘s short verse form “ The Chimney Sweeper. ” Blake seems to be beging for moral alteration and action by his readers through his guiltless kid storyteller who has been sentenced to a life as a chimney sweeper. Blake uses several poetic tools such as sarcasm, metaphor, simile, onomatopoeia, and several symbols to convey his readers to the world and destiny of all chimney sweepers. While the verse form seems to denote that a chimney sweeper will hold hope and promise merely in Eden, reading this verse form may uncover many contradictory significances.
In the beginning of the verse forms Blake writes “ When my female parent died I was really immature, / And my male parent sold me while yet my lingua / Could barely cry ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep ” ( lines 1-3 ) . Blake reveals to his readers that the kid is really immature, as he is unable to even articulate the word “ expanse. ” This unfortunate kid is abandoned by his parents through decease and disregard. One can besides presume that this male parent is most likely a really hapless single since he sold his flesh and blood for money. Whether out of sheer despair or deficiency of ethical motives, it can be determined that this immature kid is non from a household with material ownerships or position. I believe when Blake writes “ So your chimneys I sweep, and in carbon black I sleep ” ( 3 ) is more the writers voice instead than the kid storyteller, because of the word “ your. ” If it is the kid speech production so he would hold used the word “ my. ” Besides, it has already been said that the kid can non articulate the word “ expanse. ” I feel instead, this is where one can see Blake ‘s purpose is to put fault on society for leting the agency of labour to mistreat kids. Line 4 besides symbolizes the call or crying of the little kid. He is besides soiled from the carbon black and can non get away his predicament even while he sleeps. The missive ( s ) in the words “ sweep, ” “ carbon black, ” and “ slumber ” has the beat of the sound of a coppice sweeping or brushing against the chimney. It is really dubious that this kid realizes his doomed destiny as he is plunged into a adult male ‘s line of work.
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Blake begins with iambic pentameter ; nevertheless, he is non consistent with this type of beat and rime. He changes his pattern several times throughout the verse form, which I believe heightens the impact of the kid ‘s bad luck, such as the sounds of the coppice, the forsaking of his parents, and his calls.
In the following stanza Blake shifts the focal point from the kid storyteller to another small male child named Tom who is befriended by the storyteller as he is in the same quandary as the kid talker. Blake writes “ There ‘s small Tom Dacre, who cried when his caput, / that curled like a lamb ‘s dorsum, was shaved ” ( 5-6 ) . Blake uses simile to compare Tom ‘s curly white locks to that of lambs wool. The colour white represents the artlessness of the kid. The lamb symbolizes Jesus, the Lamb of God and like a lamb led to the slaughter of His decease even though he was guiltless. The shave of Tom ‘s caput represents that person is responsible for stealing his artlessness and religion, although Blake ne’er reveals who this individual is, possibly one of the grownups running the cruel operation. Yet in malice of all this the kid talker says “ Hush Tom ne’er mind it, for when your caput ‘s bare / You know the carbon black can non botch your white hair ” ( 7-8 ) . Wise beyond his short old ages, this immature kid is able to set the unfortunate event into position and comfort his shouting friend. His words seem to comfort his brother ‘s lesions in malice of his loss. Blake continues to increase the readers consciousness of the societal unfairness of his twenty-four hours as he multiplies the kids from two to 1000s in immature Tom ‘s dream. The reader is now able to acknowledge the enormousness of this job. He besides gives names to a few kids which personalizes the issue to the reader. The storyteller begins to state of Tom ‘s dream as he says “ As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight / That 1000s of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack, / Were all of them locked up in caskets of black ” ( 10-12 ) . The lone clip Tom is afforded the flight from his life as a chimney sweeper is in his dreams. What should be dreams that are sweet alternatively are dark and glooming positions of himself along with others locked in black caskets. The caskets are non merely a representation of decease but besides of the kids ‘s parturiency in a dark dirty chimney.
The colour black is symbolic for soil and decease which serves as an antonym of the earlier description of Tom ‘s pure artlessness. This is besides a clear index that his artlessness has been ruined. Whether these kids remain alive or non, they are everlastingly trapped by a casket or a chimney. Blake allows a gleam of hope as he writes “ And by came an Angel who had a bright key, / And he opened the caskets and put them all free ” ( 13-14 ) . In malice of their sad state of affairs, Tom is able to still trust for a bright hereafter and felicity. This represents that it is non so easy to take away a kid ‘s religion. While the word “ angel ” may be the actual significance of angel, it could besides stand for citizens taking a base and halting this awful social pattern. This besides shows the kids being set free through decease as Blake writes “ Then down a green field spring, express joying, they run, / And wash in a river, and radiance in the Sun ” ( 15-16 ) . Onomatopoeia is shown here as one can truly envision and about hear the kids ‘s laughter as they experience freedom. They are eventually free from the soil and ashes and can bathe in a river and bask in the visible radiation and the love of God. The river is similar to a cleansing non merely of the physical organic structure but besides the religious organic structure or psyche ; much like that of baptism. The green field reminds me of Psalm 23 where one is led to green grazing lands and the psyche is restored. Their artlessness is reclaimed when Blake writes “ Then bare and white, all of their bags left behind, / They rise upon clouds and athletics in the air current ” ( 17-18 ) . They are able to move as kids and no longer have to be weighed down with undertakings that are meant for adult work forces. They are eventually able to lift up in the ranks and no longer be oppressed by poorness and looked at as an castaway among society. They are eventually set free from the actual chimney sweeper ‘s bag every bit good as the emotional injury that has been inflicted upon them. Tom is given the greatest promise of all as the Angel tells him “ if he ‘d be a good male child, / He ‘d hold God for a male parent, and ne’er want joy ” ( 19-20 ) . The joy of eventually holding a male parent to love him and raising him. Above all he is promised the greatest male parent of all, God. He realizes that he will shortly be able to merchandise all his sorrows for the perfect joy of the Lord.
Although Tom ‘s freedom is merely a dream he is happy and optimistic when he awakens. Blake writes “ And so Tom awoke ; and we rose in the dark, / And got with our bags and our coppices to work ” ( 21-22 ) . He is speedy and about seems delighted to rapidly carry through his responsibilities. The kid storyteller explains “ Though the forenoon was cold, Tom was happy and warm ; / So if all do their responsibility they need non fear injury ” ( 23-24 ) . The kids understand that if they do what they are told they will one twenty-four hours be in a better topographic point with a male parent to love them and rejoice unending.
If Blake accomplishes his end in composing “ The Chimney Sweeper ” the kids ‘s destiny may hold a different result. If he can stir up plenty choler among people to the point where they will go the kids ‘s angel ; so possibly this job of kid slavery/labor will stop and the kids ‘s lives will be as they should be. The sarcasm in this piece is the fact that the kids ‘s hopes and dreams can non be crushed even in the worst fortunes. The kids are non cognizant of the unfairness that has been placed upon them but instead finds peace that a brighter twenty-four hours is in front.
Blake, William. “ The Chimney Sweeper. ”In The Compact Bedford Introduction toLiterature.Ed. Michael Meyer. 8th erectile dysfunction. Boston: Bedford’s/St. Martin ‘s, 2009. 723.