The Chimney Sweeper Songs Of Innocence By Blake Essays

1031 Words null Page
“The Chimney Sweeper Songs of Innocence”, by Blake is a poem about children who are forced to work as chimney sweepers from a very young age depriving them of their childhood. In his poem “The Chimney Sweeper Songs of Innocence”, William Blake uses figurative language, imagery, and symbolism to demonstrate the absence of innocence that may only appear through death or dreams.
Blake used figurative language throughout the poem to exaggerate and truly emphasize the importance of the chimney sweeper’s loss of childhood and its cruelty. Victor N. Paananen describes the effect on how chimney sweepers were treated by stating that, “chimney sweepers in the eighteenth century could not have been more inhuman. Tiny, half-starved children died of suffocation or of skin cancer as a result of the employment into which they were indeed “sold” (Paananen 74). This tells us a little more about the specific time and how the chimney sweepers were treated. An example of this would be, “so your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep”, this is shown both metaphorically and literally (4). When the speaker says he sleeps in soot, he is referring to being dirty when the day is over, but metaphorically he means that his life completely revolves so much around the chimneys that he basically “sleeps” in them. This helps the reader 's understand the time that all of the children 's spent cleaning instead of having a normal childhood without labor. Another example that Blake uses is, “And so Tom awoke;…

Related Documents