• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analyse and compare both versions of William Blake's the chimney sweeper, How does Blake evoke our sympathy in these poems

Extracts from this document...


Analyse and compare both versions of William Blake's the chimney sweeper, How does Blake evoke our sympathy in these poems The first version of the Chimney sweeper In the next to last line of the first stanza, the cry "'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!" is the child's attempt at saying "Sweep! Sweep!" which was the chimneysweeper's street cry. This poem shows that the children have a very positive outlook on life. They make the best of their lives and do not fear death. At the end of the first stanza the poet says "your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep" this is getting the reader involved in the poem and making the reader feel sorry for him. Although our chimney sweep has a sad tale to tell he himself comforts another boy, Tom Dacre, by talking to him until he falls asleep. The poem then reflects the demons that enter little Tom's head as he sleeps. He dreams of many other chimney sweeps that have suffered the same fate as him. ...read more.


The message or theme of this poem is perhaps very simple; appearance doesn't always show the truth. The parents sold their child because of his actions and behaviour to the condition of his life; looking more deeply would have shown that he is unhappy with matters and perhaps caught in a spell of discouragement. His feelings were innocent and calm yet somehow the parents were secure in believing that he could handle whatever experience they had thrown upon him. Maybe the parents chose not to look more deeply and went on believing that things were fine; maybe it is true and they truly were not alerted. Either way, it is unfair to the young boy to lead such a life of hard work and unhappiness, even though such a life was more common in the time of the poem than it is in our society today. All the blame cannot be attributed to the parents. Their son could have spoken up and told them of his feelings. ...read more.


In both versions the reader is made aware of how young the child is with the words "weep, weep, weep" underlining the fact that he is too young to say the word "sweep". Also the stark contrast of the black sweeps and the cleanliness of snow and bright white hair is used in both versions to describe the dirty and horrible job of a chimney sweep. There is a strong religious theme running through both poems in version 1 Tom dreams of being locked in a coffin but being released by an angel with a bright key and how if he had God for a father he would never want joy. Where as in version 2 the boy sweeper says how his parents go to praise god and his priest and king. "Who made up a heaven of our misery". Perhaps the biggest impact on me personally was that both poems were based around the theme of "child neglect". However I did enjoy both poems and look forward to getting to know William Blake better. Gareth Davies 01/05/07 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Blake section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Blake essays

  1. Write a critical analysis of 'The Chimney Sweeper' and 'The Little Black Boy' looking ...

    In "The Chimney Sweeper", Blake also questions the doctrine of the established church, asking if an all loving God would shamelessly allow the employment of young boys to sweep chimneys. We also get the feeling that these young boys are given a false sense of belief through the use of religion.

  2. Thetwo poems "The Chimney Sweeper" and "London" by William Blake, and the twopoems "Tich ...

    When Wendy Cope says that she was the lesser dud, she is saying that she had a bit more use than Tich, and that Tich was not needed at all. Tich "lolloped, unselected to the back of the other team" this was because of her clubfoot.

  1. Comparison of Two Versions of "The Chimney Sweeper" By William Blake

    They are not just children who they can use to clean their chimneys. "There little Tom Dacre, who cried..." Just by giving the little boy a name he has made a great impact to the poem already and made it believable detail.

  2. William Blake - Blake is angry and critical about the attitude and values of ...

    they have done to him, 'and because I am happy and dance and sing, they think they have done me no injury.' This shows that Blake thinks the parents are na�ve and self-serving because they can't see that their child is being hurt by the chimney sweeping.

  1. In my essay I will give some information on William Blake's history and also ...

    Blake's religious beliefs stemmed from a long tradition in Britain of Christian dissenters whom refused to accept the established church. This tradition was opposed to established religion, was suspicious of the monarchy and the role it played in religion and had long railed against corruption and abuse of power in the Church and Monarchy.

  2. A comparison between Jean Rhys and Una Marson

    Whilst "not looking at Anna's body in an obvious way, eventually the transaction between them is understood fully on his side to be a promise of sexual excitement from a white woman whom he perceives as having an extra thrill presumably from association with racist constructions of black females in

  1. In his poetry, Blake writes about his thoughts concerning the society around him. Comment ...

    The third verse is unusual due to its choral style and quirky imagery. ('And the sun does never shine/And their fields are bleak and bare') Blake is referring to the miserable life of the majority of children in the 19th century, and describes their existence as an 'eternal winter'.

  2. William blake

    Blake hears their call and gives them a voice in his poems. Blake was a very religious protestant and claimed he had visions of angels, like in The Chimney Sweeper. Some thought he was mad. Blake wrote Songs of Innocence based on biblical source, nursery rhymes and hymns.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work