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

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Comparison of Two Versions of "The Chimney Sweeper" By William Blake William Blake was a famous poet and illustrator in the 17th century. When William wrote these poems, the social culture of Britain was terrible. Young children in the lower society were being sold on the streets for various jobs. Most were 3 to 5 year olds being sold to clean chimneys. Many families in the lower class part of Britain were so poor that they would sell their children so that they could support family members. In the first poem that William Blake wrote (in 1789) he starts off by trying to make the reader feel sorry and sympathetic for the children. Further on in the first verse William tries to make the reader feel more sympathy for the children, he also tries to shock the reader by making us realise how young the children were. "...And my father sold me while yet my tongue, Could scarcely cry weep! Weep! Weep!" William Blake could not make his points too clear because only the upper class of the English society could read his poems. He hides a message in the next line of his poem. ...read more.


"then naked and white, all their bags left behind..." Where it says, "all their bags left behind". William is trying to say that the young children's problems will be left behind when they go to heaven. The he writes a great line, explaining how the child would get to heaven. He makes it sound like the child is floating or flying up there. "There rise upon clouds and support in the wind..." Next William Blake, goes on to mention that the children would have a new father, God, Making it even clearer, that the child would have to be dead. "And the angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy He'd have God for his father, and never want joy" Initially, on the final verse, William makes the point clear that the children are not dead they were just dreaming. "And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm..." William is trying to say that because Tom had a dream, which is the only place these children are happy, he was all warm, happy, almost feeling safe again. But then at the end William, ends the poem by saying, to the richer parents that there is something wrong and they should try and change it. ...read more.


It immediately makes people think that the little children are normal and happy again. "And because I am happy and dance and sing..." In the next line William adds some subtext. He did this a lot on the other poem and this one too. On this example William says "they have". That is hiding the fact that the state, the parents and church were to blame for the injured boy. "They think they have done me no injury..." The final line is great. It says the church and the states create great lives for them selves, at the expense of the little children and poor families: "...who make up a heaven of our misery." My conclusion is that, both poems are great, and both poems get the point across. Although they are both the same, they are also so different in so many ways. From my point of view I think the first poem is better. It is so cunningly brilliant that many people who read it and were in the upper class didn't even realise that it was blaming them for what was happening in society at the time. Also although the message was more hidden then the other poem it still got the point across if people really read through it. Aimee Avrill ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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