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

Write a critical analysis of 'The Chimney Sweeper' and 'The Little Black Boy' looking for points of contrast and comparison between the poems.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Write a critical analysis of 'The Chimney Sweeper' and 'The Little Black Boy' looking for points of contrast and comparison between the poems. It is possible to call Blake a 'Social Observer' who was an eidetic visionary of the social injustices of his time. It is clear that there is a common link between the poems, 'The Chimney Sweeper' and 'The Little Black Boy' - Blake had an emotional response to the inhumane use of child labour in those days of heightened industrialism; which also raised many moral dilemmas for the people of his era, as it does today. Both poems consist of a child speaking and both convey parallel conditions of social sin. The poems raise religious questions of the existence of an all loving God. In 'The Little Black Boy', Blake is not suggesting that God is evil; instead he is suggesting that God treats people differently because black people go through a harder life. ...read more.

Middle

This can be seen in the quote, "the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy, He'd have God as his father & never want joy." This draws our attention to the fact that they have been brainwashed into conditional love, which the use of religion has taught them - if they are good then they will go to heaven. Blake saw this as taking advantage of a vulnerable child, and raised awareness of the injustice that society proposed on young, innocent boys through his poetry. One critic said that "The Little Black Boy" was written in iambic pentameter; which is the white man's style of writing. This could be supported, because the steady iambic pace could suggest a child-like speech to the poem, therefore indicating that the little black boy has learnt this off by heart. Other critics have concluded from the final stanza that the "black boy [is] just a shadow of the white." ...read more.

Conclusion

In "The Little Black Boy", Blake refers to the little white boy's soul being as "white as an angel". This is not necessarily something positive - he perceives Angels with such scepticism that the same can be said for the little white boy. Both poems envisage the idea of liberation; in "The Little Black Boy", Blake describes how he hopes love and equality will be possible in the future through the child speaker. The little black boy himself foresees him and the little white boy playing together in heaven without prejudice. In "The Chimney Sweeper", the young boy, Tom, imagines freedom through the Angel; he must suffer in this life in order to have a good life in heaven. Blake makes these points of liberation equally clear in the poems by the repeated theme of conditional love in "The Chimney Sweeper" and the inclinations of equality in "The Little Black Boy". Through these visions Blake tackles recognizable social and moral injustices which present the reader with an insight into the future. ...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. Comparison of Two Versions of "The Chimney Sweeper" By William Blake

    "So if all do their duty they need not fear harm" As William Blake got a little more well known he decided to re-write the poem. This time he felt like he could be more direct as more and more people started to feel the same way as he did.

  2. Compare and Contrast 'The Chimney Sweeper from Songs of Innocence and Experience.' You Should ...

    to look after his society, is doing nothing, the children's parents, who should be there for their children, are praying to god, thinking their children are fine in their jobs, and what this poem is implying, unlike 'The Chimney Sweeper from Songs of Innocence' that god is enjoying their pain and misery.

  1. A comparison between Jean Rhys and Una Marson

    Throughout the novel Anna is identified with characters who are "usually objectified and silenced in canonical works: the chorus girl, the mannequin, the demimondaine."8 Much has been made of her reading of Zola's Nana and indeed there are many parallels between the two characters.

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

    Can it be a song of joy?' This contrasts with the innocence version where the song sounded happy and Blake could be saying that in reality the children are scared, hence the use of the word 'trembling,' and he is asking the reader how the children can be happy if

  1. Essay of Comparison between

    the readers of his time could relate to, and also to show how he felt about the Revolutions to a wider audience. Blake uses a lot of visual imagery in the poem to convey his message to the people who were to read it.

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

    they grew up, they became experienced as they were influenced by the beliefs and opinions of adults and others around them. When this happened they could no longer be considered innocent and pure. The poems from "Songs of Innocence" were written from an innocent child's perspective.

  1. London Knights - Situation analysis.

    out of all the age groups then it is followed by 19-24 years old which is 23.4%. They have both male and female customers, who go and watch the match, and 65% of the spectators watch it with friends but 19% watch it with family.

  2. Joseph Black.

    There just has to be?" "If, Lock, you would kindly let me finish, she was dismissed because of a heavy alcohol addiction and anybody can clearly see there are 6 if not 7 empty spirit bottles about her person!" "I am beginning to understand now, but there is still one thing that puzzles me?"

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