• 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. A comparison between Jean Rhys and Una Marson

    Rhys experienced feelings of alienation and isolation at both these institutions and these feelings were to stay with her for much of her life. Upon pursuing a career as a chorus girl under a variety of names Rhys embarked on an affair with a man twenty years older than herself and which lasted two years.

  2. Compare and contrast the poems

    to open their eyes to world and things around them, instead of ignoring them and dwelling in narcissism and selfishness. He is saying, try to see the world through the eyes of others, learn about new things, and learn never to misjudge someone or something mainly on first impressions.

  1. London Knights - Situation analysis.

    The Ice Hockey Super league 2002-2003 has just finished. The London Knights are second at the league, which is an improvement on last year. The surveys carried out at the matches shows that the types of customer that who go to ice hockey are mostly 25-30 years olds, which has the highest percentage (25.9%)

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

    He also added in the verse, how many children where dying in the chimneys. This also shocks the reader. This verse is making a subtle point that the chimneys are killing the young, innocent children. Then, by changing the mood, William Blake keeps the reader's attention.

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

    In 'The Little Vagabond' the boy's thoughts contrast with the ideas in the other two poems because he seems to think that it is the atmosphere at church and religion itself that are wrong and too strict rather than the figures of authority their because he says if church was

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

    William says "Hush, Tom! Never mind it, for when your head's bare, You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair." William is trying to make Tom feel better by joking about it, and showing how it is practical for his hair to be shaved but it is like shaving off little Tom's purity and innocence.

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

    In the poem "The Chimney Sweeper" Blake describes the life of a young boy who is a chimney sweeper. In the first verse of the poem Blake uses alliteration, "So your chimneys I sweep, & in soot I sleep." The repetition of 's' and 'p' sounds reinforces the feeling of sadness by sounds that mimic the cries of the boy.

  2. Essay of Comparison between

    Maybe what William Blake is trying to say that the world was, and will always be, a very confused place, and no one knows any answers to any of the important questions? There is usually an opposite poem from the other book.

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