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

    William is Tom and Tom is William. William used to believe in God and once looked up to him, but when William saw what was happening to society, he wondered what God would allow such bad and harsh things to happen.

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

    This symbol of purity and innocence is then changed however when Blake finishes the line with the simile comparing them to snow, which is probably symbolic again of the cold-heartedness of the beadles and links to winter which is again cold and might represent their age as it is the end of the year.

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

    "Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair." Blake says that the boy has white hair because it portrays an image of innocence. It also relates to angels.

  2. Compare and Contrast the Poems

    through conquest, "And the hapless soldiers' sigh Runs in blood down palace walls.", another example of metaphorical language. Blake is distressed most of all by the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases caused by the services of young prostitutes being more frequently hired, which Blake believes to be betraying the sanctity

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

    In the final lines of the verse, William puts in a great piece of poetry. "Hush, Tom! Never mind it, for when your heads bare you know that the soot can not spoil your white hair." William is showing that young children are kind to each other.

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

    In stanza one, it tells us the story of when the child (who is telling us the poem) is brought into life, and sold off when he could barely cry, and brought up into a life full of poverty, and poor living.

  1. A comparison between Jean Rhys and Una Marson

    What Rhys does effectively in this novel is to centralize the marginalized, those subjects "who belong nowhere, between cultures, between histories."5 Una Marson was born in rural Jamaica in 1905. Her father was a well respected Baptist minister and as a result of his standing within the community Marson had

  2. Essay of Comparison between

    poem or playground chant, until you remember that Blake could not have known these as he did not attend school. The reader would think this because of the simple vocabulary, and also if you notice, the poem uses soft alliteration -- "little lamb" -- this gave a much softer feel

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