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

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  • Essay length: 863 words
  • Submitted: 03/06/2005
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GCSE William Blake

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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. However, having said this, the poem offers the proposal that the little black boy is, in a sense, superior to the little white boy,

"Ill shade him from the heat till he can bear."

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