The two poems ' The Chimney Sweeper', were written by William Blake. The two poems are telling the life of 'chimneysweepers'. 'Songs of Innocence' shows optimistic views and 'Songs of Experience' shows pessimistic views.
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The Chimney Sweeper The two poems ' The Chimney Sweeper', were written by William Blake. The two poems are telling the life of 'chimneysweepers'. 'Songs of Innocence' shows optimistic views and 'Songs of Experience' shows pessimistic views. William Blake lived during the great upheaval, the Industrial Revolution. This was a period of immense social, political and cultural change in many areas of the world. William Blake was a devout Christian, however he did not attend church due to the fact that he thought it to be corrupt. I believe this to be the reason why he wrote these two poems to put his views of the Industrial Revolution and religion across. I believe that William Blake wrote these poems to show his view and the way of life which he did not agree with. The two versions of the 'Chimney Sweeper' poem 'Songs of Experience' and 'Songs of Innocence' both aim to give a strong view and image to the reader. Both poems have a reference to crying, "weep! weep! and weep! weep! weep! Weep! Notice the capital W on the last weep! From 'Songs of Innocence', this is aimed to give emphasis to the feeling of the chimneysweep and to hold a vivid image in the eye of the reader. Secondly, the two poems also both have references to religion, however the views on religion are different in each poem, as are the types of Christianity. From 'Songs of Innocence', we see a New Testament view and from 'Songs of Experience' we see an Old Testament view.
"...and shine in the sun." Shine and sun show goodness. The sun shining on you makes you feel warm and protective. This could almost show an image of someone looking out for you and making sure you are happy, a God like figure. 'Sun' could also be interpreted to 'son' as in Son of God, Jesus. This would explain the warmth and feeling of protection. If something is shining and bright you feel happy and protected compared to when something is dark and cold. Furthermore this poem says that the 'angel told Tom' that if he'd be a 'good boy' then 'he'd have God for his father and never want joy'. To have 'God for his father' shows that he would be going to heaven and becoming an angel, there he would be looked after by God and would 'never want joy' as he would have everything he needs to be happy forever. The last verse of the poem is very strong. This verse gives a good clear and vivid ending to the poem getting the point given across. "And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark, And got with our bags and our brushes to work. Tho' the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm; So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm." "Rose in the dark," this gives an image of young boys having to wake up before sunrise on a cold winters morning to do what they are forced to do.
These images give the negative, dark, unhappy tone of the poem. These views of life show no happiness and the want for death, this makes you feel sorry for the chimneysweep. This poem uses mostly first person making the reader think that the poem is actually written by the chimneysweep, it allows you to adopt his feelings. Blake being against the church has made that point of view come across in this poem. The last verse portrays this well as well as the meaning of the poem. "And because I am happy & dance & sing, They think they have done me no injury, And are gone to praise God and his priest & King, Who makes up a heaven of our misery." This shows that the feelings towards the church are of an unhappy tone. This is saying that the church makes 'misery'. I believe that he is trying to sat that the adults will allow their children to live in poverty and die, however they will go to church as it is thought to be the right thing to do. This has nothing to do with religion, but wealth and manner. In conclusion the two poems get across the point of poverty and a corrupt church. They both express the images in different ways. Blake gets his point across well as a result of the way that he has written the poems. Blake has used clever images to show his view. He uses similes, repetition, colour, senses and elements to get his point across to the reader and he does it well, giving an accurate image for each of the two versions of the poem.
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Blake section.
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