Compare & Contrast The Presentation Of The Child In William Blake(TM)s Poems The Chimney- Sweeper In Songs Of Innocence & Experience

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Essay Question

Compare and contrast the presentation of the child in William Blake’s poems `The Chimney- Sweeper` in `Songs of innocence` and `Experience`.

In William Blake’s era children as young as 4 to 5 years of age were bought from parents who couldn’t cope, and also orphans were bought and taken into a world of work and cruelty as chimney sweepers. In Blake’s poems `Songs Of Experience` and `Innocence` it is written about how young children were bought and taken into being a chimney sweeper.

In Blake’s time Chimney sweepers were children of four to five years of age who had to be skinny and small to fit in the chimneys. Blake strongly disapproved of the chimney sweeping at such a young age, because then in the future for the 4 to 5 year olds they would have growth and lung problems because of all the dust they had to breath in. The chimney sweepers also had to be cramped up in a small space all day until the job was done. The children had to stay in a small dark space in the chimneys all day until they have finished there work with all their tools with them.

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In Blake’s poem `Songs Of Innocence` shows that the little boy’s mom has died so he is left all on his own with his father who then later sells him as chimney sweeper, “And my father sold me”. The boy was small and young and barely could speak properly like when he says “Weep!weep!weep!weep!” and he was meant to say “Sweep!sweep!sweep!sweep!”.

In stanza 2 of `Songs Of Innocence` the little boy is shown to have blonde hair which is going to be shaven off. The little boys hair is being shaven off because nothing then can destroy the white hair ...

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