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Chimney Sweeper Commentary - In the strong, opinionated poem entitled The Chimney Sweeper, William Blake

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Chimney Sweeper Commentary In the strong, opinionated poem entitled The Chimney Sweeper, William Blake compellingly presents his views on the hypocrisy and corruption of society. Essentially, The Chimney Sweeper conveys the theme of how the corruption of society has led to the destruction of the innocence of children. Blake successfully presents this theme through the effective use of diction which is defined as "the choice and use of words" which can help portray the theme, mood and tone of the poem. In this case, Blake effectively employs diction in order to portray the corruption that exists within society, while also portraying the innocence of the children that are victims of this injustice. The corruption of society is a significant element of the theme of the poem which is effectively depicted through particular words and their connotations. ...read more.


This corruption of society is further exemplified when Blake writes, "You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair." In this example, the "white hair" is associated with experience and thus, age. In relation, the children are also associated with experience. The result is a portrayal of a child wise beyond their years due to the difficult life of labour that they have endured. An essential line which further depicts the theme of corruption reads, "And my father sold me while yet my tongue/Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!" In this example, Blake skillfully employs the word " 'weep!" to establish a variety of effects. Firstly, the word " 'weep!" creates a tone of sorrow and gloom. ...read more.


Through the connotation of the word "lamb", the character of Tom Dacre can be associated with a young, innocent, sweet child. Blake, once again, intently creates this portrayal in order to influence the reader to feel sympathy for the character. Thus, through the use of particular diction and their uses, William Blake is able to effectively establish the theme of the corruption of society and how it leads to the destruction of the innocence of children. The contrasting aspects of innocence and corruption effectively lend a hand in this depiction. While the corruption of society causes the reader to question its moral principles and the truth of society's actions, the innocence of the children is employed to invoke emotion within the reader in order so the poem will create a much more stronger impact. ...read more.

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