William Blake’s “The Chimney Sweeper” is an effective short poem telling the social injustices that the British government was allowing to be placed upon children. Through the use of powerful imagery, Blake provokes readers to empathize with the young children being forced into child labor.
A. “The Chimney Sweeper”
B. William Blake
C. Summary of Plot
D. Thesis Statement
II. Theme and Mood
A. The theme is injustice
B. Blake uses imagery to pull at reader’s heart strings
C. ex: Little Tom crying when his head is shaved, coffins of black, angel visiting
D. Analyze each line and tell which words allude to death and darkness ...view middle of the document...
William Blake, born in London, England in 1757, was a spiritual young man who experienced many angelic visions from an early age on. His writings were based upon his feelings for social concerns and Godly issues. “The Chimney Sweeper” in particular is one regarding social issues. The plot involves the narrator, a young boy, who was sold when his mother had passed away, telling the story of he and another young sweeper, Tom Dacre. Young Tom is comforted by the narrator as he is getting his head shaved and is very upset. That night Tom has a vision of an angel coming to these young children and unlocking them from these black coffins and releasing them to a beautiful clean world with peace and happiness. This vision was enough for Tom to be refreshed and have a new outlook.
William Blake’s “The Chimney Sweeper” is an effective short poem revealing the social injustices that the British government was allowing to be placed upon children. Through the use of powerful imagery and dramatic irony, Blake provokes readers to empathize with the young children being forced into child labor.
Social injustice, oppression, and child labor are the themes that are highlighted throughout Blake’s poem. The mood throughout the poem is sympathetic, melancholy and towards the end optimism. William Blake uses imagery to pull at reader’s heart strings and stir up empathy with the readers and the children. The reference of a lamb when referring to Tom’s hair as it is being shaved reminds the reader of innocence and the Biblical image of sacrifice. The black coffins in the poem are used as imagery in symbolizing the death these children are being put through by the evil. The angel visiting the children and letting them go into bliss is the image of Heaven and how God will rescue these children.
“The Chimney Sweeper” alludes to a lot of death and darkness. In the first line the narrator’s mother dies. “Coffins of black” are mentioned in line 12 and the word coffins...