This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Imposing Upon Purity Essay

1015 words - 5 pages

In “The Chimney Sweeper” William Blake utilizes the elements of imagery, irony, symbolism, and allusion to portray the harsh reality of child labor through the outlook of a child imprisoned in it. In the eighteenth century, child labor in England was a big social issue and William Blake did not stand for the cause, which he expressed in the poem through the perspective of the speaker-a young chimney sweeper.

Most children that were subjected to child labor were done so do to their parents’ inability to provide for them in such hard times, such as the late eighteen hundreds. The reader can assume the speaker’s situation to be similar seeing that his mother died when he was at a very young age (Blake 1). In addition, the reader gets a sense of how young the child was when he was sold to work as a chimney sweeper through the imagery of sound, “my father sold me while yet my tongue/ Could scarcely cry” ‘weep, ‘weep, ‘weep, ‘weep!””(Blake 2-3). The scarce cry of “’weep” is supposed to represent a child at a young age who has trouble pronouncing his s’s. In other words, the speaker was attempting to say “sweep.” The poet uses this imagery of sound to make the reader fully aware of how young and helpless this speaker is. Furthermore, in crying “weep” literally, the poet is presenting a tone of sadness, as weeping can be defined as crying uncontrollably. By adding this image of a young child crying or who cannot properly speak, the poet leads the reader to feel guilt on behalf of the child, which in turn serves as evidence of how cruel child labor was.

As a result of sweeping chimney’s these children would be cloaked in soot, which is a black flaky substance that is hazardous (Soot). The speaker mentions that he “sleeps in soot”, because as a literal reference child laborers did not get to shower or bathe very often (Blake 4). The image of a child covered in a black substance as he sleeps seeps into the mind of the reader, which gives the reader a taste of how these children’s lives were. Furthermore, the soot also has a symbolic meaning, which stands for death. For instance, the thousands of sweepers are locked up in coffins of black in Tom Dacre’s dream, which represents the soot being the cause of their death (Blake 12). The symbolic meaning as well as the literal meaning illustrate some of the hardships these child laborers had to endure, which allows the reader to distinguish the inevitable early death these children face.

The speaker introduces Tom Dacre as a laborer who just started as a chimney sweeper to portray a child’s innocence. His hair is compared to that of a lamb when it is shaved, which serves as an allusion of the catholic religion (Blake 5-8). A lamb is a young sheep by definition, but in the catholic religion the “Lamb of God” represents the...

Find Another Essay On Imposing Upon Purity

Comparing the Utility of Bentham and Mill

2032 words - 8 pages interests, this is a harmony of interests that does not occur naturally but instead comes about through the imposing of sanctions (see above quote). Sanctions are the rewards or punishments, thus simply put the consequences, of actions that have been imposed by external forces. Bentham lists four types of sanctions: physical, political, moral, and religious. Physical sanctions, for example, include the pain received from putting your hand on a hot

A Comparison between the Benjy & Quentin sections of The Sound & the Fury

2115 words - 8 pages Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrowCreeps in this petty pace from day to dayTo the last syllable of recorded time,And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle.Life's but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stage,And then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.(Macbeth: V.v.18-27)These Shakespearean verses lend William

The Debate on How Urban Middle-Class Identities Have Changed

3922 words - 16 pages possessing “the most illiterates in the world”; and it is in this one sees the essential shortcoming in rehabilitating an antiquated notion of national character or imposing cultural generalisations upon something of such evidently capricious nature. Whereas the Indian intelligentsia derails against the excessive self-interest of these new middle-classes as detrimental to Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of a secular nation espousing values of tolerance

Villette, by Charlotte Bronte

2173 words - 9 pages upon her, as a cutting, aggressive almost threatening entity, “it was cold and perceived me to the vitals”. Moreover, the language reflects a pressing, and menacing force, which imperils Snowe's “vitals” and perhaps even her life. The storm's force, just as the other forces beyond Snowe's control such as society, appears to have the ability to physically inflict control and power over her, compelling her to acknowledge and perhaps summit to its

Islamic Reform Movements

1888 words - 8 pages of imposing its weight. The most pervasive is economics. The Muslims perceive that the West has been bearing down upon the Muslim World with what appears to be saying in effect: "give up those antiquated ways, those superstitions, those inhibitions; be modern with us, be prosperous, and be sophisticated. Emancipate your women, your societies and yourselves!" Many Muslims do succumb or see their children succumb. The West continues to seduce

The Truth Behind The Holocaust

2058 words - 8 pages rather than helping it. Hitler’s followers also became blind to the harm being done. Listening to their all-powerful ruler, most of German society was influenced into believing that the “inferior races” were the people Hitler distrusted most - the Jews. In the Pan-German League, a group dedicated to maintaining German Racial Purity, German Jews were given full membership because many Jews had had very successful lives in Germany. By 1903, however

Film Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

2865 words - 11 pages . Death to the replicants is represented by their own heightened sense of mortality and the outside embodiment of the Blade Runners; stalkers such as the weary Deckard. Throughout the film, life and death are displayed in ways that illuminate their surrealness; life in the case of a radically imposing world - large, expansive, beautifully decadent, grown strange even to the 'hero' Deckard - and death, especially in the

Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide

2193 words - 9 pages squads, and militant attacks. Its characteristics flow from the international system of nation-states, and its success depends on the existence of a mass media to create an aura of terror among many Atkins 4 people (“Major Incidents”). Most terrorist attacks are sought upon beliefs. There are other kinds of terrorism, one of the biggest being genocide. Genocide is generally defined as the intentional extermination of a specific ethnic, racial

The Temptation of Eve in Milton’s Paradise Lost

2773 words - 11 pages understand her identity, shed her naïveté, and gain independence from Adam. God and Adam try to conquer Eve by imposing rules and ownership upon her, but this does not work. The mother of all mankind falls from her state of grace and innocence when she perceives that she will gain from her seduction by Satan and by disobeying God and Adam. Works and Sorces Cited Frye, Roland Mushat. God, Man, and Satan. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960


4389 words - 18 pages from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints.[2: Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497 (1961). Dissenting opinion Justice John Marshall Harlan.]Drawing upon Harlan's liberal interpretation of the concept of liberty and the obligations of the state governments to adhere to the guidelines maintained in the federal Bill of Rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, Connecticut's law was in violation of the Constitution. This dissenting

What do studies on individual motivations for violence contribute to the analysis of war? - MSc SOAS - Essay

3473 words - 14 pages ” or “thieves” guided solely by their greediness, serves the interest of those who want to delegitimise political violence and protests in general (Keen, 2012: 767-769). Hence, the “greed” paradigm would serve the interest of the Western countries, that are encouraged to intervene with the purpose of imposing an “humanitarian” peace upon those states “infested” by rebels and gangsters (ibidem, 774-775). Besides, economic interests might explain the

Similar Essays

Essay On The Picture Of Dorian Gray As A Moral Book

1005 words - 4 pages The Picture of Dorian Gray as a Moral Book   The Picture of Dorian Gray was a remarkably well-written book due to the reaction of its themes by society.  In the preface of the novel, Wilde introduces the opinion that "...there is no moral or immoral book.  Books are well written or badly written.  That is all."  Numerous views can be taken upon this fastidious comment.  Many would agree that Wilde is

Honor In Henry Iv Essay

1188 words - 5 pages Honour in Henry IV Honor is one of those concepts that is seldom defined. One’s reputation is based on his or her honor, integrity, honesty, and purity. William Shakespeare’s Henry IV is a one of his many plays that deal with the varying ideas of honor, as well as issues of courage, loyalty, and ambition, interposing examples of dishonor, weakness, and the deceitful plots among both the drunkards and noblemen. Shakespeare utilizes

A Midsummer Night's Dream: The Dream Within A Dream

2470 words - 10 pages theory perfectly. Shakespeare toys with the fickleness of desire through Oberon's "love-in-idleness" flower, a symbol of debauched purity: "Before, milk-white; now, purple with love's wound" (II.i.167). Puck's haphazard "planting" of the juice in the lovers' eyes sets up a system of indiscriminate desire-attachments. The gaze becomes the only agent for desire, yet it is a manipulated gaze which destroys reasoning - as Oberon gleefully notes

Moral Law Vs Natural Law In The Scarlet Letter

1844 words - 7 pages is because the letter serves its original purpose separating Hester from her society. She lived in a house on the outskirts of the town, not in it and whenever she was in public her fellow citizens would form circles around her. The letter is a negative symbol throughout every part of the novel barring the conclusion, and because of this the moral laws succeeded in imposing their meaning upon the letter.Another conflict between moral and natural