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Professor Hamid ElKhalfi
The Chimney Sweeper is a poem written by William Blake. This poem has a dark energy and deals with nature. It can be a mix of sad and happy emotions. William Blake’s mother died when he was young, and she was a very religious person. Unfortunately, his father could not afford him, so he sold him. He always slept in soot, which was very uncomfortable. William Blake was willing to find work in the streets, but the economy was not easy during these times. The whole town was poor because jobs were not easy to find due to the fact that this was during the late 18th century.
In William Blake's poem, "The Chimney Sweeper," the metaphor of the "coffins of black" can be seen to represent innocence. The coffin means death and are black. The black ties back to the chimney soot. It is very possible the phrase was chosen because a chimney from the inside is dark and constricting, just like a coffin. Ultimately, this all symbolizes the boys’ death because of their terrible life cleaning chimneys at such a young age. In the next stanza an Angel comes, “And he opened the coffins and set them all free.” which symbolizes the boys’ death and escape to heaven. All of these symbols cause feelings of sympathy in the reader, causing them to want to help these children escape their destiny.
The heavens talk about nature, laughter and happiness. It also talks about rivers and leaping in the sun. The sweeper reminds us again where his parents are, and this time suggests that the church and state have also abandoned the children for whom they are responsible. They are so concerned with their own heaven they have forgotten their children. No reflections about angelic intervention comfort the experienced chimneysweeper.
In fact, he explicitly communicates his feelings of “misery”. He refers to his uniform as “the clothes of death” and the sweeper’s street cry as “the notes of woe” making it obvious his...