The Chimney Sweeper William Blake Essay

882 words - 4 pages

The Chimney SweeperThe Chimney Sweeper, by William Blake is about a young, orphaned boy who was forced to be chimney sweeper by his owners after he was sold as a child by his father. This poem by William Blake was written for children and to express the cruelty undergone by ill-treated children.The tone at the start of the poem is depressing as the chimney sweeper talks about how he was sold and would "cry...'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!" as a child. The use of repetition portrays the endless, repetitive suffering of the child after becoming a chimney sweeper. Blake also uses onomatopoeia depicting the pain the boy went through. The boy didn't offer to do the job but was forced to which is the cause of his suffering.The second tone of the poem is hope as the chimney sweepers are set free after their difficult lives in Tom Dacre's dream. The line "And by came an Angel who had a bright key" suggests that the Angel had arrived to free them, as Angels are connected to God and God is referred to as a helpful spirit. Furthermore, the brightness in the key shows positivity and juxtaposes to the darkness of the soot. Keys are used to open objects which makes us think of the chimney sweepers as opening a new, better life where they are happy.The poem uses rhyming couplets throughout the poem which creates a continuation making the poem sound more like a story. Also the poem was written for young children and the rhyming couplets makes the poem catchy and easier to memorise. An example of the rhyme is "When my mother died I was very young, And my father sold me while yet my tongue. The rhyme is young and tongue. The Chimney Sweeper has a slow rhythm, therefore making it simple for children to read. At the beginning the poem uses many monosyllabic words which make the poem sound slower. Words such as weep slow the poem down. Moreover the poem has a slow rhythm to make it sound more story-like and to uncover the emotion in the poem.The poet uses a lot of Imagery to convey his message to the reader. Firstly he uses a simile. "That curl'd like a lamb's back. was shave'd". A lamb is usually described as weak or sheepish. Blake uses this stereotype and compares Tom Dacre with a lamb. Lamb's backs are shaved for wool which connects to Tom Dacre hair being shaved for his job. Both the lamb and Tom Dacre do not have an option to choose whether or not to shave but are simply forced for others gain....

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