Songs of Innocence and of Experience

The Chimney Sweeper Analyzed College

The poem “The Chimney Sweeper” by William Blake is set around a dark background of child labor. In the 18th and 19th centuries, boys of four and five were sold because of their small physical size to work as chimneysweepers. In this poem, one of the characters by the name of Tom Dacre has a dream where an angel rescues the boys from coffins and brings them with him to heaven. The story is told by one of the young chimneysweepers whose name remains untold. In order to help his readers to understand this poem, and to add an even more dramatic effect, Blake writes the poem in first person. The reason behind the first person narration is actually simple. Blake wants to help his readers to feel as if they are the one telling the story. By doing this, the reader can envision what it was like to be the young chimneysweeper who is looking over at his fellow worker, Tom.

Within the first two lines of the poem, readers get a background of the events that will be portrayed in the poem. The narrator’s mother had passed away when he was very young. Stereotypically, in society the mother has always been the more caring of the two parents. Had the narrator had a mother, the story may have turned out differently. In the second and third lines...

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