The chimney sweeper
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There is a hint of criticism here in Tom Dacre's dream and in the boys' subsequent actions, however. Blake decries the use of promised future happiness as a way of subduing the oppressed. The boys carry on with their terrible, probably fatal work because of their hope in a future where their circumstances will be set right. Their innocence is admirable as well as heart breaking. This same promise was often used by those in power to maintain the status quo so that workers and the weak would not unite to stand against the inhuman conditions forced upon them. As becomes clearer in Blake's Songs of Experience,the poet had little patience with palliative measures that did nothing to alter the present suffering of impoverished families.