The Poems of William Blake

The Chimney Sweeper

Explain in detail how the images in lines 13-18 contrast with images from earlier in the poem. What ideas and/or feelings are communicated by the contrasted images?

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The imagery is gentle and divinatory. The speaker dreams that an angel shows up with a "bright key"; this is an allusion to Matthew 16:19 where Jesus gives Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The gentle happy imagery is in contrast with the suffocating and dark imagery in the beginning sections of the poem.