An Analysis of William Blake's 'The Chimney Sweeper'

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Thesis Statement: This paper will analyze Blake's "Chimney Sweeper" and show how it presents an image of both experience and innocence, holding the latter up as a kind of light in the dark world of the child chimney sweepers. Outline I.Introduction A.Innocence and Experience B.The Chimney Sweeper connects both II.Recollections of a lost childhood A.Mother B.Father C.Sold into urban slavery III.Little Tom A.Hair like a Lamb B.Religious imagery C.The narrator tries to comfort him IV.Real Comfort the Angel A.The angel comes from God B.Has a message for the boys C.If they are good, they will be freed from their slavery and go to God V.The Message is the Meaning A.The poem ends without irony B.The angel is to be believed C.Innocence triumphs over dreadful experience Innocence over Experience in Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" William Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" appeared in the poet's Songs of Innocence collection a work which preceded Songs of Experience (and a second "Chimney Sweeper" poem). Both collections flowed into and out of one another a point which may be seen in "The Chimney Sweeper," a heartfelt poem of couplets that tells of a child's innocence and experience. The poem is a window into the horrific English world of child labor, where children are "locked up in coffins of black," (Blake, 1789) but it is also a window into the pure soul of a child, who believes in the promise of an angel. This paper will analyze Blake's "Chimney Sweeper" and show
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