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Child Labor In William Blake's Songs Of Innocence

Decent Essays
In William Blake’s poem Songs of Innocence, he addresses the issue of child labor in London, and how it damages their innocence and health. Like the corruption in London at the time, the children’s essence is being corrupted by the lies they are being told to get them to do their duties. Blake writes about a little boy, Tom Dacre, who is new to chimney sweeping, and allows the audience to see what an innocent child is like before his innocence decomposes. Blake uses innocent Tom Dacre in this poem to amplify his fight against child labor in London, and show society, how it causes children’s lives and innocence to decay. Although a minor character, Tom Dacre undergoes a major evolution in only 24 lines, that represents the sad evolution that many children in his position experience.
Including Tom Dacre in this poem, gives the reader someone to compare the speaker too. He portrays Tom Dacre as innocent, and naïve to what is really going on around him. He is who the speaker of the poem once was. Blake compares him to a lamb when he describes his hair that “curl’d like a lamb’s back” (line 6). Lambs are usually associated with innocence and gentleness, which is the best way to describe Tom Dacre. He is unaware of the life that he is about to be exposed to, and the detriment that it is about to do to him. Unlike the speaker, Tom Dacre cries and is not able to see any positive in the situation until he talks to the speaker. He tries to comfort Tom by telling him “never mind it,
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