In William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, many

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In William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, many of the poems correlate in numerous aspects. For example, The Chimney
Sweeper is a key poem in both collections that portrays the soul of a child

The Chimney Sweeper in Innocence vs. The Chimney Sweeper in Experience

In William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, many of the poems correlate in numerous aspects. For example, The Chimney
Sweeper is a key poem in both collections that portrays the soul of a child with both a naïve and experienced persona. Blake uses the aspects of religion, light versus dark imagery, and the usage of the chimney sweeper itself to convey the similarities and differences of the figure in both poems.

The
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After Tom awakes from this dream, he was “happy and warm” with the knowledge that with God, there was no need to fear death.

However, in Songs of Experience, the outlook on life and death is not so joyful. The religious imagery is not so much as in Songs of
Innocence, possibly because people tend to believe more religiously when innocence dominates terrible experiences. In the latter poem, however, the “little black thing” has been “clothed in the clothes of death” by his parents forcing him to become a chimney sweeper. His parents have “gone to praise God and his Priest and King, who make up a heaven of our misery” and the boy cannot understand this as he
“sings the notes of woe” and not happiness. This chimney sweeper does not have the innocence and hopefulness of the chimney sweeper in Songs of Innocence. This child possesses experience of hardship and does not hold much faith in God and religion. This version of The Chimney
Sweeper lacks the hopefulness and faith found in the former version although it is the same setting, factors, and occupation.

William Blake conveys both innocence and experience with the literary technique of light versus dark imagery. In Songs of Innocence, Blake discusses the issue of soot on several instances. In the beginning verse, the young chimney sweeper slept in soot, showing the incorruptibility and despair of the young child. Also, Tom Dacre’s
“white hair” was shaved so that the dark soot
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