The Chimney Sweeper By William Walker Analysis

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In Songs of Innocence and of Experience, the two poems “The Chimney Sweeper” highlight the injustice during Blake’s time such as: poverty, child labour, and abuse. “The Chimney Sweeper” illustrates William Blake's understanding of 'innocence' and 'experience' by exposing the hypocritical nature of authority during the 1700s. This essay will begin with explaining Blake’s concept of ‘innocence’ and ‘experience’.
Firstly, William Blake perceives ‘innocence’ and ‘experience’ as contrasting states of the soul. As a result, the narrators are examples of his understanding through their accounts of their life. In “The Chimney Sweeper” (1789), William Blake wrote:
And so Tom awoke and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags & brushes to work
Tho’ the morning was cold, Tom was happy & Warm,
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm. (Blake, Lines 21-24).
The boy and Tom Dacre are innocent through their optimism in their hopes despite their harsh reality. The essence of Blake’s understanding of ‘innocence’ is the ability to be joyful and celebratory with hope. In contrast, the narrator in “The Chimney Sweeper” (1794) knows that there is no hero or escape from the life of a Chimney Sweep. Essentially showing ‘experience’ as the acceptance of the present reality as the only reality.
On top of that, William Blake’s concepts of ‘experience’ can be further explained through the imagery used by the narrator in “The Chimney Sweeper”(1794). In “The Chimney Sweeper” (1794), William Blake writes:
And because i am happy, & dance & sing,
They think they have done me no injury:
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King
Who make up a heaven of our misery. ( Lines 9 - 12).
The boy shows a full understanding of the hopelessness in his situation without interruption from dreams or thoughts of being saved. He thoroughly explains the misuse of power in authority in his situation. However, Tom Dacre vividly describes his friend's dream in two stanzas. The children in “The Chimney Sweeper”(1789) do not fully comprehend the harsh reality of chimney sweeps and instead clings to the ideas of hope.
William Blake illustrates his concepts through highlighting the hypocrisy during the 1700s. The life of a chimney sweeper was

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