The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake

515 WordsJan 25, 20182 Pages
William Blake’s poem, “The Chimney Sweeper” is a poem about children losing their innocence and being forced to clean chimneys. The setting is in the industrial period when children in orphanages being sent to work at such a young age. The young boys were usually the ones to be put to work because they were small enough to get into the chimneys and clean them. Children in this era eventually were diagnosed with Black Lung Disease because they inhaled too much soot in their lungs. The poem opens with a child in the industrial period describing how his mother had died when he was very young, showing the readers that he started sweeping chimneys and being forced into labor at a young age. In the quote, “And my father sold me while yet my tongue” letting readers know that he was sold before he could even speak. In the third line he states that actually it was before he could even really cry because he, “could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep” the reader can also pick up on the fact that “weep” and “sweep” rhyme giving subtle hints. There was a big class distinction back in the industrial period since the poor children are sweeping the higher-class people’s chimneys. The distinction is shown when the poem says, “So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep”. The words your and I really show the class distinction. It emphasizes the words so that we know that the children have to do the upper-class people’s dirty work. In the second stanza, the writer opens up about how children
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