William Blake's poem The Chimney Sweeper (1789), from his book Songs of Innocence, displays classic literary Romanticism. The narrative style mirrored the feeling of losing childhood vigor due to societal and governmental corruption (Damrosch & Dettmar, 2008). It also shows that happiness is not dependent on material wealth.
In the poem, an old man watches as his young apprentice sweeps the chimneys and finds many human bones in the ashes. He tells the child that people used to live there and were good people like him and their families. Then he dies. The child keeps on sweeping and singing songs about innocence until one day he sees a woman dressed in white sitting at the top of the sweepstair. She tells him that God has sent her to save him. They fall in love and marry. However, when they are about to celebrate their marriage, she realizes that he is still underage and can't marry him. So, she goes back up the sweepstair alone.
This story teaches us that happiness cannot be found in material things and that youth does not have to be sacrificed for experience.
Romantic poets such as William Blake believed that true happiness could only be found by reaching beyond the world of senses into the spirit world with ideas instead. This idea is known as "idealism".
William Blake's narrative poem "The Chimney Sweeper" employs rhetorical tactics to illustrate the difficulties of real redemption using literal and metaphorical language. The combination of imagery, symbolism, and metaphor produces a depressing tone for both the speaker and tiny Tom Dacre.
By describing poverty and oppression with words and images, Blake is able to criticize the status quo while still offering hope for change through salvation. He uses alliteration, onomatopoeia, and personification throughout the work.
The chimney sweeper is a common figure in English poetry for someone who is poor but honest. Because they cannot afford expensive clothing, chimney sweeps wear old clothes and use soot as their brush. They travel up and down the country with their cart and they are often seen sweeping away evil spirits from houses built before the Great Fire (a fire that destroyed most of London city).
Chimneys were used in those days to heat homes and businesses, so there were no smoke detectors or air conditioning. If a fire started inside a building, it would spread quickly because there were no doors or windows to contain it.
The poet compares the sweep's life to that of a coal miner. Coal miners worked long hours under dangerous conditions making barely enough money to survive.
In the late eighteenth century, William Blake, a young poet and artist, was appalled and inspired by the brutal treatment of young boys known as "chimney sweeps." As a result, he created a protest in the style of simple poetry. Called "The Chimney Sweep," it includes this stanza:
"Oh! Let us weep for lost innocence/And for those who feel but cannot think. /How many things there are that we should know! /But knowledge is power, and power is dear. /We will not sell our soul for gold/Or flesh which craves for blood.
Blood, blood, blood! That's what it's all about! The human body is made up of almost 50% water. And blood is made up of 75% water. So by drinking blood, you can get hydrated while still feeding your thirst! The ancient Egyptians used blood as an ingredient in their embalming fluid, and today scientists are still learning more about the benefits of blood plasma.
So the next time you have a chance to drink blood, do it! It will save lives around the world every day.
The poem's tone is one of sweet innocence and trust, which stands in stark contrast to its sad subject. The young chimney sweeper's statements indicate that he and his colleague are in a difficult predicament. However, rather than complaining about their situation, they simply pray for help.
The chimney sweepers' song is meant to be a prayer for mercy. They ask God to help them find a job so they can earn enough money to buy food. Since they do not have many possessions, they ask God to provide them with clothing so they will look respectable when they seek employment.
They close the poem by telling God they are too poor to repay him for his kindness. This means that they give God no credit for helping them out of trouble when they were unable to help themselves.
In conclusion, the tone of the chimney sweepers' song of experience is one of sweet innocence and trust. They ask God to help them find a job so they can eat. Instead of complaining about their situation, they simply pray for help.
Blake used alliteration in "cry" (3) and "chimneys" (4) to depict the wretched conditions of chimney sweepers, and he employs another alliteration in "sweep" (4) and "soot" (4) to depict the anguish of the youngster who sweeps chimneys and sleeps in soot. Blake also uses rhyme to describe the pain of a blacksmith's young son as he watches his father work.
Chimney sweeps were common in Victorian England, where most people lived in homes without fireplaces. If they had fires, the servants called them "chests" or "mantels." A chest was a large container used for storing food; a mantel was a shelf placed over a fireplace to hold trophies and other objects. So, a chest of drawers is a familiar image associated with the bedroom.
The poem describes how the chimney sweeper's job makes him sad because it involves cleaning houses that others should do but don't. He feels sorry for himself and cries when he can't find anyone to help him. This shows that he feels pain and sorrow when he encounters difficulties in his life.
He uses words and sounds to express himself. For example, he sings about his misery when there are no customers at the pub where he works as a singer. He gets money by singing at night in local pubs, which is similar to how homeless people make a living today by singing on street corners or in coffee shops.