Chimney Sweeper Songs Of Innocence And Experience Essay

Innocence And Experience In Blake's The Chimney Sweeper

Innocence and Experience in Blake's The Chimney Sweeper

The most obvious difference between the two poems would be the length,
although this is not necessarily a difference between innocence and
experience, it does lure the reader into the right frame of mind to
read into the attitude of each poem. Innocence consists of six,
four-line stanzas, where as experience is only three, four-line
stanzas. The length of each line is also longer in innocence when
compared to experience. When you examine what each of the poems is
portraying, this seems like an effective way to draw a distinctive
line between the two.

Innocence begins in a slightly depressing tone, informing us from a
child's first person perspective that he was sold by his family before
he had learnt to speak properly. Blake then plays on the word 'sweep',
which a young chimney sweeper would have to shout in the streets, and
turns it into 'weep'. The repetative use of the word 'weep!' is ironic
and reflects the mood of the opening stanza.

The second stanza begins to relate to an indvidual boy's case, warming
the reader towards the poem more than the previous stanza. Blake
continues by telling us 'little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,
That curl'd like a lamb's back, was shaved'. The shaving of this boy's
head invokes a sympathetic response to the situation. Also, the
comparison between the boy's hair and a lamb has a religious meaning
behind it, Jesus is often refered to as "the lamb of god", the
religious references in this poem, when observed on a whole, would
initially force the assumption that Blake is praising religion. At the
end of this paragraph, Tom Dacre's head is revelead to be white, which
again is an intentional colour reference, as white is a purity symbol,
this further lures the reader into the comfortable assumption that
Blake is promoting religion.

The next three stanzas consist of a dream Tom Dacre experiences. The
dream itself consists of angels, a very obvious religious figure,
freeing other Chimney Sweeper's from there 'coffins of black', where
black is an intentional colour reference again ment to symbolize a
hard, short life of opression, with a 'bright key', bright again being
a colour reference. The children are then allowed to roam freely
'naked and white', white being yet another intentional...

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Innocence and Experience in Blake's The Chimney Sweeper Essay

605 Words3 Pages

Innocence and Experience in Blake's The Chimney Sweeper

The most obvious difference between the two poems would be the length, although this is not necessarily a difference between innocence and experience, it does lure the reader into the right frame of mind to read into the attitude of each poem. Innocence consists of six, four-line stanzas, where as experience is only three, four-line stanzas. The length of each line is also longer in innocence when compared to experience. When you examine what each of the poems is portraying, this seems like an effective way to draw a distinctive line between the two.

Innocence begins in a slightly depressing tone, informing us from a child's first…show more content…

The next three stanzas consist of a dream Tom Dacre experiences. The dream itself consists of angels, a very obvious religious figure, freeing other Chimney Sweeper's from there 'coffins of black', where black is an intentional colour reference again ment to symbolize a hard, short life of opression, with a 'bright key', bright again being a colour reference. The children are then allowed to roam freely 'naked and white', white being yet another intentional placement of a symbolic colour, on a 'green plain'. The use of the colour green in this case is a slightly less obvious. When combined with the assumption that the placement of the Chimney Sweeper is in a sooty, black city, one could assume that Blake is against the large scale industrialization that was demolishing God's natural beauty.

The key turning point in this poem is in the third line of the fifth stanza. 'And the angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy, He'd have God for his father, and never want joy'. This line has the potential to turn all of the poem around. If you later examine the Experience poem and return to the Innocence, this line could imply that all religious teachings from the Church are given only to keep the world running. If humanity has the belief that a hard life leads to a peaceful, easy afterlife

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