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The Chimney Sweeper

            The literal meaning in "The Chimney Sweeper" from Songs of Experience is very clear and disturbing. This poem is very dark and pessimistic. In the first two lines, Blake gives us an image of an anguished child in a state of agony or even a state of corruption. The little boy in this poem seems to blame his parents for is agony. He has been basically sold to a master chimney sweep for seven years. In return his parents get a small profit. Blake was trying to open people's eyes to the harsh reality to the lives these kids were living. These boys were as young as four years old and having to get up at 4:oo AM to climb chimney's and scrub them with a brush. Most of these boys did not make it to adulthood or even make it through seven years. They would either die from falling or die from cancer or other diseases they caught from all of the soot. Blake new that people did not realize the agony and pain that these boys were living everyday of their lives. The main theme of this poem is children being sold to die cleaning chimneys.
             This poem seems to be very judgmental and gives motives for everything. In the second stanza this child is pictured in a more happier and playful mood. This soon changes when he decides to tell the stranger more about his parents. They are showed from the child's point of view as punishing him for being so happy by "clothing in the clothes of death and teaching him to sing the notes of woe."(Line 7) It is very obvious that the child feels hate towards his parents for putting him in such sadness, but instead he chooses to hide it by making himself look happy and satisfied. The color black seems to be very important because it is used to represent sin against innocence, the color of the white snow.
             Blake used a lot of imagery in this poem to paint a very clear and disturbing picture in the reader's head. For example, when Blake wrote " A little black thing among the snow, crying "weep! "weep! In the notes of woe.

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