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The Chimney Sweeper

             Weep! Weep! Weep! The narrator speaks; a young child has been left with nothing in hand, and only a will to live in his heart. William Blake proved that literature can be used for good and to let others know that they also do have a say in whether things are wrong nor right. He published, "The Chimney Sweeper" in a London newspaper in the late 1700's to tell of the conditions of young children who were forced to work in. I enjoyed reading "The Chimney Sweeper" because it is a work of literature which was used to save the lives of unknown others.
             "The Chimney Sweeper" is told through a first person point of view and with an AABB rhyme scheme. The narrator shares his story about how his father had sold him when he was very young in order to live and for the boy to have a chance in life. The speaker seems to have a very religious background because of all the belief he has in the angels coming and opening the coffins of the dead sweepers and setting them free to be in heaven together. The children might have thought that if they continue to do their duties as chimney sweepers that God may place them back with their families. The first stanza ends with the line "so your chimney's I sweep, and in soot I sleep." (Blake 143). The children were worked in the dirty conditions of chimneys where soot would cover them from head to toe, showers were never a thought and the chance of lice were high so for protection they would have their heads shaved. In stanza two, Tom Dacre cries about getting his head shaved, and then the narrator explains that it is only best " soot can not spoil your white hair." (143). Then Tom has a dream and sees his friends whom had died and thousands of others who had perished lying in their black coffins (chimneys) of soot. Tom then encounters an angel releasing all the sweepers from their coffins and allows them to wallow in a stream in order to cleanse themselves so their clean bodies will be pure enough to be allowed in heaven and play on clouds and frolic in the winds (143).

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