Child Labor

Topics: Chimney, International Labour Organization, Childhood Pages: 2 (718 words) Published: February 7, 2013
Child Labor
Throughout history there have been articles, boycotts, books, poems, and so much more released to raise awareness on child labor. Children work under illegal, hazardous, and exploitative conditions each day risking their lives. Many of these children have their opportunity for an education taken away to work under harmful circumstances. William Blake’s poem “The Chimney Sweeper” was written to help aware and prevent child labor.

William Blake wrote a poem to aware the society of child labor in Britain. A real life event inspired him to write his poem about the injustice being done to the children. Child labor is exploitation to children. They were out in extremely hazardous conditions that threaten their lives. Children began to die because they were stuck in an unsafe place. The ashes that surrounded them threatened their physical health to an extreme. Fires would be set and the children would be stuck in the chimney causing them to burn to death. Blake uses a variety of symbolism through biblical ideas. He uses symbols to represent what he states in his poem. The Chimney Sweeper is based on a true story. This boy was sold and left alone by his father. Tom sweeps chimneys with four other boys: Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack. One night tom dreams that he and the other children are sleeping in black coffins. Blake says this relating to the black ashes the children are covered in every day from sweeping the chimneys. In his dream an angel appears with a key. She unlocks the coffin the children were in and let them out. “Were all of them lock’d up in coffins of black. And by came an Angel who had a bright key, And he open'd the coffins & set them all free;” (lines 12-14) Child labor has been a big issue since industrialization began. Like the poem children were being put to work in atrocious conditions. Child labor was used because they do not have to get paid as much as adults. They were working more than a full time job. Some children would end up...
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