The Chimney Sweeper AP question Q2
The Author, Blake, tells the story of the life of young chimney sweepers. In the Poems, Blake uses figurative language to show the characters dreams as he is forced to work in chimneys. Blake contrasts the two sides of the boy’s dreams and fantasies.
In the first poem the main character dreams about the day he dies so he can be from this figurative hell that he works in. “And he opened the coffins & set them all free.” (line 14) Blake emphasizes the agony that the boy goes through working as a chimney sweep. The boy has so much agony that he actually looks forward to the day he dies instead of living his life.
The Boy’s job is symbolic of hell because he works where the smoke from fire escapes. Fire is a representative of hell and this aspect adds contrast of how he went from working in “hell” in the first poem to going to heaven in the second poem. Additionally, Blake adds diction throughout the poem like “warm”, “fear”, “coffins”, and “white hair” which all have to do with either death or hell. On the other side of the contrast, there’s sentences like “they rise upon the clouds”, “he’d have god for his father”, and “shine in the sun” which is obvious imagery of heaven.
The Difference in these poems are from when the boy was only dreaming about being in heaven and him actually being in heaven. But I think the second Poem is more than just the experience he has in heaven. Blake uses diction in this poem to give a sense that the theme is music. In this case its music that expresses his happiness as he “runs across the snow”. Words like “notes”, “sing”, and “dance” But if you look at the poem with the thought of music, it describes the boy as a note running across the page as the song of joy goes on to reunite with his parents who are assumingly at the end of the song. The “snow” is the white of the page, the “little black thing” is him covered in soot, dancing which would be the note changing pitch on the page, and...
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