“The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake”
In William Blake’s poem, the reader will read about the first person point of view of a child going through a neglected life of child labour and slavery. In the poem, “The Chimney Sweeper”, Blake’s use of onomatopoeia conveys the emotions of the character in the poem. William Blake uses symbolism in his poem which gives the reader a better understanding of the message he is trying to convey. As well, Blake’s use of colors and adjectives provides the reader contrast between innocence, freedom and death. William Blake puts all these factors together in his poem to show how devastating it can be to lose your innocence at such a young age, the ignorance of society towards child labour and how religion can sometimes be your only way to feel hope when times get hard.
To start off, in the first stanza Blake’s use of onomatopoeia is quite effective on reflecting the devastation of the child being sold by his father right after his mother had passed away when he writes “weep, weep, weep, weep” (Blake 3). The word ‘weep’ gives the reader the sound of someone crying hysterically. The use of repetition is also relevant which adds on to the effect of Blake’s use of onomatopoeia by solidifying the idea of a child weeping. Additionally, William Blake directs the focus towards the reader when the character says “so your chimneys I sweep” (Blake 4). That being said, it is certain that Blake is portraying how ignorant the world is towards child labour which makes the reader feel guilty and think twice about their views on child labour since many people do not witness it on a daily basis.
Secondly, William Blake’s use of symbolism in this poem comes hand in hand when it comes to understanding the message being delivered. In the second stanza, William Blake writes “that curled like a lambs back was shav’d” (Blake 7). Blake provides us with an image of a lamb which could be perceived in two different ways. One being that the...
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