The chimney sweeper

Topics: Chimney sweep, Chimney, Chimneys Pages: 2 (460 words) Published: February 20, 2014
Jorge Raygoza 31/01/14

Experience or innocence, which is better?

In Blake’s poem “The chimney sweeper” he shows us two different perspectives of the same poem. In the “Songs of Innocence”, the character in "The Chimney Sweeper" sees his situation through the eyes of a child full of innocence and joy. He only sees the positive things of what he has been through; additionally, he thinks that all will be better because God will take care of him and the other kids. In this poem the character doesn’t understand the real deal, the social injustice in which he lives every day. Meanwhile In the “Songs of Experience” all the perspective changes drastically. In this poem the boy does notice the injustice in which he lives. He doesn’t blame his parents of his misfortune but he knows they are responsible of it. Finally he speaks against the establishment that led his parents and thus him to the horrible situation they are experiencing. Nonce the King and the church become richer at the expense of them. On the other hand, an understanding of the ideas of one poem, as well as the ideas that it lacks, enlightens the other poem. This gives the reader a different interpretation of the poem than that one would get if they were read alone. For instance, in Songs of Innocence, the chimney sweeps are offered hope by the outcome of Tom Dacre's dream. The narrator offers comfort that no harm or punishment will come to those who obey. Also, Tom is used to illustrate another point. He is originally frightened but later feels "happy and warm", showing that one can experience a certain degree of happiness in the even in the worst of circumstances. These ideas of hope and happiness place further emphasis on the hostility of the chimney sweep in Songs of Experience. He understands his circumstances and sees no hope of freedom from his oppression. Instead of believing that obedience will prevent...
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