The Chimney Sweeper
The Chimney Sweeper is pain in conjunction with the exploitation of children during the late 1700's. William Blake put a bold and raging tone in his first sentence, first line "when my mother died" (line 1), in addition "my father sold me" (line 3) further showing the need to bring out the pain and suffering of the children and sweepers during this period of time. The Chimney Sweeper was written in a dream status in order to add more mystery and intrigue with the introduction of the "Angel" (line 13) and "God" (line 20) to scrutinize the plight of the young sweepers during the 1700's. William Blake eloquently presents his case in a time honored classic "The Chimney Sweeper".
During the sweepers time many were very young. "And my father sold me while yet my tongue could scarcely cry 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!" (line 2 and 3) is very significant in make the point of how young children were.
The normal cry of the chimney sweeper was sweep, sweep, sweep; a particular young sweeper could only say weep, while yelling to find work, put the age of the child approximately four to eight years of age. In addition, the chimney was very small at the time. It is common knowledge that chimneys are small, it would take a small child to scoot down them to clean. Pain could also be felt by "in soot I sleep" (line 4); the feeling of working long days not being able to clean up after is very significant to show how these young
sweepers could not deal emotionally with their ordeal, which only solidifies the point of their age.
The Angel's words to Tom are unmistakable. They introduce the central plot of the poem. Caught in exploitation and pain...