Literature Paper

Essay by randomancin November 2014

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Sarah Maughan

English 314 - 7:45 AM

Brother Brugger


Sweeping for Life

The work chosen was "The Chimney Sweep" by William Blake. The theory that can be applied to this poem was Marxism. "The Chimney Sweep" by William Blake shows Marxist theory by symbolizing the proletariat's ongoing struggle versus the bourgeoisie.

In the poem "The Chimney Sweep," the narrator represents the proletariat. A small boy who is sold into Chimney Sweeping for work shows this in the poem. The proletariat characters are there to fill the needs of the bourgeoisie. The idea that goes along with this is that of feudalism. An example of which is where a proletariat has two cows the lord takes all the milk that the cows produce. This is shown by the boys working for the bourgeoisie sweeping their chimneys for no pay and terrible living conditions while the bourgeoisie get the money and the benefits of what they do.

During the poem, the bourgeoisie are represented in many ways. The obvious and saddest part of the poem is how the bourgeoisie are making these children work and risk their life for no money or little money. They do this until they can no longer work or die working. An example in the poem is when the narrator is speaking and says, "And by came an Angel who had a bright key, And he opened the coffins and set them all free..." The shows the oppression that the proletariat struggle. Even the small children who are forced to work and sold into this lifestyle beg to be put out of their misery. The way to be free is to die.

The bourgeoisie controls a great deal in these societies, which is why these young children are forced to do the work that they...