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The Chimney-Sweeper (Experience) Analysis



Author: poem of William Blake Type: poem Views: 50


A little black thing among the snow:
Crying weep, weep, in notes of woe!
Where are thy father & mother? say?
They are both gone up to the church to pray.

Because I was happy upon the heath.
And smil'd among the winters snow:
They clothed me in the clothes of death.
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

And because I am happy. & dance & sing.
They think they have done me no injury:
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who made up a heaven of our misery.

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




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The poem is and indictment of the the Church, the parent, the government and the upper class for their unfair treatment of poor children.

| Posted on 2013-03-31 | by a guest


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please can someone tell me which techniques this poem uses as it is for my homework.

| Posted on 2012-05-18 | by a guest


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Rafae is a loser and has no friends. He also lied. I\'m not a cat.
Rafae- go die.
-Meredith

| Posted on 2012-03-27 | by a guest


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everyonne should just go die
and Meredith is a a cat

| Posted on 2012-03-27 | by a guest


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everyonne should just go die
and Meredith is a a cat

| Posted on 2012-03-27 | by a guest


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Roses are gray
Violets are gray
I am a dog
That\'s really what he wanted us to know

| Posted on 2012-03-27 | by a guest


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Meow meow meow woof meow meow blub meow meow quak meow meow hiss meow meow meow meow rawr mooo meow meow.
That\'s what Blake wanted us to know.

| Posted on 2012-03-27 | by a guest


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RE: Duh this is about how the child is crying because the dirty chimney sweeper got his fancy church clothes messy! The recurring theme is that people should not associate with the chimney-sweepers, because after EXPERIENCE it is shown that you only get dirty when by one. Duh. My English teacher said so and he went to community college.
| Posted on 2010-10-18 | by a guest
your an idiot for thinking that.
obviously the poem is about a chimney sweeper that is a child that lives in a life of misery but because he has a job he cant act that he is sad. the annoations that have been expressed are more correct than what you have posted. i am 16 and i can figure that out. your college teacher is a tool!

| Posted on 2011-02-13 | by a guest


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I agree with the contrast idea. children have to keep their inocence but here we call the kid black thing. The snow seems pure and innocent because its white. Meaning of white in here is the environment he lives, parents, adults they seem pure&innocent but they are not. The C.Sweeper on the other hand, just an innocent child does not deserve the thing he\'s been doing. Also the adults doesn\'t deserve the life they have.
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who made up a heaven of our misery.
heaven meens nothing if there is no hell with all the misery under it. If there were no sadness and misery around, who could promise peace

| Posted on 2011-01-12 | by a guest


.: :.

I agree with the contrast idea. children have to keep their inocence but here we call the kid black thing. The snow seems pure and innocent because its white. Meaning of white in here is the environment he lives, parents, adults they seem pure&innocent but they are not. The C.Sweeper on the other hand, just an innocent child does not deserve the thing he\'s been doing. Also the adults doesn\'t deserve the life they have.
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who made up a heaven of our misery.
heaven meens nothing if there is no hell with all the misery under it. If there were no sadness and misery around, who could promise peace

| Posted on 2011-01-12 | by a guest


.: :.

I agree with the contrast idea. children have to keep their inocence but here we call the kid black thing. The snow seems pure and innocent because its white. Meaning of white in here is the environment he lives, parents, adults they seem pure&innocent but they are not. The C.Sweeper on the other hand, just a child innocent does not deserve the thing he\'s been doing. Also the adults doesn\'t deserve the life they have.
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who made up a heaven of our misery.
heaven meens nothing if there is no hell with all the misery under it. If there were no sadness and misery around, who could promise peace

| Posted on 2011-01-12 | by a guest


.: :.

I agree with the contrast idea. children have to keep their inocence but here we call the kid black thing. The snow seems pure and innocent because its white. Meaning of white in here is the environment he lives, parents, adults they seem pure&innocent but they are not. The C.Sweeper on the other hand, just a child innocent does not deserve the thing he\'s been doing. Also the adults doesn\'t deserve the life they have.
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who made up a heaven of our misery.
heaven meens nothing if there is no hell with all the misery under it. If there were no sadness and misery around, who could promise peace

| Posted on 2011-01-12 | by a guest


.: :.

I agree with the contrast idea. children have to keep their inocence but here we call the kid black thing. The snow seems pure and innocent because its white. Meaning of white in here is the environment he lives, parents, adults they seem pure&innocent but they are not. The C.Sweeper on the other hand, just a child innocent does not deserve the thing he\'s been doing. Also the adults doesn\'t deserve the life they have.
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who made up a heaven of our misery.
heaven meens nothing if there is no hell with all the misery under it. If there were no sadness and misery around, who could promise peace

| Posted on 2011-01-12 | by a guest


.: :.

Duh this is about how the child is crying because the dirty chimney sweeper got his fancy church clothes messy! The recurring theme is that people should not associate with the chimney-sweepers, because after EXPERIENCE it is shown that you only get dirty when by one. Duh. My English teacher said so and he went to community college.

| Posted on 2010-10-18 | by a guest


.: :.

please can someone tell me which techniques this poem uses as it is for my homework.

| Posted on 2010-01-27 | by a guest


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the parents are hypocritical. they go to church and pray. they worship a god who would not want this child to be mistreated, while they dont care at all about their child.

| Posted on 2010-01-26 | by a guest


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It explains how hard it can be as a poor young one sold by ur parents doing life threantin loathe jobs i for one could not baree it but he is incredible to had suvived

| Posted on 2010-01-25 | by a guest


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I can't help but consider the speaker in this poem as being, by the end of the poem, dead: he is dancing and singing in the heaven described by the poem in Songs of Innocence. The first stanza is in the third person, as if he's looking down, disembodied, on a chimney sweeper.
The parents, believe him to be in heaven and, therefore, have done him no harm.
Also: "Happy upon the heath" may be an indication of a family moved from the country?

| Posted on 2010-01-13 | by a guest


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A level student interpretation.
Blake's poem 'The Chimney Sweeper' falls under the experienced group of his work. This poem is Blake's response to society and its ills and his deep loathing for some aspects of society such as the chimney sweeping trade.
Blake refers to the chimney sweep boys as 'a little black thing among the snow', this objectifies the child as a 'thing' rather than a humnan being. The contrast of the colours black and white suggests that these children have been corrupted, they should be playing in the snow a symbol of purity and childhood when in fact that they are heavily contrasted as black and impure against the snow.
Blake cleverly uses a half rhyme in the second stanza to emphasise the cruelty and inhumanity these children have suffered. The child was once 'happy upon the heath' but now has been 'clothed in the clothes of death', death and heath both imply completely different things. It suggests that this child's parents envied the child's happiness and so sold him to a sweeping business to teach him a lesson. The parents are naive however and believe because the child 'And becuase I am happy and dance and sing' they feel they have not done their child any injury, when in fact they have emotionally and physically (deformalities from being forced up tiny chimneys) killed him.
Blake is attacking the parents for their poor relationship with their children, their lack of loving care that they should have for their children. His scepticism for figures of immense authority in English society such as the church is evident in this passage. The church does not condemn this profession and so Blake considers it to be just as corrupt as the trade and its practitioners itself. It is evident throughout most of Blake's work that he was not a fan of the church of England, he was a believer in God but not the church. He followed Swedenborgianism which was the belief in the new church of Jerusalem.

| Posted on 2009-12-29 | by a guest


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REAL ANALYSIS - UNIVERSITY LEVEL
A little black thing - young chimney sweeper.
Crying notes of woe, "weep, weep" is a parallel to the "Inocence" poem of the same name. It could mean the child is actually crying, or that he is calling out "sweep" looking for work. I think it is probably a combination of both.
The boy talks about how happy and contented he was before his parents made him work as a chimney sweep. The fact that he was happy on the heath and in the snow indicates that he was a strong and healthy child, which is why his parents put him to work.
The lines "They clothed me in the clothes of death.
And taught me to sing the notes of woe" are not about making him wear church clothes and sing hymns. The clothes of death are referring to his job (he probably has specific clothes to wear while he is working, because of how dirty he gets) and the fact that many chimney sweeps died from this work. The notes of woe that he is taught to sing is the "sweep, sweep" that he calls out when he is looking soemone to hire him to sweep. This is obvious, because the poem opens to him doing this, as I explained above, and specifically calls it "notes of woe".
The boy explains that because he still finds joy in life his parents think they have not done him any harm by making him work. They have gone to church (note the use of the word "praise") to give thanks to god. However, the wording throughout the poem hints that the boy HAS been harmed by this work. The parents are oblivious to this.
Finally, the last line of the poem is indicative of the abuse of Gods love and the corruption of the Church, as well as the child's own feelings of misery about his situation, which his parents use God to justify. It is also another parallel to the "Innocence" poem. The last line of that poem is "So if all do their duty they need not fear harm." Both point to a "by the sweat of one's brow" idealology, that one must work hard and obey one's parents/church/god in order to get into heaven. before posted.
This poem is about the corruption of innocence, which is a common theme in all of Blake's poems. The parents, through their ignorance and selfishness, have harmed their child. The child himself is innocent. All of Blake's poems centre around this idea. On the one hand, there is God, children, laughter, and love. This is innocence. On the other hand, sorrow, sickness, fear, and loss. This is experience. In Songs of Experience, Blake demonstrates how innocence can be corrupted by experience. Blake is asking the question, Why? Why do we corrupt the innocent, must it be this way, and what are the implications of this corruption?

| Posted on 2009-11-29 | by a guest


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the black thing vs the snow: the child sees himself as a black thing because he gets dirty while sweeping, and the snow refers to environment he lives, the winter, the coldness of the situation.
Where're their parents?: They've gone to the church.They get the child wear the cloth of death and go to pray for him. What a contrast!
In whole, the child gets used to the situation, he gets matured, but still sad. He blames his parents for his sadnness rather than God.

| Posted on 2009-11-14 | by a guest


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what are some good related texts for william blake's poems ?

| Posted on 2009-08-31 | by a guest


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Here is my analysis:
The Chimney Sweeper, experience, depicts the tyrannical oppression that a child endures. Similarly to its innocent counterpart, this child is crying, ‘weep weep’. The snow that the child is in stark contrast to, a mere ‘black thing’, is the veil that displaces the child. The snow is frigid and surrounds the child oppressively, and this sufferer’s abandonment is embodied through the absence of his parents, who are ‘both gone up to the church to pray’. This statement is slightly derogatory on the Church’s part, as its persona is seen to be that of frivolous distractions from more pressing matters i.e. the child. The ‘notes of woe’ that are bleated by the child can be compared to the church songs, as they themselves carry sorrow, imminent plight and, more importantly, regulations. Despite the frost’s foreboding, the child is ‘happy among the heath’, and he/she ‘smil’d’; this transitory glee is stripped from the child after its parents present the child with a uniform, ‘clothes of death’. These clothes of death are simply the church attire: jacket, tie and shoes. However, this attire represents conformity, oppression and a grim sense of being. The notes of woe that were ‘taught’ to the child are the hymns. These songs are sung begrudgingly, but with an absent mind. The last stanza is the a requisite element of the poem’s entirety, as it places ‘God & his priest and King’ in the same group. This denotes scepticism and almost a sense of mockery. The final line, ‘made up a heaven of misery’, can be interpreted as Heaven being fictitious, or, that Heaven is seemingly dull, as it is steeped in regulations, laws and regimes. Aside from the first stanza, which uses rhyming couplets, the second and last are an ABAB rhyming structure, as the child is not alone.

| Posted on 2009-04-27 | by a guest


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A child who gathers pleasure from things thought to be a burden (the snow). To make up for his "innapropriate behavior," His parents dressed him up in a suit and tie (the clothes of death-what you wear to/at a funeral) and forced the church upon him (the songs of woe-songs sung at mass about pretty dreadful topics if you think about it-Jesus Dying, A wrathful God, etc).
He says that because he likes to dance and sing (activities thought to be "the devil" back in old times). That his parents go to pray for him. He doesn't understand why they would want to live such a frivolous life to get into a heaven where all the fun things in life aren't allowed.

| Posted on 2008-06-19 | by a guest


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Uncomfortable relationship between parent and child
Question and answer
Questioning the nature of God – Lamb/Tyger
Crying less than in innocence poem, used to situation, although still sad
Damning of the church, PRO god, but against church

| Posted on 2008-05-20 | by a guest




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