young boy in overalls and a hat walking with a chimney sweeping broom over his shoulder

The Chimney Sweeper

by William Blake
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The Chimney Sweeper Questions and Answers

The Chimney Sweeper

The theme of "The Chimney Sweeper" is the cruelty of life and society from the perspective of a child. As in much of Blake's more somber poetry, life and society are intermingled. The first line...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2020, 1:50 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

In Blake's day, it was quite common for his contemporaries to venerate the Industrial Revolution, to regard it as an unalloyed good driving Great Britain to ever more dizzying heights of progress...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2020, 10:55 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

The poem "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake begins with the narrator's heartbreaking lament of being sold by his father after his mother died when he was still so young he could not even...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2021, 7:02 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

William Blake was scathing of what he saw as the damaging consequences of the modern industrial economy. Far from seeing it as an engine-room of progress and prosperity, he regarded it as bringing...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2020, 10:49 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

Tom Dacre is another chimney sweep, who seems to work with the narrator. The narrator says that he was sold by his father into work, and so it is likely that Tom Dacre suffered a similar enough...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2019, 11:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

The tone of the poem is one of gentle innocence and trust, which contrasts sharply with its grim subject. The young chimney sweeper's words show that he and his fellow sweep are in a harsh...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2017, 11:50 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

"The Chimney Sweeper" is one of Blake's poems of innocence. The boy who narrates the poem does not yet completely realize what a cruel place the world is. Therefore, although his life is cold and...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2019, 12:15 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" is a powerful indictment of a society that puts making money above its virtual enslavement and abuse of its children. Though the boys are not to blame--they are...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2010, 5:24 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

Most people's wishes are quite elaborate and complicated and tend to revolve around the acquisition of wealth and bright, shiny objects. But Tom Dacre, the little chimney-sweep of Blake's poem, has...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2021, 8:50 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

This poem focuses on the plight of child laborers during the Industrial Revolution. Blake writes in the voice of a child, which lends an immediacy to his words, particularly because the child...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2018, 11:56 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

In common with all child chimney-sweepers, Tom leads a pretty hard, miserable life. Forced to toil long hard hours each day in filthy, dangerous conditions for an absolute pittance, it's fair to...

Latest answer posted July 29, 2020, 10:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

"Coffins of black" represents innocence and what is done to innocent children. In the poem, the narrator, himself a young chimney sweep, recounts that poor Tom Dacre had a dream in which he saw...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2019, 9:11 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

The poem "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake tells of children who are forced to perform difficult and dangerous labor in eighteenth-century England. Chimney sweepers were little boys who could...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2019, 6:53 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

“The Chimney Sweeper” by William Blake is a dramatic monologue, meaning the speaker of the poem is a specific persona the author embodies. In this case, the persona is that of a child laborer who...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2018, 3:20 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

The young boys who were chimney sweepers had terrible lives and suffered a great deal. Their job was to clean the soot from the chimneys and flues of large homes. Many children became lost in the...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2020, 10:52 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

At the close of “The Chimney Sweeper,” young Tom and his companion, the poem's speaker, wake up for another day of dangerous, backbreaking toil. Despite another day of hard work stretching before...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2021, 9:20 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

The poem "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake is a heart cry from a young boy who is sold to be a chimney sweeper in late-eighteenth-century England. Children as young as four and five were sent...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2020, 2:18 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

In "The Chimney Sweeper," Blake uses simple diction and syntax to convey the impression of a child's voice. The grammatical parallelism in the first two lines emphasizes the double misfortune of...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2020, 3:40 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

Children, throughout history, have been apprenticed to blacksmiths, carpenters, and other tradesmen whose heavy-duty jobs would now be considered completely unsuitable for them. During the...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2018, 9:07 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

Profoundly affective, "The Chimney Sweeper" from Songs of Innocence is much more subtle and ironic in tone than the one from Songs of Experience, which is vituperative in tone and explicit in...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2014, 5:23 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

In the context of this poem, the final line can be read in two ways due to the ambiguous "all" and "they." Little Tom, the chimney sweeper protagonist in this poem has just dreamed of an angel with...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2018, 8:13 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" shows in various ways that the children do not like the work they do. First, the little boy telling the story mixes up the word "sweep," which the chimney sweepers are...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2018, 6:39 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

Romanticism tried to shine the most positive light possible on poor and marginalized peoples, exalted the innocence of the child, and worked to produce a literature of sentiment that would move...

Latest answer posted June 11, 2020, 11:02 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

While "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake might have a singsong rhythm, rhyme, and feel to it, the poem is quite sobering and anything but happy. The poem has a light and airy feel, but that...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2021, 2:00 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

The poem is written from the first-person perspective, which is clear in the first line of the first stanza: "When my mother died I was very young." The first-person perspective makes the speaker's...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2019, 8:33 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

The narrator of this poem is a young child who is a chimney sweep, meaning he is sent down narrow chimneys to clean them. He introduces himself in the first stanza as someone who lost his mother...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2022, 6:15 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

A child of perhaps seven is the speaker of Blake's subtle poem. For, it is with a poignant naivete that the boy relates the trials that the "climbing boys," as they were called, suffer. And, with...

Latest answer posted May 25, 2013, 5:08 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

Blake was very interested in the social conditions of his day and had radical ideas about the welfare and education of children. He would undoubtedly have witnessed at first hand the usually...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2008, 9:31 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" is set in London, England in the late 1700s. It describes, from the point of view of a young, innocent chimney sweeper, the cruel life of young boys from the poorest...

Latest answer posted March 18, 2016, 12:04 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

Here you go! In the first stanza, the narrator says that he was sold by his father in order for him to be a chimney sweeper at a VERY young age. He could not even pronounce SWEEP yet.Tom Dacre is...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2008, 7:33 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

Blake wrote two poems called “The Chimney Sweeper.” Through them, he condemned the practice of child labor—slavery, in fact. Boys as young as four were sold to work as chimney sweeps. The speakers’...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2020, 12:02 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

Blake employs an irregular meter and rhyme to convey the disjointed world of the chimney sweeper. Generally speaking, each line in this poem has four metrical feet. Sometimes those feet are iambic...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2021, 2:55 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

At the time William Blake wrote "The Chimney Sweeper," small children were commonly used in the trade on account of their diminutive size, which made it easier for them to crawl up and down...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2020, 9:36 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

As always with quotes, it becomes incredibly important to examine them in the context of the work from which they are taken in order to understand what the author or poet is trying to do with them....

Latest answer posted February 13, 2012, 2:36 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

This poem is structured as a dialogue between a chimney sweep and a person who questions him. This structure allows the chimney sweep to tell his story in his own words. The sweep is crying in the...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2021, 12:19 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

Poetry is a work of the imagination; it is unlikely that Blake knew particular sweepers by these particular names. It is more likely that he chose these names because they are all one-syllable...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2008, 10:56 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" was written in 1789 during the French and Industrial Revolutions. It is made up of six stanzas and four lines each (called a quatrain). These quatrains follow a...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2012, 4:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

In The Chimney Sweeper, William Blake highlights the shocking conditions in which the young chimney sweeps exist, as boys barely old enough to even say sweep instead of "weep," are taken into...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2013, 1:14 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

William Blake wrote two poems with the title "The Chimney Sweeper," and they are very different from each other. One poem is a "Song of Innocence" and is written entirely in first person by a...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2016, 2:21 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

The words "my" and "I" in the first stanza of the poem describe the chimney sweep. He is telling his own story, using the first person voice. In the first two lines, the chimney sweep, speaking to...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2018, 9:13 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

William Blake penned two poems entitled "The Chimney Sweeper." One is included in Songs of Innocence and the other is part of Songs of Experience. The one that uses more sensory language by far is...

Latest answer posted June 9, 2019, 3:03 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

The singsong rhythm and rhyme scheme of William Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" contrast with the dark subject matter. The rhythm of the poem give readers the impression that they are reading...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2018, 9:01 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

William Blake’s poem “The Chimney Sweeper” suggests that eighteenth-century London was a place of hardship and poverty, where even young children had to work at dangerous jobs. The poem implies...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2022, 5:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

One theme of "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake is that even the innocents in life will suffer. In this poem, the speaker's mother died while he was "very young." After this, he was sold by his...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2019, 10:39 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chimney Sweeper

If you have read Charles Dickens's classic novel, Oliver Twist, you will remember that Oliver was almost apprenticed to a Mr. Gamfield who worked boys as chimney sweepers until gentlemen object,...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2011, 11:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

In Blake's poem from Songs of Innocence, Tom Dacre is a young boy who was most likely sold into the difficult business of sweeping chimneys. Orphans or illegitimate children were often given to the...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2019, 11:50 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

The Chimney Sweeper from the Songs of Innocence is very different from the one from the Songs of Experience. The first link summarizes the Innocence poem. It is about a little boy who has been...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2009, 10:07 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

This poem is a harsh and justifiable critique of child labor. During Blake's lifetime, children were often used to climb through the flues in order to sweep the chimneys out. Boys as young as four...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2016, 3:46 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

it is ironic verse that William Blake writes, for while maintaining a non-judgmental tone with the point of view of a child, the poem is a scathing indictment against the exploitation of innocent...

Latest answer posted January 9, 2014, 8:20 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chimney Sweeper

Which one? Blake wrote a series of poems which fell under the categories of Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Most have counterparts--The Lamb is in the Innocence category, The Tiger is...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2009, 11:59 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

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